Talking COZZILLA: An Interview with Italian GODZILLA Director Luigi Cozzi
The Director Talks About His Colorful Contribution to the Godzilla Universe
Author: John “Dutch” DeSentis
Special Thanks to Keith Aiken, Kevin Pyrtle of Wtf-Film, Brad Thompson, Ed Godziszewski, and Steve Ryfle
A SciFi JAPAN EXCLUSIVE
In September 1955, the Japanese studio Toho Co., Ltd. sold U.S. theatrical and television rights for their film GODZILLA (Gojira, 1954) to Edmund Goldman, owner of a small distribution company called Manson International. Goldman soon sold the movie to Harold Ross and Richard Kay of Jewell Enterprises, who in turn partnered with Joseph Levine of Embassy Pictures to form Trans World Releasing Corp. and distribute GODZILLA in America.
The Trans World crew had the film dubbed in English and recut to include newly shot scenes featuring actor Raymond Burr (PERRY MASON). This new version was released to theaters in the United States in April 1956 as GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS. It was a box office hit, and the Americanized GODZILLA was quickly picked up for distribution in Mexico, Britain, France, Argentina, Cuba, Belgium, Sweden… and Italy, where it was released in February, 1957 as GODZILLA IL RE DEI MOSTRI.
Among the Italian audiences who saw GODZILLA IL RE DEI MOSTRI was a young boy named Luigi Cozzi. Cozzi (born in 1947 in Busto Arsizio, Italy) is a lifelong fan of horror and science fiction movies who became a filmmaker as well as a close friend and partner of Italian horror icon Dario Argento (SUSPIRIA, TENEBRAE). He began his long working relationship with Argento as a writer on the 1970 film FOUR FLIES IN GREY VELVET (4 Mosche di Velluto Grigio), and the two have collaborated on titles such as CREEPERS (Phenomena, 1985), TWO EVIL EYES (Due Occhi Diabolici, 1990), and THE STENDHAL SYNDROME (La Sindrome di Stendhal, 1996).
Cozzi also wrote and directed several productions for both film and television. At age 22 he directed THE TUNNEL UNDER THE WORLD (Il Tunnel Sotto Il Mondo, 1969), an adaptation of a short story by acclaimed science fiction author Frederik Pohl. Cozzi also helmed THE NEIGHBOR (Il Vicino di Casa) for Dario Argento’s 1973 anthology TV series DOOR INTO DARKNESS. His feature film credits include directing the Caroline Munro pic STARCRASH (Scontri Stellari Oltre la Terza Dimensione, 1978), the sci-fi horror ALIEN CONTAMINATION (Contamination: Alien Arriva sulla Terra, 1980), PAGANINI HORROR (Il Violino che Uccide, 1989), and THE BLACK CAT (Il Gatto Nero, 1989), plus screenwriting duties on the Italian/French co-production DEVIL FISH (Shark: Rosso Nell’Oceano, 1984). He may be best known in America for directing the Lou Ferrigno films HERCULES (Ercole, 1983) and THE ADVENTURES OF HERCULES (Le Avventure di Ercole 2, 1984) under the Anglicized name “Lewis Coates”.
Today, he and Argento co-own Dario Argento’s Museum of Horrors and Profondo Rosso, a shop in Rome named after Argento’s 1975 cult favorite DEEP RED. Profondo Rosso sells horror and sci-fi memorabilia and also publishes books about fantastic cinema, including Cozzi’s own Giallo Argento and Godzilla & Company.
In the mid-1970s, Luigi Cozzi decided to bring GODZILLA back to Italian theaters. But he didn’t simply re-release GODZILLA IL RE DEI MOSTRI; Cozzi instead took the U.S. version of the film, which itself was already cut apart and re-spliced together from the Japanese original, and added his own “new” footage… mostly comprised of old newsreels showing wartime footage of real death and destruction. He also extensively reworked the audio and music tracks for “Futursound”, an 8 track magnetic sound system based on Universal Pictures’ Sensurround. Most notably, Cozzi also colorized GODZILLA using a technique involving colored gels that created a nightmarish, glowing effect far different from the pastel colorization attempts employed by Ted Turner in the 1980s or the digital technology now used by Sony Pictures and other studios.
