Classic Media’s GODZILLA Summer
A SciFi JAPAN EXCLUSIVE
More than fifty years after its initial theatrical run in Japan, the original version of GODZILLA (Gojira, 1954) finally comes to home video in the United States this September, courtesy of Classic Media. The company is currently hard at work on a 2-disc collector’s edition DVD featuring the Japanese language version, the 1956 American edit GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS, and a wealth of extra material that includes trailers, two audio commentaries by noted Godzilla experts Steve Ryfle (author of Japan’s Favorite Mon-Star) and Ed Godziszewski (editor of Japanese Giants), featurettes on the making of this classic film, poster and image galleries, and more.
The GOJIRA/GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS set will be followed by DVDs of the Japanese and US versions of six additional classic Godzilla films, which will also include audio commentaries and materials from Steve, Ed, Stuart Galbraith IV (The Emperor and the Wolf, Monsters are Attacking Tokyo), David Kalat (A Critical History and Filmography of Toho’s Godzilla Series), and SciFi Japan’s Bob Johnson, Keith Aiken, and Richard Pusateri. These DVDs will be released both individually and in a boxed set, with the first two titles (GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN/GIGANTIS THE FIRE MONSTER and MOTHRA VS GODZILLA/GODZILLA VS THE THING) arriving on store shelves in November.
Classic Media has planned a number of promotions over the summer leading up to— and beyond— the release of the first DVDs. The first steps were taken this month with an update of the official website Godzilla on DVD on June 15, followed by the exclusive reveal of the final DVD cover art for GOJIRA on the film website CHUD.com on June 19.
Now everything kicks into high gear with two events in Southern California this weekend. On July 1 at 6:00pm, Classic Media is sponsoring a rare theatrical screening of GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS as part of the American Cinematheque’s “Giant Monsters On the Loose” film festival at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. In addition to the film, there will be a pair of Classic Media presentations that include information on the DVDs, the premiere of a newly-made trailer for the GOJIRA/GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS 2-disc collector’s edition, a question and answer session with Terry Morse Jr. (an editor on GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS as well as the son of the director responsible for the American sequences starring Raymond Burr), and Godzilla raffle prizes and DVDs. Last but not least, Classic Media is providing metallic ink GOJIRA promotional posters (see the photo below for a first look at the poster design) that will be given away to attendees while supplies last.
The Egyptian Theatre is located at 6712 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood CA. Ticket prices to the theater are $9.00 general, $7.00 students and seniors, and $6.00 for American Cinematheque members. Double features are two films for one ticket price. Tickets can be purchased at the theater box office, and by fax at 323-467-0163. Complete ordering instructions, parking info, and directions are available on the Egyptian Theatre website.
On July 3, GODZILLA (in Japanese with English subtitles) will be shown at the 2006 Anime Expo in Anaheim, CA. The screening will take place in the Anaheim Hilton’s California Ballroom C at 4:00pm. After the film there will be a Q&A session about the Classic Media DVDs, a screening of the DVD trailer, and giveaways of prizes, GODZILLA cartoon show DVDs, T-shirts, and GOJIRA posters. The GODZILLA screening is free to all attendees of Anime Expo. [On a non-Godzilla note, the Classic Media presentation will be followed by screenings of other great tokusatsu programming like Tsuburaya Productions’ ULTRAMAN MAX and MIRROR MAN: REFLEX. The full schedule is available at the Anime Expo website].
Also scheduled for early July is the official launch of the Godzilla on DVD website. The site will be updated regularly, with planned features including an events section (informing visitors of upcoming conventions and any special “convention offers”), a message board, answers to frequently asked questions, movie trailers, video clips, fan art, plot descriptions of the films, character bios, a list of DVD special features, exclusive wallpaper, buddy icons, screensavers, and an online store allowing visitors to purchase the Godzilla DVDs and other exclusive titles.
GODZILLA will also be screened at the Asian Film Festival of Dallas on Friday, August 4 at 2:00pm. And Godzilla fans in the Chicago area won’t miss out; Classic Media will have a booth at Wizard World Chicago from August 3-6, with a 1 hour Godzilla presentation scheduled at the convention for either August 5 or 6. GOJIRA posters and other Godzilla items will be available at both events.
Additional festival and convention appearances are in the works, so check back to SciFi Japan and Godzilla on DVD for further updates.