With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Friday, May 30, 2014

Three Godzilla films from Kraken

It's been a very busy spring for Godzilla.

At the end of April, Rialto Pictures' Godzilla: The Japanese Original opened in New York City. Starting in May it began rolling out in other cities in the U.S. and will continue to do so into this coming August.

On May 16th Gareth Edwards new version of Godzilla opened. It was so successful that a sequel was promptly given the go-ahead.

And early in May, Kraken Releasing published, and Section23 Films distributed, three Godzilla films. The widescreen (2.35:1 aspect ratio) films are available separately on either Blu-ray or DVD, with an SRP  of $14.98 for Blu-rays and $9.98 for DVDs. Each single-disc edition offers two soundtracks: both the English dubbed and the original Japanese version with English subtitles. Extras are limited to each film's Japanese trailer.

The three films, in chronological order of original release, are:

Ebirah™, Horror of the Deep
Directed by Jun Fukuda
Japan, 1966, 88 minutes
Ebirah™, Horror of the Deep was originally released in the U.S. in 1968 under the title Godzilla® Vs. The Sea Monster!. Godzilla® and another of Toho’s most popular kaiju, the giant moth Mothra™are paired against a wide variety of adversaries. These include the sea monster of the title, giant birds and a mysterious terrorist organization. Eiji Tsuburaya served as director of special effects.

Godzilla® vs.Hedorah™
Directed by Yoshimitsu Banno
Japan, 1971, 86 minutes 

Godzilla® vs.Hedorah™, released theatrically in the U.S in 1972 as Godzilla® vs. the Smog Monster, pits Godzilla® against the forces of pollution in the form of Hedorah, a constantly mutating, acid-spewing behemoth from outer spaceThe film boasts eye-popping 1970’s “mod” costumes, hairstyles and psychedelic visuals that include conventional cel animation alongside the special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano. Godzilla® vs. Hedoarh™ ecologically focused take on the world’s greatest monster is easily one of the most unique films in the series.

Godzilla® vs. Gigan™
Directed by Jun Fukuda
Japan, 1972, 90 minutes

1972’s Godzilla® vs. Gigan™ ups the giant monster ante once with a series of tag team battles featuring four classic kaiju.   Released theatrically in the United States in 1977 as Godzilla® on Monster Island and again directed by Jun Fukuda with special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano, the film unites Godzilla® and spiny ally Anguirus™ against two of the series’ most popular opponents: the three headed monster King Ghidorah™ and the new alien cyborg Gigan™.

All three of these films are what I call "kiddie-Godzilla" movies. By this I mean that by the time these films were released, Toho had transformed the Big G into a child-friendly monster who's on the side of humanity.

So if you have kids, or the kid in you loves giant Japanese monsters, or if you're a total Godzilla-phile, each and every one of these films will be welcome additions to your collection. Especially at the very affordable prices they're offered at.

About Kraken Releasing:
Kraken Releasing is a new international video distribution label specializing in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror genre entertainment for mainstream audiences. Together with sister labels MAIDEN JAPAN (TOKYO MAGNITUDE 8.0, PAT LABOR, ROYAL SPACE FORCE) and SWITCHBLADE PICTURES (BIG BAD MAMA-SAN, ATTACK GIRLS SWIM TEAM VS. THE UNDEAD) Kraken’s goal is "to bring the best filmed entertainment from around the world to our customers."