The finished result— released in Italy in 1977 as GODZILLA, but often referred to by fans and the director himself as “COZZILLA”— stands as a real oddity in the long and often bizarre history of the Godzilla franchise. The film is worth a look just out of pure curiosity value alone.
Unfortunately, COZZILLA is a hard film to find… at least in decent shape.
Many Godzilla fans in America first heard about Luigi Cozzi’s colorized version of GODZILLA from Steve Ryfle’s book Japan’s Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of the Big G, which was published back in 1999. In the years since then, copies of this obscure film have been traded from collector to collector. But, sadly, Cozzi’s GODZILLA has never been released on home video in Italy (or anywhere else for that matter) and no longer plays on television, so the only options currently available to fans are blurry, distorted, and incomplete multi-generation copies sourced from a VHS recording of an old Italian TV broadcast. For now, COZZILLA remains a true Godzilla rarity.
In April of 2009, SciFi Japan’s own John “Dutch” DeSentis had the chance to meet and talk to Luigi Cozzi at the Chiller Theatre Expo in New Jersey and then follow up with him after Cozzi’s return to Italy. Luigi Cozzi is a charming character who is both fan-friendly and eager to discuss his work and his love of horror and sci-fi. Here, he discusses all things regarding his version of GODZILLA.
NOTE: Before getting to the interview proper, SciFi Japan would like to address some of the photos used with this article. As explained, high quality images from Luigi Cozzi’s GODZILLA are not available at this time, and the extremely poor copies in the fan market simply do not reflect the work done by Cozzi and his COZZILLA production team all those years ago. In an attempt to show how GODZILLA would have looked to Italian movie audiences in 1977, we have created some composite shots by combining the actual coloration from Cozzi’s version with matching screenshots from GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS. While by no means a substitute for the real thing, we are pleased to report that Luigi Cozzi has seen and approved these images; he wrote to say, “Your restored shots from my colorized GODZILLA are very nice: compliments!”
Any “restored” photos will be noted as such so there is no confusion. We hope readers will enjoy the images as intended until a better source for COZZILLA photos becomes available.
And now, on with the show…
John DeSentis: It was a pleasure meeting you at the show. Did you enjoy your time here?
Luigi Cozzi: I always enjoy coming to New York!
John DeSentis: So let’s talk COZZILLA! How did the idea of colorizing the original GODZILLA come about? Did you seek it out or was it brought to you?
Luigi Cozzi: My color GODZILLA was born early in the seventies, in 1975 or 1976 I think, when all the papers started talking about Dino De Laurentiis’ remake of KING KONG. [There was] a lot of publicity for it, so I— then being a movie theatrical distributor— thought of taking advantage of it. I tried to get the rights to [the 1961 British giant monster movie] GORGO, but couldn’t because the King Brothers asked for too much money. So I thought of the first GODZILLA, which I liked very much when it was first released here in Italy during 1956.
I contacted the Toho office in Rome and did buy the 1956 GODZILLA. Actually, I wanted their original Japanese version without Raymond Burr, but Toho answered that they could not deliver it to me. They could only deliver me the negative of the 1956 version featuring Raymond Burr. So I got that version. But when I offered that movie to my regional distributors, they said with horror, “A black and white movie? We refuse to release it!”
What to do then?
It was at this point that I did think of coloring the old black and white GODZILLA movie, as at the same time I was experimenting with stop motion optical machinery in order to create some special visual effects for a sci-fi movie project which later became my movie STARCRASH. I had the idea to colorize with stop motion every single frame of the Godzilla movie. I did a test, it worked and so I decided to go ahead with this crazy idea.
John DeSentis: So your work using stop motion technology for visual effects in your GODZILLA was kind of a test run for when you used it in STARCRASH?
