July 19, 2006

Run for Your Lives! Gojira is Coming to DVD

For years, Godzilla fans in the US have had to deal with the chop shop version of the original film, never able to put on a DVD and enjoy the original masterpiece the way it was intended. Instead, we have had to deal with the "Americanized" version with Raymond Burr as reporter Steve Martin.

Classic Media, in conjunction with Toho, will be releasing the complete and uncut original Gojira on September 5, 2006. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I will be at the store to get my copy! No more chop 'n dub for me.

Gojira is a classic film that is about true horror. This is well before the man in the suit was turned into a family friendly icon in the 1970s. This film takes a look at the catastrophic results of the nuclear age. The monster is the metaphor for the nuclear bomb, and it creates an atmosphere of fear. This is a creation of the Japanese culture in the years following World War II, and it conveyed the fear that the nuclear age was bringing with it.

Last year, Rialto Pictures first brought the film to US shores for the first time ever. I was fortunate enough to be able to see this 1954 film. It was the first time that I had ever scene this version of the film. It was a wonderful experience. For the first time, the true horror was able to come through, no distracting dubbing, and no American actors, and no missing footage.

Now, we will be able to relive the experience with this DVD release, a mere two months away. Anyone who likes the Godzilla films, or has an affinity for people in big rubber suits will want to add this one to their collection.

The only thing that worries me is that Classic Media is doing this release. I truly hope that they treat the film with the respect that it deserves. Meaning, I will be looking for a first rate transfer of the audio and video, and featurettes on the film, not to mention the original trailer. The one thing I know that it will have is the US theatrical version. I am not sure how often I will visit that, but it will be nice to have it.

Don't forget, September 5, 2006.


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