Godzilla (mostly) legitimate DVD buying guide

With my Godzilla 60th Birthday Challenge underway, a few people have brought up the issue of availability of the films. Especially here in the UK where, of the Japanese films, only the original and vs. King Kong have official releases that I could find. Japan is the obvious place to try, and luck would have it that they share Region 2 DVDs with us but their DVDs are often outrageously expensive or have no English subtitles, or quite often, both. That said they have released the glorious Godzilla: Final Box collection from Japan for upwards of £600. It doesn’t have English subtitles, but who cares? If you have £600 spare it’s magnificent. For the average budget, though, a bit more searching is required.

If it had subtitles, I’d probably be in massive debt by now

It’s probably becoming evident that I’m going to tell you that you need a multi-region DVD player, or to hack your current device (you can often get codes online or buy custom-programmed remotes on a certain auction site for more modern ones). Only then is it possible get every film on legitimate release DVD as I am doing (except for Godzilla 1985 / Return of Godzilla, which I will explain later).

Madman Entertainment in Australia have got the rights to 23 of the 28 films and have conveniently packaged them in 4 boxsets complete with Japanese audio and the English dubs (where dubs exist). They’re locked to Region 4 hence the multi-region requirement. These boxsets are very good value; they cost me about £25 each including postage to the other side of the planet. They’re simply but nicely packaged in thick jewel cases with each film on a separate disc, in flip-over disc holders. The covers are decidedly cool, with silhouettes of the different incarnations of Godzilla.

Showa Classics Vol. 1 contains the original Gojira, alongside Mothra vs. Godzilla, Invasion of the Astro Monster, Godzilla vs. Eborah, Son of Godzilla, & Destroy All Monsters.

Showa Classics Vol. 2 contains All Monsters Attack, Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla vs. Gigan, Godzilla vs. Megalon, Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla, & Terror of MechaGodzilla.

On to the Heisei collection, which contains Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Godzilla vs. Mothra, Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla II, Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, & Godzilla vs Destoroyah.

Lastly the Millenium collection features Godzilla 2000, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, Godzilla Mothra & King Ghidorah; Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla III, Godzilla: Tokyo SOS, & Godzilla: Final Wars. Seemingly this boxset only contains Japanese audio as English dubs have probably never been made.

King Kong vs. Godzilla is available on its own or in an excellent boxset alongside the original King Kong, and the bonkers Toho-produced King Kong Escapes in which the oversized gorilla fights a robotic double of himself.

[UPDATE: I’ve since realised that these contain only the American versions; only select bootleg copies currently contain the Japanese version with English subtitles]

Godzilla Raids Again, Ghidorah, The Three-headed Monster, and Godzilla vs. Biollante are available on Region 1 DVDs from USA, meaning the only missing one is Return of Godzilla / Godzilla 1985. I spent a long time trying to get hold of this; the only release with English subtitles I could find mention of was released in Hong Kong on Region 3 but has since gone out of print. Regardless of price I simply couldn’t find a single copy available for sale to ship to the UK. Perhaps someone else will be more successful, but I had to resort to getting a bootleg copy available on the unnamed auction site I mentioned previously.

I don’t think anyone will have any trouble getting hold of the 1998 American remake (why you would want to may be the biggest question).

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Godzilla 60th Birthday Challenge!

If you followed a link to this, I’ve moved the post to a page all of it’s own. Follow the link at the top of the page or just click here. No, sorry, Here.

And so it begins…

Welcome, Facebook / Twitter friends who followed my link and anyone who googled any of the key phrases that might appear in this blog, such as “Is Pope Frances a reptilian?”, “How to lose weight without dieting” and “Scarlett Johannson Nude” – apologies to anyone searching these phrases, your visiting my site & boosting my reader figures is appreciated but this blog won’t serve any of your requirements. Just as a heads up though, only one of the three will yield any trustworthy results.

I digress.

This blog is to be my platform for ranting and raving about any films I watch over the course of January / 2014 / the 21st century / all eternity (Delete as applicable depending on how long I stay interested in doing this) and occasionally my opinions on any movie news, with perhaps the odd sprinkling of other equally important slices of opinion and fleeting thoughts. While I have had great success on twitter; literally tens of people have followed my updates on movies, Tories & inane instragram photos; I often find 140 characters a bit restricting in accurately conveying my full opinion of 90+ minutes of film. 

Often, but not always

Often, but not always

I intend to steer it towards horror as much as possible, that being the genre I am fanatic about and as such consider myself to have the strongest and most informed opinions on, however no doubt I’ll lose track occasionally and find I’ve written 2000 words about Mean Girls. It’ll be made up of a cocktail of reviews of new releases, not-quite-new releases, classics, not-so-classics and everything inbetween with little sense of reason beyond the simple fact that these are the films I have watched and the thoughts that I have thought.  So, without further ado, I declare this blog open for business.

[Gives up and deletes website]