Last week The Criterion Collection announced their October releases but conspicuously left off at Spine #999. In that press release they said they’d be announcing “something big — spine number 1000” this week. After months (years, really) of speculation, we finally know what Criterion had up its sleeve, something big indeed. Today, they announced that on October 29 they will be releasing a 15-film boxset of all of Japan’s Showa era Godzilla films. Here is their page, and here is their blurb:
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.
I admit that I’m not the biggest Godzilla fan, but I’m still very excited that Criterion is doing this. Fans should be thrilled, and those of us who might not be fans should probably still pay attention to just why these films have made such a cultural impact, and why Criterion said in today’s press release: “It’s a colossal set, and Criterion would have it no other way for their 1000th release.”
If you’d like to pre-order the set on Amazon, you can do so here. This is an affiliate link, so I’ll get a small portion of the purchase price.
While you wait for the set, check out their fun artwork for each film! Even more than the films themselves, this art makes me want the set, which makes me confident that a lot of car and attention went into making this set special and worthwhile!