Luigi Cozzi: Of course the “remaking” of GODZILLA was a kind of general “proof” for a future sci-fi all-original project which I wanted to do. With GODZILLA I tested the stop motion and saw that it could work. So it’s true that STARCRASH would never exist if I had not done GODZILLA.
Actually, when I was starting working on STARCRASH at Cinecittà my colorized, super-stereo GODZILLA was playing in one of Roma’s major theaters with my name “Luigi Cozzi presents” big on the marquee. What a joy!
John DeSentis: How closely was Toho involved during the process?
Luigi Cozzi: I got the GODZILLA re-release rights from Toho. Then I made an additional deal with them: they authorized me to go ahead with the colorizing idea, providing that at the end the new color negative was to be their propriety. I accepted and signed the additional deal. When we finished, we gave the colorized negative to Toho. Some time afterwards, I heard from people at the lab that Toho had sold my colorized version to Turkey, so in Turkey too it did play in colors.
John DeSentis: Any idea why the original Japanese version was not available?
Luigi Cozzi: At that time, according to Toho, the Raymond Burr version was the only one which they could give us and so we got just that.
John DeSentis: You stated that at the time that you acquired the 1956 GODZILLA, you were a theatrical distributor. I know you had directed a few films up to that point. Did you see this project as a way to jump into more projects?
Luigi Cozzi: Well in 1975 I started organizing sci-fi theatrical festivals here in Italy and they became a huge hit, more than 150,000 tickets sold in two months here in Rome. Every day I showed in the theater a different sci-fi movie from the past. At a certain point I decided to gain more and so I did buy theatrical reissue rights to some “lost” classics; THE THING, SILENT RUNNING, CAT PEOPLE, THINGS TO COME, DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, INVADERS FROM MARS and many others. Then I put these in my sci-fi program. They made money too and so I used part of that money to buy more old movies, finally including GODZILLA from Toho.
John DeSentis: Was it your idea to call your version of the movie “COZZILLA”? It even appears in the opening credits of the film.
Luigi Cozzi: Cozzilla is the name I used sometimes to sign short articles when I was writing in sci-fi magazines. It seemed nice to me to use it as a production company name for the Godzilla reissue… a kind of in-joke.
John DeSentis: Cool! So you actually had that as a nickname of sorts beforehand. Well, COZZILLA is known for having quite a bit of extra footage mixed in. Seeing as you used the U.S. version, which itself had already been altered, why the decision to insert so much extra footage such as old newsreels from World War II?
Luigi Cozzi: The decision to insert extra footage was because the original picture was 1 hour and 20 minutes. This was normal length in the fifties but in the mid seventies a picture to be shown theatrically had to be at least 1 hour and 30 minutes long. So we were forced to add material to it in order to reach that length. Its final length was 1 hour and 45 minutes.
John DeSentis: Some of the real-life footage that was inserted into the film was pretty graphic. There were plenty of scenes of real life death and destruction in your version. Newsreels of people running around on fire, scorched bodies, etc. Why the insertion of such graphic footage?
Luigi Cozzi: The graphic scenes in my own GODZILLA version were intentional, trying to give an “up-to-date” and more violent look to the old 1954 movie, considering that it was going to be re-released theatrically in the second half of the seventies when the audience’s tastes had obviously changed a lot.
John DeSentis: How about some of the other inserted scenes? There are numerous shots that do not match well with the original Japanese footage such as Godzilla’s attack on the train and his initial appearance in Tokyo Bay, wherein there are added shots of people evacuating in lifeboats. What did you and your editors discuss about those scenes?
Luigi Cozzi: Some of the stock materials we used didn’t match well. We knew it from the beginning but I thought that the effect would have been stronger than the defects. Incidentally, parts of the train crash additional scenes were from John Frankenheimer’s THE TRAIN  with Burt Lancaster, a movie I always loved and that I still do like. While the car flying in the air and some other disaster material was from THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE , a picture at that time I had bought for re-releasing.
