Yes, it is true as a creature feature fan, loving those classics born from the early 1950s, however the movie that gave birth to its all-powerful franchise, is none other than Godzilla, that truly reigned from 1954 to 1975, and it’s here that Criterion gave the beast and the fans a justifiable purchase to quench their thrills. Thankfully not included is the resounding agreeable amongst most fans, Godzilla (1998). As I stated I am fan of the monster and all those that challenged his throne, I even own many of G-Fan magazines that accounts for details on the movies he spawned since 1954.
Needless to say, the collection comes at a cost $179.99 (if ordered from the Criterion website), all on Blu-ray, some available in America for the first time, ever.
Quoting from their website:
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.
Those unfamiliar with history of Godzilla, knowing only of the recent exploits from Godzilla: King of the Monsters Blockbuster, need to understand the films in the set hence the list:
- Godzilla Raids Again
- King Kong vs. Godzilla
- Mothra vs. Godzilla
- Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
- Invasion of Astro-Monster
- Ebirah, Horror of the Deep
- Son of Godzilla
- Destroy All Monsters
- All Monsters Attack
- Godzilla vs. Hedorah
- Godzilla vs. Gigan
- Godzilla vs. Megalon
- Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
- Terror of Mechagodzilla
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, presented with its original 4.0 surround soundtrack.
- 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
- Featurette detailing Godzilla’s photographic effects
- Toho Unused Special Effects Complete Collection, a 1986 documentary featuring archival making-of footage; scenes deleted from films including Destroy All Monsters, King Kong vs. Godzilla, and Mothra vs. Godzilla; and interviews with Honda, producer Tomoyuki Tanaka, special-effects director Teruyoshi Nakano, and others
- 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