One of the things that I love most about the Criterion Collection is that, though they have reputation for arthouse cinema, they’re not afraid to celebrate “cult” films as well. Case in point: To celebrate their 1000th release, Criterion could’ve released a deluxe set honoring Kurosawa, Tarkovsky, Godard, or some other giant of world cinema.
Instead, they’re honoring the greatest cinematic giant of all with an amazing collector’s edition containing every film from Godzilla’s “Showa” era (1954 – 1975).
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’s a list of all 15 films, which will be spread across 8 Blu-ray discs:
- Godzilla (1954)
- Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
- King Kong vs. Godzilla (1963)
- Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)
- Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
- Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965)
- Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)
- Son of Godzilla (1967)
- Destroy All Monsters (1968)
- All Monsters Attack (1969)
- Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)
- Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)
- Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)
- Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
- Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)
In addition to these films (all of which feature HD digital transfers and original artwork), the set includes alternate versions, commentaries, interviews with the films’ cast and crew members, audio essays, and a deluxe hardcover book with an essay and illustrations.
Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films, 1954 – 1975 will be released on October 29 and can be preordered for $179.96.