John DeSentis: Did you personally oversee all the added footage from start to finish?
Luigi Cozzi: I personally oversaw everything, from music to additional footage, to choice and creation of the colors. As a matter of fact this colorized GODZILLA was my brainchild and, take note of this, it was the first colorized movie ever done! The problem is that we had to colorize it via stop motion, frame after frame, while doing it today with a computer is much simpler. But in the seventies computers of this kind did not exist. So I am proud to say that the original movie-colorization idea is mine.
John DeSentis: There are two clips in particular that I would love to ask you about that were added in for this release. One is a shot of three prison convicts getting swallowed up by a flood that was taken from Godzilla’s second movie, GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN. The other is the scene where the shark eats the octopus which was from THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS. Any recollections about the insertion of those two scenes?
Luigi Cozzi: Me being an old time sci-fi movies fan, I owned in the early seventies some 16mm prints of my all-times favorites like GODZILLA RAIDS AGAIN and Ray Harryhausen’s BEAST FROM 20.000 FATHOMS. So I thought to blow up to 35mm some of these scenes in order to use them as “quotations” or “tributes” for my colorized GODZILLA, and this is what I did.
John DeSentis: Can you tell us about the colorization process used in the film, “Spectrorama 70”?
Luigi Cozzi: “Spectrorama 70” is just a name I did invent to help advertising. It refers to colorization but also gives a feeling of 70mm which at that time was typical of every big budget Hollywood blockbuster. This invented name, in the style of William Castle, helped to give a “bigger” look at my GODZILLA theatrical re-release advertising materials.
John DeSentis: Your colorization was not a traditional colorization like what Ted Turner went on to do in the 1980s. It was more of a series of “color gels”. How did you decide upon the colors to use?
Luigi Cozzi: How we did decide the colors? Simply by using our imagination in trying to reach the best effect. Anyway, what really mattered was the color effect of the guns and explosions: a strong red. The problem was when, in the original movie, the camera moved… we really had a lot of trouble because in these cases we had to move the gels, too, and that didn’t really work well.
John DeSentis: How about the mastering of the soundtrack in “Futursound” (a.k.a. Sensurround)?
Luigi Cozzi: I added length and stop motion colors to the 1956 Raymond Burr GODZILLA, but I felt the picture needed something more to be played in the major and most important Italian theaters. So I decided to process stereophonically its old 1956 soundtrack and then to turn it into a magnetic band stereo version with added music and more special sound effects.
I’ll explain: In those times [early seventies] Dolby didn’t exist yet and we had only optical and magnetic soundtracks. Magnetic soundtracks were more expensive and used only in major Hollywood blockbusters, from WEST SIDE STORY to 2001, because it allowed up to eight different soundtracks all together with fantastic sound results. So I recreated the GODZILLA soundtrack, added music and more sound effects to it, and then I put it on the magnetic band which gave a much stronger result than simple optical track.
Then I did create some Sensurround effects; Godzilla roaring, building collapsing, tanks exploding… adding some special giant loudspeakers to every theater which played this movie. The Sensurround effect is similar to the one used in Universal’s EARTHQUAKE  and ROLLERCOASTER  movies which were a big hit in those days. We did the same.
So my GODZILLA was in color, was longer than the original, had an eight-track magnetic soundtrack band and additional Sensurround special sound effects. This all was done to help the box office power of my re-release. Of course only a few major theaters in Italy could play my GODZILLA with magnetic band and Sensurround, but where it did play in this way, it was a giant spectacle.
John DeSentis: Must have been something to hear that kind of stereo-sound at the theater back then.
Luigi Cozzi: Magnetic system was the best sound system which existed in the major theaters before the Dolby age. In those times, if you wanted a picture to be played in stereo you could only use the magnetic system. Actually it was the only way to have stereo. Magnetic system was made up of two tiny strips of magnetic tape glued to every frame of the print of the picture. A special projector with magnetic double heads “read” the strips and through added amplifiers played them loud in the theater. Of course stereo prints with the glued magnetic strips cost a lot more than normal optical prints, and therefore only the major Hollywood blockbusters were played with that system.
