In late 2017 it was reported that Janus Films and the Criterion Collection had obtained several titles from the Godzilla series and were licensing them to STARZ. Now, in a highly anticipated and historic announcement, Criterion Collection spine #1000 will be the complete Showa Godzilla series!
For decades, Criterion has dedicated themselves to preserving cinema's greatest, most relevant films. Here they will release all fifteen legendary Showa Godzilla films on an eight disc set, "digitally restored". The release includes:
Godzilla (1954) [And Godzilla: King of the Monsters (1956)]
Godzilla Raids Again*
King Kong vs. Godzilla
Mothra vs. Godzilla*
Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster*
Invasion of Astro-Monster*
Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster
Son of Godzilla*
Destroy All Monsters
All Monsters Attack*
Godzilla vs. Hedorah
Godzilla vs. Gigan
Godzilla vs. Megalon
Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla*
Terror of MechaGodzilla*
(*= North American Blu-ray debut)
Eight of these film will be making their Blu-ray debut in North America. This will also mark the first time the Japanese version of King Kong vs. Godzilla is released in North America--Released as a "special feature".
The complete list of special features includes:
- High-definition digital transfers of all fifteen Godzilla films made between 1954 and 1975, released together for the first time, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks
- High-definition digital transfers of Godzilla, King of the Monsters, the 1956 U.S.-release version of Godzilla; and the 1962 Japanese-release version of King Kong vs. Godzilla
- Audio commentaries from 2011 on Godzilla and Godzilla, King of the Monsters featuring film historian David Kalat
- International English-language dub tracks for Invasion of Astro-Monster, Son of Godzilla, Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla vs. Megalon, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, and Terror of Mechagodzilla
- Directors Guild of Japan interview with director Ishiro Honda, conducted by director Yoshimitsu Banno in 1990
- Programs detailing the creation of Godzilla’s special effects and unused effects sequences from Toho releases including Destroy All Monsters
- New interview with filmmaker Alex Cox about his admiration for the Showa-era Godzilla films
- New and archival interviews with cast and crew members, including actors Bin Furuya, Tsugutoshi Komada, Haruo Nakajima, and Akira Takarada; composer Akira Ifukube; and effects technicians Yoshio Irie and Eizo Kaimai
- Interview with critic Tadao Sato from 2011
- Illustrated audio essay from 2011 about the real-life tragedy that inspired Godzilla
- New English subtitle translations
- A lavishly illustrated deluxe hardcover book featuring an essay by cinema historian Steve Ryfle, notes on the films by cinema historian Ed Godziszewski, and new illustrations by Arthur Adams, Sophie Campbell, Becky Cloonan, Jorge Coelho, Geof Darrow, Simon Gane, Robert Goodin, Benjamin Marra, Monarobot, Takashi Okazaki, Angela Rizza, Yuko Shimizu, Bill Sienkiewicz, Katsuya Terada, Ronald Wimberly, and Chris Wisnia
Although not every film will include the English dub. It has been postulated that complex rights issues hindered the acquisition of those audio tracks. Only Toho's international dubs are included. While this will no doubt put off some fans, Criterion's mission has always been about preserving films in their original form--Thus the Japanese cuts take priority.
The set will be released October 29th, this year. You can pre-order from the Criterion website or on Amazon.
Also be sure to check out Criterion's announcement trailer:
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