The Criterion company is releasing the Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films, 1954–1975 Eight-Blu-Ray Special Edition Collector’s Set into stores and available for pre-order on their website for $179.96 on October 29, 2019, and it’s a colossal tribute to the granddaddy of all movie monsters.
Here’s a preview of what’s inside this monumental Blu-ray collector’s set, which features fifteen films in a giant deluxe hardcover book, with new essays; new and archival interviews with cast and crew members; and much, much more! The book also features newly commissioned 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.
In 1954, an enormous beast clawed its way out of the sea, destroying everything in its path—and changing movies forever. The arresting original Godzilla soon gave rise to an entire monster-movie genre (kaiju eiga), but the King of the Monsters continued to reign supreme: in fourteen fiercely entertaining sequels over the next two decades, Godzilla defended its throne against a host of other formidable creatures, transforming from a terrifying symbol of nuclear annihilation into a benevolent (if still belligerent) Earth protector. Collected here for the first time are all fifteen Godzilla films of Japan’s Showa era, in a landmark set showcasing the technical wizardry, fantastical storytelling, and indomitable international appeal that established the most iconic giant monster the cinema has ever seen.
The set includes:
GODZILLA (Ishiro Honda, 1954)
GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN (Motoyoshi Oda, 1955)
KING KONG VS. GODZILLA (Ishiro Honda and Thomas Montgomery, 1963)
MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA (Ishiro Honda, 1964)
GHIDORAH, THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER (Ishiro Honda, 1964)
INVASION OF ASTRO-MONSTER (Ishiro Honda, 1965)
EBIRAH, HORROR OF THE DEEP (Jun Fukuda, 1966)
SON OF GODZILLA (Jun Fukuda, 1967)
DESTROY ALL MONSTERS (Ishiro Honda, 1968)
ALL MONSTERS ATTACK (Ishiro Honda, 1969)
GODZILLA VS. HEDORAH (Yoshimitsu Banno, 1971)
GODZILLA VS. GIGAN (Jun Fukuda, 1972)
GODZILLA VS. MEGALON (Jun Fukuda, 1973)
GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA (Jun Fukuda, 1974)
TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA (Ishiro Honda, 1975)
Eight-Blu-ray Special Edition Collector’s Set Features
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
PLUS: 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
Yes, so hyped for this release. Looking forward to watching Gigan, Megalon, Jet Jaguar, King Caesar, and the best version of Mechagodzilla again. The last time I saw many of these films was on VHS. Would have preferred the original movie posters for the box artbut the artwork is more than acceptable (especially Art Adams!).
Destroy All Monsters was a favorite of mine as a kid, and it has been super hard to find. I might get the whole set just for that...sort of. The others are fun, too. Except for All Monsters Attack. That movie sucks.