This is the same deluxe sound system we used in our GODZILLA 1977 version. In the major cities the colorized movie was showcased loud and in stereo with magnetic prints, so that when Godzilla roared all seats trembled. The same happened with explosions and gunfire.
John DeSentis: Speaking of magnetic band soundtracks, how about some discussion about the new music composed by the group “Magnetic System” that appeared over the shots of Hiroshima at the beginning? As a synth track, it is so drastically different than the original music by Akira Ifukube.
Luigi Cozzi: Well, its author was Vince Tempera, one of the leading Italian music composers. It was Goblin-oriented [The Italian musical group Goblin created the soundtracks for several films directed by Dario Argento. Their horror movie music also inspired the soundtrack for Toho’s 2001 Godzilla film GMK.] because we had not much money so we couldn’t afford to pay an orchestra. Maestro Tempera composed and played all tunes by himself with his own electronic piano.
Also we wanted a different style from the wonderful original Japanese music because I wanted the audience to “feel” the difference between my scenes and the original scenes. I was also trying to give to the whole movie a more modern look.
John DeSentis: What about the name “Magnetic System”?
Luigi Cozzi: He [Vince Tempera] did not sign it with his real name but used a pen name, “Magnetic System”, which actually means nothing… just recorded through a magnetic system.
When the picture opened, GODZILLA’s additional music was released as a 45 record with the cover featuring the same poster as the movie. Later GODZILLA’s new music was put into a 33 record (long-playing) also featuring music from movies like JAWS, STAR WARS, and KING KONG all electronically played by Vince Tempera. I had copies of these records ’til some years ago, but now I’ve lost them.
John DeSentis: What else can you tell us about Vincent Tempera?
Luigi Cozzi: Vince Tempera is a very popular musician here in Italy. He plays piano with a famous folk singer as kind of an “Italian Bob Dylan” group, and by himself he is also doing a lot of orchestra direction on TV. He also produces many pop groups.
I knew him because one day he came to me saying he was a sci-fi fan too, asking to do something with me. And so, when the GODZILLA idea came to me I called him back and offered this job. He accepted it immediately because he loved Godzilla, too. He also wrote and directed all the music to my 1989 movie PAGANINI HORROR.
John DeSentis: So the music that was added was definitely a reflection of the popular Goblin-style of the times.
Luigi Cozzi: Surely the music Tempera wrote and played sounded very much like Goblin’s. It was the style of the period.
John DeSentis: And what about Franco Bixio’s involvement?
Luigi Cozzi: Cinevox Records is Franco Bixio’s own musical company. I was friends with him because Bixio was the manager of Goblin. Vince Tempera was also a friend of Bixio, and Bixio was a sci-fi fan, and so we decided to all do together the additional soundtrack for my colorized GODZILLA.
John DeSentis:The Italian release poster of the movie ended up becoming the cover of Fangoria #1. How did that happen?
Luigi Cozzi: I had Italian movie poster painter Enzo Nistri paint a new GODZILLA poster for my re-release. I printed it on thousands of posters. Then I sent a slide of the original painting to Ed Naha of Starlog magazine. I was in touch with him; he was a nice guy.
Some time after he wrote me back that he had given my Godzilla painting slide to the editor [Joe Bonham] of a new magazine they were just starting called Fangoria. The Fangoria editor liked the slide very much and so he did use it as a cover for their number one. Now I own the original painting which is on display here at the Profondo Rosso shop. [The cover story for Fangoria #1 was a retrospective of the Godzillas series written by Ed Godziszewski of Japanese Giants and SciFi Japan.]
John DeSentis: I understand that Armando Valcuda and Alberto Moro were two of the people that were along on this project with you. Can you tell us about them and their role in making your version of GODZILLA a reality?
