All Hail the Reptilian King! Just in time for the holidays, The Criterion Collection announced that their seminal and hugely-anticipated #1000 spine would be given to the King of the Monsters himself, the indelibly iconic Godzilla and the entire Showa era that his creator, Japanese auteur Ishirô Honda, was directly a part of. The incredible-looking set includes fifteen of his greatest adventures, from the 1954 harrowing debut in Godzilla where he was the ultimate allegory for nuclear annihilation that terrified the post-World War II audiences the world over to his fight with American’s own King of the Monsters in King Kong vs. Godzilla (1963) to the introduction of his iconic indelible foes such as Radon, Mothra, and Ghidorah, and finally, Honda’s final turn behind the camera for Godzilla to face his toughest foe in Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975).
All fifteen films presented in the collection have been digitally restored and filled with a monstrous plethora of extras that only a Criterion release can deliver, including audio commentaries, interviews with Ishirô Honda, documentaries both on the special effects as well as the nuclear tragedy that inspired Godzilla, and more with enhanced Dolby surround sound that is fit for a king. The set will also feature a large hardcover book with essays by film historian Steve Ryfle and scores of notes along with gorgeous illustrations for each film from some of the best illustrators working today.
So, be ready to create a Godzilla-sized space for your movie collection as Godzilla comes roaring into your living room this holiday season.
See the newly unveiled trailer below.
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.
Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films, 1954–1975 will arrive on October 29. Pre-order here.