In honor of the new Godzilla movie coming to theaters on May 16th, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment are releasing The Toho Godzilla Collection, which presents eight of the previous eleven films from the 1990s and 2000s as four two-disc double feature Blu-rays, including this two-fer of 1991’s Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah and 1992’s Godzilla Vs. Mothra: The Battle For Earth. But while they aren’t the best Godzilla movies ever made, they’re still pretty good, and for fans, this is the best way to watch them.
In Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah,
time travelers from the future go back in time to stop the dinosaur that was atomically mutated into Godzilla. But when they return to the present, they find that while Godzilla is gone, Japan is instead being attacked by a flying, three-headed dragon-looking monster called King Ghidorah. Oh, who will save them?
Then, in Godzilla Vs. Mothra: The Battle For Earth, when a typhoon unearths a giant egg, scientists are baffled as to what it is and where it came from. Meanwhile, Godzilla is rudely awoken by a meteor that, as it turns out, is also a giant egg. Oh, who will scramble them?
As Godzilla movies go, neither Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah nor Godzilla Vs. Mothra are as good as the 1954’s Gojira, or any of the ones that followed in the ’60s and ’70s, such as 1962’s King Kong Vs. Godzilla or 1971’s Godzilla Vs. Hedorah (a.k.a. Godzilla Vs. The Smog Monster). Or, for that matter, any of the previous films in which Godzilla battled King Ghidorah or Mothra.
Part of the problem is that because while the special effects are noticeably better in both Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah and Godzilla Vs. Mothra than they are in the ’60s and ’70s movies, they’re still not that impressive. And I don’t mean by today standards, but compared to ’90s flicks. The same can be said for their stories, which are silly, but not as ridiculous as those previous films. As a result, neither Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah nor Godzilla Vs. Mothra have the same goofy charm of those earlier movies.
both are a lot better than the worst Godzilla movies. Not only does Godzilla not talk in them, but he also doesn’t have a kid or hang out with Matthew Broderick. In fact, of the Godzilla movies that fall in the middle of the quality scale — i.e., the ones that came out in the ’80s, ’90s, and 2000s — Godzilla Vs. Mothra is one of the better ones, as it features some spectacular three-way battles, while Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah is almost as good, if only for having a scene in which a soldier yells, “Take that, you dinosaur!” like it’s the most natural thing in the world. As a result, both are, at the very least, worth seeing at least once.
If you want to see them more than that, though, the Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah/Godzilla Vs. Mothra Blu-ray is easily the best way to do so. For starters, both films have been digitally remastered for HD, and are presented in 1.85:1 widescreen, so they look better than they did on DVD. Not as good as the new one will when it comes out on Blu-ray, of course. And it’s not as much of an improvement over the original DVDs as the original Gojira got when it was released on Blu-ray by Criterion. But it’s still a noticeable improvement.
The same can also be said for the sound. Both movies are presented with both the original Japanese audio, which comes in stereo, as well as the original English dub, which is mono on Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah and stereo for Godzilla Vs. Mothra. And like the picture, they’ve been digitally cleaned up and thus sound better than they did on DVD.
Unfortunately, though also unavoidable, the Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah/Godzilla Vs. Mothra Blu-ray doesn’t come with a lot of extras. Aside from codes for digital copies of the two movies, this only has the original Japanese trailers for both films. Though unlike similar collections, they didn’t just include one trailer, but all of them, including some funny ones that let people know that they could get free Godzilla toys at the cinema.
While this may not seem like much, it’s still more than what was on the original DVD, which also paired Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah and Godzilla Vs. Mothra. Sure, it would’ve been nice if Sony had commissioned a new commentary track, or made a making-of featurette, even if it was just one that covered all eight films in this Blu-ray series, which they could then include in all four collections. Or, at the very least, one of the trailers for the new movie. But let’s be realistic: that was never going to happen.
the Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah/Godzilla Vs. Mothra Blu-ray is a great way to watch two good Godzilla movies. Sure, it could’ve been better…but then, so could the movies. But if you’re into these flicks, or even just one of them, the remastered picture and sound make this Blu-ray set the best way to enjoy them.
To read my review of the Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla II/Godzilla Vs. SpaceGodzilla Blu-ray, click here.
To read my review of the Godzilla Vs. Destroyah/Godzilla Vs. Megaguirus Blu-ray, click here.
To read my review of the Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S./Godzilla: Final Wars Blu-ray, click here starting Thursday May 8th.