Today is a glorious day as for the first time ever in American history, one company has gathered together the entire 15 film Showa era of the Godzilla franchise and are releasing it in a single box set, and thy name is Criterion.
Now I must admit, I have some mixed feelings on the packaging as it looks like an overpriced children's story book, as it does not appear to be very shelf friendly. Additionally, the listing of the content on the disc is quite vexing. For example, it says the Japanese version of King Kong vs Godzilla is included as a bonus feature, does this mean it is not the new 4K transfer Toho recently commissioned in Japan? Or are they just listing it in the bonus features because it is the first time it is available here in the US?
Also, it seems like only selected movies include their English dubs, which for me personally, is no big deal, but I do know for others it is. Why would they only include English dubs for a couple of their films and not others?
Nevertheless, the set will be released on October 29th with a SRP of $224.99, and while I know Barnes & Noble usually has a 50% off all Criterion movies in late November, I will not be waiting for that sale as I will be getting this on Day 1 as I have waited decades for this to happen. At long last, the Showa era house in one package. Today is a great day to be a Godzilla fan.
You can find Criterion's listing here: https://www.criterion.com/boxsets/2648-godzilla-the-showa-era-films-1954-1975
Here is the listing of special 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 transfer of Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1956), the U.S.-release version of Godzilla
- Japanese-release version of King Kong vs. Godzilla from 1962
- 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