At long last, Criterion has revealed its 1,000th entry to be the ultimate “Godzilla” collection, with all 15 films of the Japanese monster series’ original Showa era films beautifully burnished for the first time. This massive set, with all films digitally restored, ranges from Ishirō Honda’s 1954 original-that-started-it-all “Godzilla” to Honda’s 1975 “Terror of Mechagodzilla,” which was his directorial swan song.
Also featured in the set are such iconic Godzilla face-offs as “King Kong vs. Godzilla” (1963), “Mothra vs. Godzilla” (1964), “Godzilla vs. Gigan” (1972), “Godzilla vs. Megalon” (1973) and more.
Criterion promises “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.”
The series has featured its fair share of imitations and reboots over the years, including this year’s “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” whose director, Michael Dougherty modeled the creature design for his film after the 1954 version in an affectionate ode to Honda’s original.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, this is the longest continuously running franchise in movie history.
Special features in the new Criterion Collection set include recent audio commentaries from film historian David Kalat (who’s authored books on the Godzilla series); a Directors Guild of Japan interview with Ishirō Honda; a discussion with “Repo Man” and “Sid and Nancy” director Alex Cox about his love for the Showa-era Godzilla films; new and archival interviews with cast and crew members; plus, in Criterion tradition, a lavish hardcover book accompanying the set with all new illustrations and essays.
Slated for release October 29, 2019, the set is now available for preorder.
The 1954 original “Godzilla” was previously released by Criterion in 2012, followed by a theatrical rerelease that began at the TCM Film Festival in 2014. Currently, you can check out plenty of the “Godzilla” films on The Criterion Channel, along with special features and audio commentaries to get you amped for this brand new release.
Other upcoming Criterion Collection entries include John Styles’ “Matewan,” Leon Gast’s Muhammad Ali portrait “When We Were Kings”; classic silent chiller “Häxan,” Charlie Chaplin’s “Circus,” John Waters’ camp classic “Polyester” and three silent classics from Josef von Sternberg.