Criterion Press Release: Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films (Blu-ray)

3 Stars

NEWSLETTER – JULY 25, 2019

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All Hail the King
This October, we’re celebrating the arrival of spine number 1000, and it’s a collector’s set fit for the granddaddy of all movie monsters! Our landmark edition gathers for the first time all the Godzilla films from Japan’s Showa era:

Godzilla (1954)
Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
King Kong vs. Godzilla (1963)
Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)
Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)
Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)
Son of Godzilla (1967)
Destroy All Monsters (1968)
All Monsters Attack (1969)
Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)
Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)
Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

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These fifteen films, all presented in high-definition digital transfers, are accompanied by a slew of supplemental material that brings the King of the Monsters to life in a giant deluxe hardcover book, with new essays and newly commissioned illustrations from sixteen artists; new and archival interviews with cast and crew members; and much, much more!

It’s a colossal set, and we’d have it no other way for our 1000th release! We can’t wait to share it with you when it roars into stores on Blu-ray on October 29.

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Published by

Ronald Epstein

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50 Comments

  1. The great news is for the first time there will be a US release of the Japanese version of "King Kong vs. Godzilla."

    The cautionary note however is that earlier DVD releases that have the AIP versions of films such as "Godzilla vs. The Thing" (Mothra vs. Godzilla), "Monster Zero" (Invasion of the Astro Monster) as well as the earlier Blu-Ray of "Destroy All Monsters" that has the AIP dub as an audio track option still have to be kept for serious enthusiasts (and some films I notice seem to have no English dubs at all!)

  2. A dream come true. Finally my three favorite Godzilla films arrive on BD.

    -Invasion of Astro Monster

    -Terror of Mechagodzilla

    and yes my all time favorite is:

    -All Monsters Attack:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

    (don't hit me)

  3. JoeDoakes

    I wonder if we'll get the classic dub voiceovers?

    The only confirmed dubs are for Monster Zero/Astro-Monster, Son of Godzilla, DAM, Megalon, and both Mechagodzilla films (plus the U.S. cuts of KOTM and KKvG, which of course aren't straight dubs).

  4. Peter Apruzzese

    No

    Part of the charm of these films for me is how I first saw them when I was little with the bad dubs included. If my favorite films don't have them, this will be a hell of thing to pass up, but I will.

  5. Lord Dalek

    The only confirmed dubs are for Monster Zero/Astro-Monster, Son of Godzilla, DAM, Megalon, and both Mechagodzilla films (plus the U.S. cuts of KOTM and KKvG, which of course aren't straight dubs).

    And those are "international" dubs done by Toho and not the classic AIP dubs (which were much better). Hold on to your earlier releases that have them.

  6. Jack P

    And those are "international" dubs done by Toho and not the classic AIP dubs (which were much better). Hold on to your earlier releases that have them.

    That only applies to two of the movies in this case.

  7. Lord Dalek

    That only applies to two of the movies in this case.

    Three actually? Or is the English dub on the "Godzilla vs. The Thing" release the same? The "Monster Zero" dub I think was a different English dub from Toho's for "Invasion Of the Astro Monster" (though Nick Adams is on both; unlike "War Of The Gargantuas" where Toho's English dub didn't use Russ Tamblyn).

  8. Ronald Epstein

    When it dips below $90 I am in!

    LOL. That’s a high water mark. I pre-order from amazon from a link on this thread, hoping HTF gets credit, and knowing I’ll get it for the lowest price Amazon has.

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  10. Bryan^H

    Part of the charm of these films for me is how I first saw them when I was little with the bad dubs included. If my favorite films don't have them, this will be a hell of thing to pass up, but I will.

    It's weird that bad dubs should be prized by fans, but there was a lot of charm to those in the Godzilla films.

  11. The only Godzilla film I have is the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of Godzilla vs Megalon. Lucky to have it because it went out of print within two months of it's release due to copyright issues with Toho studios.

  12. Personally I couldn't care less about any Godzilla movies beyond the first one (both the Japanese and American versions, which Criterion has already released to Blu-ray).

    Now that MOTHRA is now out from Mill Creek, I want RODAN, again in both the U.S. and Japanese cuts, and I hope Criterion will provide these.

  13. darkrock17

    Why was there an 8 year gap between Raids Again and King Kong? Did Raids Again not do well with theater goers?

