Season 2 DVD Guide (+2 additional films)

by Brian Scherschel

Season 2 will begin on September 19th with “Half Human” (1955).  That’s right, not one, but two more movies have been added to the season: “Half Human” and “The Three Treasures” (1959).

To help you with finding all of the movies for this great season of Toho sci-fi classics, I have written this DVD guide.

Some of these movies are still considered “rare” DVDs, but they’re not hard to find.  I suggest you Google the harder to find titles and grab the original Japanese versions where you can find them.  Let’s get started!

Half Human (1955)

DCA (American Cut)

Directed by Ishiro Honda, and released only one year after the original Godzilla.  This movie is banned in Japan due to its portrayal of natives as savages.  There is a really bad American version of this.  Though Toho has never released a home video version of this movie, see if you can find the Japanese version with English subtitles.

 

The Mysterians (1957)

Tokyo Shock

Released in 2005, this Tokyo Shock version has the Japanese language option with English subtitles.  One of Ishiro Honda’s (and Toho’s) absolutely best sci-fi classics.  You can buy it here.

There are also Japanese versions with English subtitles available if you search for them.

 

Varan (Daikaiju Baran) (Varan, the Unbelievable) (1958)

Tokyo Shock

Tokyo Shock released their version of this movie in 2005 with optional Japanese language and English subtitles.  You can buy it here.

Reel Vault

The American English language version of Varan is available and is quite cheap.  You can buy it here.

Cory Film Corporation

There is an English only version of Varan on Amazon video as well.  You can get it here.

There are also Japanese versions with English subtitles available if you search for those.

 

The Three Treasures (The Birth of Japan) (1959)

Toho

Also a hard to find movie, but it’s great.  It’s a religious epic about the founding of Shintoism.  Toshiro Mifune is one of my absolute favorites.  See if you can find the Japanese version with English subtitles.

 

Battle in Outer Space (1959)

Sony Pictures

The “Icons of Sci-Fi: Toho Collection” by Sony Pictures is an affordable way to get three good movies in one purchase.  It’s included with “The H-Man” and “Mothra”.  “Battle in Outer Space” is in Japanese with English subtitles.  You can buy it here.

Mill Creek Entertainment

I haven’t seen this before, but there is also a “Vintage Sci-Fi 6 Movie Collection” that includes “Battle in Outer Space”.  The whole collection is just two discs.  It’s affordable, but I cannot vouch for the quality.  You can buy it here.

 

The Last War (1961)

Toho

There has been only one VHS release of this movie in the US decades ago.  However, you can Google it and see if the Japanese language version with English subtitles is floating around.

 

Gorath (1962)

Toho

This is another great Toho sci-fi movie that hasn’t been widely released enough in the US.  You can find the Japanese language English subtitled version though.

 

Matango (1963)

Tokyo Shock

Tokyo Shock released its DVD of Matango in 2005.  There are Japanese language and English subtitle options on it.  You can buy it here.

The original Japanese version with optional English subtitles is also available if you search for it.

You can see the English dub version (“Attack of the Mushroom People”) on Amazon Video here.

 

Atragon (1963)

Tokyo Shock

Tokyo Shock released its DVD in 2006 with Japanese language and English subtitle options.  You can buy it here.

There is also a Japanese version with a English subtitle option available if you search for it.

 

Dogora, the Space Monster (1964)

Tokyo Shock

Tokyo Shock released its DVD of Dogora in 2005.  It has Japanese language and English subtitle options.  You can buy it here.

There is also a Japanese version with English subtitles available if you search for it.

 

Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965)

MBL

MBL released this DVD but the year of release is not noted on Amazon.  It lists Japanese language option and English subtitles.  You can buy it here.

The Toho version with Japanese language and English subtitles is also around if you search for it.

 

War of the Gargantuas (1966)

Vivendi Entertainment

Starz on Amazon Video has the English language only version of this movie.  You can view it here.

Classic Media

The Classic Media version of this movie was released with Rodan in 2008 and again in 2012.  However it’s a collector’s item now, and it’s expensive.  You can buy it here.

There is also a Toho version of this movie with Japanese language and English subtitles around if you search for it.

 

Latitude Zero (1969)

Tokyo Shock

Tokyo Shock released a 2-disc version of this movie in 2007 with Japanese language and English subtitle options.  You can buy it here.

There is a Toho version of Latitude Zero available via Internet search.  It has Japanese language and English subtitle options as well.

 

Space Amoeba (1970)

Tokyo Shock

Tokyo Shock released their version of this movie in 2006 with Japanese language and English subtitle options.  You can buy it here.

The English language only version of Space Amoeba is available on Amazon video.  You can see it here.

There are Japanese versions with English subtitles of Space Amoeba on the Internet so check those out if you like.

 

The Submersion of Japan (1973)

Toho

This film was released in the US as “Tidal Wave”, which was heavily cut.  That version isn’t very good.  If you search for the original Japanese language with English subtitle options, you will hopefully find it.

 

War in Space (1977)

Discotech Media

Discotech Media released this DVD in 2006.  It has Japanese language and English subtitle options.  It includes an interview with special effects genius Teruyoshi Nakano.  You can buy it here.

There are also original Japanese versions of this movie with English subtitles available if you search for them.

 

Media Blasters/Tokyo Shock

There is a 3-movie DVD set released in 2007 that contains “The Mysterians”, “Varan” and “Matango”.  There are English and Japanese language versions of all of the movies in this box set.  However it is quite expensive at the moment.  You can buy it here.

