Greetings Friends and Fiends, and Kaiju-philes everywhere!
Ye Olde Dragon here, bringing you the word of the day. And that word is Godzilla!
In my late night perusing of Amazon.com, I came across multiple listings of new, Blu-ray releases of a batch of Godzilla movies being released on May 6. This should come as no surprise, as the Legendary Films reboot is being released the following week.
Four of the releases are from Sony, all bearing a neon green banner emblazoned with the words “The Toho Godzilla Collection” and a headshot of the Heisei Era Godzilla. These are actually double features with each film on its own disc, with a pre-order Amazon price of $14.99 for Godzilla vs. Destroyah & Godzilla vs. Megaguirus: The G Annihilation Strategy, Godzilla vs. King Ghidrah & Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992), Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II & Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla and $17.99 for Godzilla: Tokyo SOS & Godzilla: Final Wars. Why there is a difference in price, I have no idea.
I couldn’t run down any further information on these titles, but I’m sure they’re just basically high definition versions of the previous DVD releases. It’s interesting to note that absent from this lineup are three millennium era films – Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, Godzilla 2000 and GMK: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. Obviously, Godzilla vs. Biollante is currently licensed to another distributor, but we still have no hint of a release for Godzilla 1985/Return of Godzilla in regards to Heisei Era films.
Also out on May 6 are three Showa Era Godzilla movies, produced by Kraken Releasing (clever name, isn’t it) a sub-division of Section 23 FIlms. These entries are Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster, Godzilla on Monster Island and Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster. The first thing I noticed, seeing the preliminary box art, were these US titles being featured so prominently as opposed to the previous home-video titles of Godzilla vs. Hedora, Godzilla vs. Gigan and Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, respectively. Having seen only the preliminary design for the front covers, I can’t help but feel that they approached the design with a nod to the Classic Media DVD releases of a few years back. This much is evident by the somewhat framed original Japanese poster and the titles in a font similar to 1960s poster titles styles. See for yourself –
From what I understand though, US titles aside, these releases include the original Japanese theatrical releases and the Toho produced international versions as opposed to the US edited versions, meaning no Titra Sound voice tracks.
Unlike the forthcoming Sony releases, these are single disc entries just as the Classic Media releases were. I’m disappointed that we are still not able to get the US versions that so many of us grew up with and are instead – and I stress that this is probably by Toho decree – presented with the almost always inferior international cuts. Still, it’s good to at least have a Blu-ray release of the Japanese versions of these films. May 6 would seem to be a good start for what is, after all, the 60th anniversary year of the release of Ishiro Honda’s Gojira (1954).
We shall see.