Criterion Continues To Do The Lord’s Work With The Release Of The Complete Godzilla Showa Era Box Set!

Per Skreeonk.com:

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The cover is retro, funky, and certainly aimed at pulling in non-fanatics with a strong design. Upon further inspection, the rest of the set is, too, with new cover designs created by well-known artists for each film in the 1954-1975 era we all hold so dear. We’ll get to the art in a moment, however. First, let’s celebrate what Criterion managed to include for this release (in their own words):

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 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
  • 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

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.

Pretty fantastic, right? While it is a bit disappointing not to have both the Japanese original and U.S. releases accompanying one another (as we’ve become accustomed to), being treated to a release of each film in its intended form is certainly a best-case scenario in 2019. TOHO has grown increasingly – and justifiably – protective of these films, so seeing only a handful of dubs included should come as no surprise.

A wonderful amount of extras are headed our way, too, including limited commentaries, and – much more excitingly – interviews with legacy TOHO cast, crew, and creators.

Nothing, however, excites us as much as this – which guarantees that this set is going to deliver the best experience U.S. audiences have ever had with a home release of these classic films:

  • High-definition digital transfers of all fifteen Godzilla films made between 1954 and 1975, released together for the first time, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks

Yet all of this seems to be swallowed up whole by Criterion’s decision to treat this more as another one of their boxed sets, rather than a celebration of the Showa series itself. Whether TOHO was unwilling to license posters and art is unclear (and unlikely), but Criterion has absolutely put their focus on pulling a diverse group of artists in to flesh out their loud, exciting presentation. Even in their own breakdown of the set, they’ve chosen to list this grouping of artists last; putting a great amount of focus on this aspect of their release.

This amazing box set arrives October 29th– and if the set retails at it’s intended $180 it’s not only a great chance for fans to own the entire Showa series – but a fairly priced one, too.

We’ve included a full gallery of Criterion’s new covers below. GODZILLA: THE SHOWA-ERA COLLECTION is now available to order via their website – and will be hitting other major retailers, such as Amazon and Target, soon. Until then!

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