Since last year after Criterion attained the licence to all of the Showa Era Godzilla films fans of the franchise have been eagerly awaiting news of a release. A few weeks ago, Target listed something called the Godzilla: Showa-Era Films on their website, and fans took a deep breath. Was the collection finally going to happen?
YES. Yes, it is.
Yesterday, Criterion announced officially the massive fifteen film set and that it will include some things American audiences probably have never seen. Namely an original Japanese track of 1962’s King Kong vs. Godzilla, International English dubs of the films, along with reprints of Godzilla films that have long sense been out of print physically in the last few years. Besides the fact ALL fifteen films will be released on Blu-Ray (only seven have been released on Blu Ray prior).
Here’s the official You Tube announcement:
Here’s all the extras which will be available on the set:
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
Here’s just some of the glorious cover art some of the various films will have:
My GODzilla indeed.
Currently, Criterion has a pre-order up on their website for the collection at $179.96.