Godzilla Criterion Box Set

The Criterion Collection has finally revealed the contents of their 1000th release, and it’s a doozy. Godzilla: The Showa Era-Films, 1954-1975 collects 15 Godzilla films together on Blu-ray for the very first time, and the results look incredible. This monster-sized Criterion Godzilla box set will feature high-definition digital transfers of all fifteen Godzilla films made between 1954 and 1975, released together for the first time, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks – and more. Details below.

Criterion Godzilla Box Set

I’m not the world’s biggest Godzilla fan, but even I have to admit – this is cool as hell. Criterion has managed to put out 1000 releases, and to celebrate, their 1000th edition will be a huge Godzilla box set loaded-up with all the kaiju carnage you can stand. Here’s the lowdown:

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.

Here are the titles that come with the set, with amazing cover art for each one.

Godzilla

1954 • 96 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 1.37:1 aspect ratio

 

Godzilla Raids Again

1955 • 81 minutes • Black & White • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 1.37:1 aspect ratio

King Kong vs. Godzilla

U.S.-RELEASE VERSION
1963 • 91 minutes • Color • Monaural • 2.35:1 aspect ratio

Mothra vs. Godzilla 

1964 • 89 minutes • Color • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 2.35:1 aspect ratio

Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster

1964 • 93 minutes • Color • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 2.35:1 aspect ratio

Invasion of Astro-Monster

1965 • 94 minutes • Color • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 2.35:1 aspect ratio

Ebirah, Horror of the Deep

1966 • 86 minutes • Color • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 2.35:1 aspect ratio

Son of Godzilla

1967 • 85 minutes • Color • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 2.35:1 aspect ratio

Destroy All Monsters

1968 • 89 minutes • Color • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 2.35:1 aspect ratio

All Monsters Attack

1969 • 69 minutes • Color • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 2.35:1 aspect ratio

Godzilla vs. Hedorah

1971 • 85 minutes • Color • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 2.35:1 aspect ratio

Godzilla vs. Gigan

1972 • 89 minutes • Color • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 2.35:1 aspect ratio

Godzilla vs. Megalon

1973 • 81 minutes • Color • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 2.35:1 aspect ratio

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla

1974 • 84 minutes • Color • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 2.35:1 aspect ratio

Terror of Mechagodzilla

1975 • 83 minutes • Color • Monaural • In Japanese with English subtitles • 2.35:1 aspect ratio
The box set comes with a ton of supplemental material, including a “deluxe hardcover book with notes on each film and new illustrations from sixteen artists, new and archival interviews with cast and crew members,” and much more. A full list of special features can be seen below. The Criterion Godzilla box set roars onto shelves October 29, 2019.
  • 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 Monstersfeaturing 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
  • Trailers
  • 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
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