 

This concludes the DVD guide.  Good luck and start viewing and reviewing these great film treasures!

3 Weeks Until G-Day: Godzilla DVD/Blu-Ray Guide, Part 2 – Heisei Series, Millennium Series, and Beyond

(Continued from Part One).

Long before Hollywood rebooted Godzilla (twice), Toho did it three times themselves. These later eras of the franchise are called the Heisei Series (1984-1995) and the Millennium Series (1999-2004). The current era started in 2016 with Shin Godzilla.

Godzilla movies get easier to find on DVD/Blu-Ray with these films since the distribution rights have been owned by fewer companies. Only two of these films were released stateside before 1998 when Tristar released them on home media as a tie-in with the 1998 remake (at least something good came of that, right?)

The Return of Godzilla/Godzilla 1985

Kraken Releasing

This one is complicated. Like with the 1954 Gojira, a heavily-edited “Americanized” version of this 1984 reboot was produced by New World Pictures. It was the only version available commercially in the states for decades. However, thanks to legal entanglements, the American version has only ever been released on VHS. But now thanks to Kraken Releasing, the original Japanese version has been made available. It was so popular, it ranked number one on Amazon’s foreign film sales for a while. The only extras are trailers for Kraken’s other Godzilla Blu-rays.

Buy it here.

Godzilla vs. Biollante

Echo Bridge Home Entertainment

While Godzilla 1985 would remain the only G-film released theatrically in the States for 15 years, Miramax did release this 1989 sequel on HBO and video in 1992. Heck, it’s one of the few widescreen VHS tapes I’ve seen. However, after being out-of-print for years, the film was released on DVD and Blu-Ray a few years ago. It has dual language tracks, widescreen presentation, and a few special features that seem as though they were taken from a Japanese DVD (including a making-of feature). It’s gotten a bit pricey, though.

Buy it here. (Or here with two free Asylum B-movies).

Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah/Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992) (aka Godzilla and Mothra: Battle for Earth)

Sony Pictures

As tie-ins with Gareth Edwards’ reboot, Sony released nearly a dozen modern G-films on Blu-Ray. These two were packaged together in a two-disc set. Unlike their previous DVD releases, they’re in widescreen and have dual language tracks. Sadly, the only special features included are several of the films’ trailers.

Buy it here.

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II/Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla

Sony Pictures

 

After some oddball DVD editions, Sony released these films on Blu-Ray in 2014 as a two-disc Blu-Ray set. It’s the same as Sony’s other G-film Blu-Rays: widescreen, dual language tracks, and several trailers (including one where clever editing makes it look like Godzilla fights robots from the Toho sci-fi film Gunhed).

Buy it here.

Godzilla vs. Destoroyah/Godzilla vs. Megauirus

Sony Pictures

This is yet another oddity from Sony. This set includes the last film of the Heisei series and the second entry of the Millennium Series. While the pairing makes no sense, it’s an improvement over the previous DVD releases. As usual, the films are in widescreen, have dual language tracks, and include trailers.

Buy it here.

Godzilla 2000 (aka Godzilla 2000: Millennium)

Sony Pictures

Since it was released theatrically, this remains the only Millennium Series film to get a solo Blu-Ray in the U.S. It includes widescreen editions of both the original Japanese version and the slightly re-edited dubbed version of the film (the former being released stateside for the first time with this). The special features are mostly the same as the previous 2000 DVD, including trailers, behind-the-scenes footage, and an informative commentary by the team that dubbed it.

Buy it here.

Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack/Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Sony Pictures

The film with the insanely long “retro” title and the first of the popular Kiryu Mechagodzilla films were released together in a Blu-Ray two-pack. Like their previous DVD releases, it features widescreen presentation and dual language tracks. I hear the subtitles for GMK are improved from its DVD. The only special features are a few trailers.

Buy it here.

Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S./Godzilla: Final Wars

Sony Pictures

The final entries in the Millennium Series were packaged together. Like the 2004 Sony DVDs, it has widescreen presentation and dual language tracks, although the subtitles are transcriptions of the dubbed dialogue (including an instance where there was added dialogue in the dubbing). However, besides a few trailers for other films (including some other Godzilla releases), it features a 22-minute behind-the-scenes featurette that showcases the special effects techniques used in both films. Neither feature music or narration, though, which makes them a bit boring.

Buy it here.

Shin Godzilla (aka Godzilla: Resurgence)

Funimation Films

I almost didn’t include this film because it was just released, making it quite easy to find. Honestly, it’s here just for the sake of completeness. The newest Godzilla film was given a limited theatrical run by Funimation Films (which normally distributes anime) in the U.S. last year. They finally put out a Blu-ray and DVD for the film August 1. It has great picture and audio, dual language tracks, and the infamous abundance of subtitles. The only special feature besides some trailers is “Godzilla vs. the Nerds,” a 33-minute interview with some of the Funimation crew that worked on the U.S. release.

Buy it here.

So my guide to collecting Godzilla DVDs and Blu-Rays comes to an end. I hope you found it helpful.

For more detailed reviews of these DVDs and Blu-rays, I highly recommend the website www.TohoKingdom.com. You’ll also find reviews of many of Toho’s other genre films on the site.

Remember, you have three weeks to start watching these films so you can follow along with Brian and I when Kaijuvision Radio launches !