The Sphinx is open, once again....well, it was never closed, but I'm back from vacation, which is another story entirely, and doesn't suit our purposes here....but what does, though (to continue an impressive run-on sentence), is that my GODZILLA vs. MEGALON disc arrived in the mail yesterday, one day after its official release. I haven't even broken the shrink-wrap yet, but rest assured I'll be viewing it at least once this weekend.
So why did it take months and months (and months) to finally appear? Well, I've read several stories that Toho was very upset about the recent DESTROY ALL MONSTERS Blu-Ray/DVD release, and that a few still photos in the bonus features were used without approval. Whatever. This made the release of MEGALON delayed for eons, and there still isn't going to be a Blu-Ray release. In fact, if Toho ever approves the content for the "Special Features" section of the disc, they said it can just be re-released as a "Special Edition." Really? They think we will all just buy it again? Well, I will, of course, but curse you George Lucas! See what you have started?!!
|original Japanese movie poster (the basis of the DVD cover)|
Another irony in this release is on the back cover, where it says that "the most elusive Godzilla film in North America" is finally getting released. Um, I beg to differ. I could give you scans of probably 20 (that's twenty; two-zero) different VHS releases over the years of this movie. Now, granted, these were Public Domain, unauthorized editions from fly-by-night, car-trunk-sale companies, and the film looked like it had been rubbed down with sandpaper and left in the sun to fade, but it's been out there. The film played in American theaters (with actually a bigger promotional campaign than most Godzilla films), and was shown on NBC television with John Belushi hosting. It's been treated to an amazing Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode, which was even released on DVD for about 4 minutes and thirty seconds. And that wasn't the only DVD outing--there have been a handful of PD releases, from the same companies described above, and in the same quality.
So, what they are saying is, the film has been impossible to see in GOOD QUALITY in the United States, right? Nope; the now-dead Sci-Fi channel even showed a LETTERBOXED, crisper print off and on for quite a while.
|"Aww, crap. You're calling his mom this time!"|
So, as you can see, it's been probably the EASIEST Godzilla film to see in America for quite a while! But at the end of the day, we now have an official release, which promises to be the best quality yet, and I'm glad for it. It now makes 26 out of 28 Godzilla movies released on DVD in the United States, and 100% of the classic series running from 1954 to 1975. In my opinion, the remaining two (GODZILLA 1985 and GODZILLA vs. BIOLLANTE) would make an excellent 2-disc set, if the rights issues can ever get worked out!
By the way, I unabashedly and unashamedly love this movie. It gets a bad rap from time to time, but if you compare it to 99.5% of anything that Hollywood has ground out in recent years, you may agree with me.
|The beautiful painting for the American movie poster utilized the World Trade Center, when the film didn't even take place on the same continent! My thought is that it had something to do with the King Kong remake.|
ADDENDUM: After viewing the DVD this weekend, you won't be surprised to hear me say it's a must-buy, but that was never in dispute. Picture quality is the best this film has ever looked, and you can choose from Japanese with English subtitles, as well as a 2.0 track of the much-ridiculed English dub (which is actually Toho's International dub, so don't blame the U.S. for that one). My only complaint was the quality of the audio on the English dub wasn't perfect, but I'm sure there wasn't much to work with other than mangled old prints. There are no special features, as previously discussed. It's nice to be able to toss TWO of my previous DVD-R copies of this film, and replace it with one. Thanks, Tokyo Shock!