While we hold our radioactive breath for Gareth Edwards' gigantic Godzilla movie, it's already good news for kaiju fans as half of the Japanese Godzilla films will soon be on blu-ray.
The story so far - not all Godzilla films have yet hit DVD in the USA (Godzilla 1984, below, still hasn't materialised). And besides the American Godzilla (1998), only three have so far been released on blu-ray...
|Godzilla 1984 - still missing from DVD in the USA|
|Godzilla (1954) - one of three already on blu-ray|
Universal Studios will release King Kong vs Godzilla (1963) and King Kong Escapes on blu-ray in April. The American version of King Kong vs Godzilla was very different to the Japanese, but I believe this is the only version that will be released. It was the first Godzilla film to be made in colour. Its sequel King Kong Escapes (1967) also features a mechanical King Kong and the Gorosaurus (that later popped up in Destroy All Monsters), but Godzilla himself doesn't appear in this story.
Details on Blu-ray.com.
Also in April, Media Blasters will be reissuing Destroy All Monsters (1968) on blu-ray and DVD, but also Godzilla vs Megalon (1973) will be appearing on blu-ray (above) for the first time.
Full story from Sci-Fi Japan here.
Godzilla vs the Sea Monster / Ebirah - Horror of the Deep (1966).
Godzilla vs the Smog Monster / Godzilla vs Hedorah (1971, above).
Godzilla vs Gigan / Godzilla on Monster Island (1972).
Sci-Fi Japan has the cover art of all three releases.
Godzilla vs King Ghidorah (1991) and Godzilla vs Mothra (1992),
Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II (1993) and Godzilla vs Space Godzilla (1994),
Godzilla vs Destoroyah (1995) and Godzilla vs Megaguirus (2000),
Godzilla: Final Wars (2004) and Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (2003)
These are all up for pre-order on Amazon. There should be DVD releases of all of them as well.
More news on these sets from The Good, the Bad and the Godzilla.
Of course, I'm holding my breath to see how good these will look in high-definition. US releases don't always have access to the original Japanese film materials to make the best transfers of films that date up to sixty years old. The blu-ray of Destroy All Monsters was certainly a disappointment. But it's going to be fun finding out.
Kaiju fans have already been treated to the awesome 1995-1999 Gamera Trilogy on blu-ray (from Mill Creek, above) as well as the later 2006 sequel Gamera The Brave (from Tokyo Shock). The good news is that now Mill Creek are also releasing the original six Gamera films in two blu-ray sets (below).
More details from Sci-FI Japan here.
For all the latest news on these and other Japanese science-fantasy, please follow...
The Good the Bad and the Godzilla
My full list of where to find all the Japanese Godzilla films on DVD...
is kept updated here.