    Lots of sequels were not common back then. I think they figured they had run the course with Godzilla after the 1st two films. Toho released lots of other sci fi and Kaju films in that 8 year gap: Rodan (1956), The Mysterians (1957), Varan the unbelievable (1958), The H-Man (1959), Battle in Outer Space (1960), Mothra (1961), Atragon (1962) and others .
    After the huge international success of King Kong vs. Godzilla they realized they had a franchise with Godzilla which eventually led to him becoming the "good guy".

  14. Randy Korstick

    Lots of sequels were not common back then. I think they figured they had run the course with Godzilla after the 1st two films. Toho released lots of other sci fi and Kaju films in that 8 year gap: Rodan (1956), The Mysterians (1957), Varan the unbelievable (1958), The H-Man (1959), Battle in Outer Space (1960), Mothra (1961), Atragon (1962) and others .
    After the huge international success of King Kong vs. Godzilla they realized they had a franchise with Godzilla which eventually led to him becoming the "good guy".

    Of all the sci fi films that came out of Japan my all time favorite is The Mysterians with the memorable film score.

  15. I feel like a kid in a candy store regarding this release. Instantly pre-ordered! A perfect companion to this set would be the superb biography of Ishiro Honda: "Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa" by Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszweski — one of the best film biographies that I've ever read.

  16. Par for the course for all the Criterion $150+ sets — Bergman, Zatoichi (both versions), Bergman, Olympics, and a number of the $100-125.
    $`100 for Godzilla, $5 for 1 or 2 Multidisc cases and some custom artwork then I can keep the Book separate. I can't npt get 8 Discs or Godzilla based on packaging.

    I didn't buy the GDT Trilogy, but b/c I already had the movies. I did order the Book for $10 from Criterion.com so best of both worlds/

  17. BobO’Link

    $225 and they can't even used normal disc cases?!? That page shown looks like the discs go into slots on the pages (where the colored small circles are – look closely and you can make out the cutouts for the 8 discs and see the numbers in the circles). That, alone, will keep me away. I'm not purchasing any more expensive "collector" sets in "non-standard" ("standard" being a single/multi-disc viva case) packaging. The book is fine – just not as a disc holder.
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    I agree. $225 list price and we don't get decent packaging , and no Gigantis the Fire Monster . I'm on the fence on this one . Especially considering that I have all of the films on Bluray except Gigantis and Son Of Godzilla ( both of which I have on DVD).

  18. Jonathan Perregaux

    Holy actual crap! As a kid, I used to watch these as “The 4:30 Movie” on Channel 7/8 in the NY area.

    Same here, but on Channel 7 in Detroit. "Monsters Week" and "Apes Week" were aways something to look forward to.

    I will probably pick these up during a Criterion 50% off sale on their site after I earn another $50 gift code. That will take a big bite out of the price.

  19. Dick

    Personally I couldn't care less about any Godzilla movies beyond the first one (both the Japanese and American versions, which Criterion has already released to Blu-ray).

    Now that MOTHRA is now out from Mill Creek, I want RODAN, again in both the U.S. and Japanese cuts, and I hope Criterion will provide these.

    I ordered MOTHRA thinking I was ordering RODAN. I wasn't until I had it in my hand that I saw the error. I guess that phrase is true, "You see what you want to see!"

  20. John Sparks

    I ordered MOTHRA thinking I was ordering RODAN. I wasn't until I had it in my hand that I saw the error. I guess that phrase is true, "You see what you want to see!"

    MOTHRA's not a terrible movie, and certainly has its moments. After GOJIRA and RODAN, it is arguably the best of the early Toho monster flicks, which soon after became more like 3 Stooges-style slapstick with all the monsters kicking each other over mountains and swinging them by the tails, at which point I lost interest entirely.

  21. Scott Merryfield

    I will probably pick these up during a Criterion 50% off sale on their site after I earn another $50 gift code. That will take a big bite out of the price.

    I see what you did there. 😉

  22. Dick

    MOTHRA's not a terrible movie, and certainly has its moments. After GOJIRA and RODAN, it is arguably the best of the early Toho monster flicks, which soon after became more like 3 Stooges-style slapstick with all the monsters kicking each other over mountains and swinging them by the tails, at which point I lost interest entirely.

    That's the best stuff! I lost interest when they started getting serious afterwards.

  23. I’m very curious to see the extras. I am hoping that long form ‘music video’ of Godzilla movie clips set to he music of Akira Ifukube is included. I remember it being a big deal when it came out on LaserDisc back in the day.

  24. I am going to get this and be very happy, but the dubs are how most of us experienced these.
    I enjoy the David Kalat commentary on the current Criterion Blu-ray, but I kept my Classic Media DVD for the great commentaries by Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski. I love those guys.

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