Since 1984, the Criterion Collection has been an institution in the world of cinematic preservation, revival, and film nerd shelf-stocking across the board. Unrivaled in nearly every release, Criterion have put beautiful packages for classic films, ranging from the works of canonized masters like Akira Kurosawa and Federico Fellini to the offbeat genre films of Alex Cox and Sam Fuller, the vast breadth of titles is eclectic enough for any collector or movie fan to find something worth treasuring. And boy is there something new to treasure.
Something of an event, the Criterion Collection will be releasing its 1,000th “spine” (title) in October and it’s a radioactive juggernaut of a doozy.
Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films, 1954-1975 covers the reptilian god’s inception as an embodiment of Japan’s nuclear anxieties to his crazy ’70s escapades, at which point Toho was giving the titan all sorts of wild kaiju friends and foes to stomp the bejeezus out of Japan with. The full list of films included is as follows:
Godzilla (1954) [as well as Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1956)]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)
Featuring typically-gorgeous Criterion cover art for each film, the set will include a hardcover book on the cinematic icon, as well as copious, rare special features, of course. With unique covers for each film, featuring art by Angela Rizza, Geof Darrow, and Ronald Wimberly, Criterion continues its trend of elegant releases.
It’s a thrill to see the Criterion Collection keeping home media alive in such a luxurious fashion, but who am I kidding? I’m just happy we’ll get some restored Jet Jaguar goodness. The set will be available beginning October 29, 2019.
Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films, 1954–1975 [Criterion Collection]