Luigi Cozzi: Armando Valcauda did the stop motion [colorizing] work on GODZILLA and on my later movies STARCRASH and HERCULES. He was a young guy from Turin who had never worked before in the movies. I knew him, heard that he owned a stop motion Harryhausen-like camera and so I decided to try to test his talents by colorizing GODZILLA. It worked, and so I used him again as a special effects man for my next movies. Then he did effects for other Italian TV movies ’til in the early nineties. He stopped working in the movies and went back to his home town, retiring.
Alberto Moro was a movie editor from Milano. When I was young, I was his assistant. Then I moved to Rome and became a distributor and director, so I went back and hired him because I admired him. He edited my movies LA PORTA SUL BUIO [Door into Darkness, 1973] and THE KILLER MUST KILL AGAIN [L’assassino è Costretto ad Uccidere Ancora, 1975]. He died in 2006.
John DeSentis: You mentioned that you were a fan of GODZILLA before you released your version. Tell us a bit about why you liked GODZILLA at the time.
Luigi Cozzi: The Raymond Burr GODZILLA played in Italy in 1956 and I saw it as a kid and really loved it. Then, after 1959, this picture went out of release and disappeared… no prints left. That’s why in 1976 I decided to re-release it; because by then a whole new generation had not seen it. It was a joy for me to buy one of the pictures I loved most as I was a child. I saw the original black and white GODZILLA back in 1956 and since then I’ve always been a Godzilla fan. Even my own dog was named by me Godzilla!
John DeSentis: Is Dario Argento a Godzilla fan as well?
Luigi Cozzi: Dario Argento is a friend of mine, but he doesn’t care at all about Godzilla.
John DeSentis: What did people think in 1977 when your version came out?
Luigi Cozzi: My own colorized GODZILLA played in many theaters here in Italy, and made decent grosses. Not a fortune, but enough to consider it a good move. Where it was played in magnetics and Sensurround is where it earned more money at the box office… that is, in the two major Italian cities; Milano and Roma. In Roma it was shown in the same Royal Theater where they had shown the Cinerama 70mm version of 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. It was fantastic to watch my own GODZILLA being shown on the same enormous screen with fantastically loud sound effects.
John DeSentis: When was the last time that you saw your version?
Luigi Cozzi: The last time I saw my colorized GODZILLA, it was at the end of the nineties on a TV screen. But there are still are a couple of 35mm prints being shown theatrically sometimes here in Italy.
John DeSentis: I read that only one print actually exists of the film.
Luigi Cozzi: Yamato Video here in Milan owns one color 35mm print of GODZILLA. It’s not one of the prints I made in 1976 but a brand new one, plus its original colorized 35mm film negative.
John DeSentis: Do you know if your version of GODZILLA will ever be released in any format in Italy or anywhere else?
Luigi Cozzi: Some years ago, Yamato bought from Toho the original 1954 GODZILLA and they planned to release it, and then to release the Raymond Burr and my colorized version in a double DVD. But the 1954 GODZILLA turned into a flop [sales wise] and so they decided to give up to their plans to release the double DVD. In any case, they still own my 35mm original colorized negative, having got it from Toho.
John DeSentis: Do you know if the Yamato DVD company is aware of all the great Godzilla DVDs that have come out here in the United States and around the world? Several of the people involved with this website have done commentary on the DVDs of the classic films. I would guess that many Godzilla fans would love to see your version released in a good quality copy. Perhaps they should rethink releasing COZZILLA.
Luigi Cozzi: Yamato Video releases here in Italy a lot of Japanese animation. They’re also fond of Godzilla and have printed some titles from the saga, but the box office results have been too poor, so they stopped releasing live action monsters movies from Toho. Today they’re still going strong but only with Japanese animation stuff. They’re on the web. Try to contact them, if you want. The main man there is Fabrizio. Tell the fans to write to Yamato. [Contact information for Yamato Video is provided at the end of this article.]
John DeSentis: Perhaps the fans can try some kind of correspondence via email or regular mail to let the Yamato Company know that they would like to see your version released. Does it surprise you that many fans know about your version and are interested in seeing it?
