Starting October 1st, Godzilla's birthday celebration kicks off a month early with Janus Films/Criterion having acquired more titles by the legendary Ishiro Honda! The films will be introduced by director/writer Alex Cox. (Repo Man, screenwriter for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) Cox is a massive fan of Godzilla and Honda, having narrated the popular documentary, Bringing Godzilla Down to Size.
Janus Films/Criterion had previously acquired the rights to ten of Honda's films, eight of which were released in Criterion's "Godzilla: The Showa Era" Blu-ray set:
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (1956)
Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)
Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster (1964)
Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)
Destroy All Monsters (1968)
All Monsters Attack (1969)
Terror of MechaGodzilla (1975)
War of the Gargantuas (1966)
Now Criterion has also acquired the following seven films, formerly held by Media Blasters in North America:
The Mysterians (1957)
Varan: The Unbelievable (1958)
Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965)
Space Amoeba (1970)
Criterion praises Honda's craftsmanship and his impact on cinema in their official announcement:
The man who gave the world Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and more, Ishiro Honda was the wizard behind the Japanese monster-movie (kaiju eiga) craze that thrilled legions of international fans in the 1950s and ’60s. Turning the trauma of nuclear attack into larger-than-life pop spectacle, Honda created ferociously entertaining special-effects extravaganzas that doubled as resonant metaphors for the devastation of World War II. This tribute to Honda’s ever-imaginative artistry features the creature features for which he is best remembered as well as lesser-known cult favorites like the psychedelic horror freakout Matango.
King Kong vs. Godzilla is notably left off the list, likely due to the sub-licensing agreement Criterion had with Universal for the Showa Era set. Regardless, the Godzilla franchise's greatest director will have the majority of his science fiction library under Janus Films and available on Criterion. Could there be a physical release of Honda's non-Godzilla output on the way? Fingers crossed for what the future holds.
Official Criterion Website
Official Criterion Twitter
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This article was written By G. H. (Gman) and published on 2022-10-01 00:22:54
More about upcoming Godzilla & Monsterverse projects
Godzilla vs. Kong was the sequel to Michael Dougherty's Godzilla 2: King of the Monsters and was the fourth and final installment in the Monsterverse movie quadrilogy. Now, the Monsterverse takes a new direction - into TV! On January 20th, 2022 Legendary announced a new live-action Godzilla Monsterverse TV Series which will stream on Apple TV Plus network! Be sure to check Godzilla-Movies often for the latest news and info on the Monsterverse TV Series and all things Toho Godzilla as well!
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