Luigi Cozzi: I’m not surprised for the interest in my colorized 1956 GODZILLA version. I know Godzilla has millions of fans everywhere. I’m one of them. And so it’s obvious that this rare curiosity does attract people. Also, my colorized version was not bad. It was something worth discussing, I think. It’s just a pity that my special road-show version with stereophonic and Sensurround soundtracks has been lost by now. That was really worth watching, and hearing!
John DeSentis: Looking back at the film now, what do you think worked best and what do you wish you could have done better?
Luigi Cozzi: What I think worked best and what could have been done better? Well, everything could have been done better! Just think that to colorize by stop motion gel photography the whole movie, we only took three months because we were in a hurry to release it. Valcauda did all the photography by himself, completely alone, while Moro and I re-edited, selecting also the new materials, the whole [film] in Milan. Then I went back to Rome to do the special stereophonic new soundtrack, music included. With more time at our disposal we surely could have done better, much better. And I do wish we could have used the Ted Turner computers, but in these years those computers simply did not exist.
In any case the truth is that we had a very limited budget to colorize GODZILLA. So for sure, even if these computers had existed then, we could not have rented them. We had very, very, very little money at our disposal. Considering all this, I think it’s a miracle what we did. A miracle with a lot of faults, sure, but still a miracle.
To colorize GODZILLA was a crazy idea but somehow it worked, even if we didn’t have a computer to do it. It took us three months to do it, with just me and Moro doing it all, night and day. It was a crazy idea, I agree, but we were young and it was also a lot of fun. Then it did even work at the box office! In any case, I’m still proud of it.
John DeSentis: Many fans of Godzilla in the U.S. are also Italian Horror fans. What would you like to say to them?
Luigi Cozzi: I’ve always been a Godzilla fan and I’d really loved to shoot a new Godzilla movie. I couldn’t do it, though I worked for Toho directing THE LAST CONCERT [Dedicato a Una Stella, 1976] with Richard Johnson [a British actor who appeared in the original version of THE HAUNTING and several Italian films] which was produced by them and became a major hit in Japan. But I had a lot of fun anyway doing my own version of their 1954 GODZILLA which is, I repeat, the first colorized movie ever! A record!
To all Godzilla fans I say, Godzilla is forever!
In Spectrorama 70
Stereophonic version featuring the incredible vibrating effect of Futursound
Based on the black and white film GOJIRA
A Tomoyuki Tanaka production from Toho in Tokyo
GODZILLA KING OF THE MONSTERS, the Americanized version from Avco Embassy and Joe Levine distributed in Italy by Paramount Pictures and Documento Film
Starring Raymond Burr
Akira Takarada, Akihiko Hirata, Takashi Shimura, and Momoko Koichi
Original Japanese screenplay: Takeo Murata and Ishiro Honda
Art direction: Takeo Kita and Satoshi Chuko
Cinematography: Masao Tamai
Additional cinematography (U.S. scenes): Guy Roe
Original music: Akira Ifukube
Special effects creation and direction: Eiji Tsuburaya
SFX assist: Akira Watanabe, Hiroshi Mukouyama, Kuichiro Kishida
Original Japanese version director: Ishiro Honda
Director and editor of U.S. scenes: Terry Morse
New Italian version by Cozzilla Società a Responsabilità Limitata (Cozzilla Co., Ltd.) for BBC and Renato Barbieri
Prints by Augustuscolor
New GODZILLA music: Magnetic System (Vince Tempera)
Soundtrack available from Cinevox Records
Editor: Alberto Moro
Special colorization effect: Armando Valcauda
New direction: Luigi Cozzi
Want to see COZZILLA get a DVD or Blu-ray release? Write to Yamato Video and tell them!
Via L. Palazzi n◦5
P. IVA 02140860969
For more about Luigi Cozzi, visit profondorossostore.com. And if you are ever in Italy, do drop by his little shop of horrors at Via dei Gracchi, 260, 00192 Roma, and see the many cool items relating to horror and fantasy films on display.