STARZ’s streaming service would have you believe that Godzilla is coming to the Criterion Collection.The channel recently made available more than fourteen movies from Toho Studios classic Showa era of monster movies. Eagle-eyed fans were quick to notice that the artwork for the titles showcased the Criterion Collection’s recognizable ‘C’ logo and a year-of-release spine.
Rumors are abuzz, as Criterion is known for their incredible care and attention made to classic, contemporary, and significant films from around the world. The thumbnail artwork for each title on the STARZ app is in line with the style of Criterion’s previous digital releases prior to physical art being final.
At this time the fourteen Toho titles being made available on the Starz app with Criterion artwork are: Godzilla, Godzilla: King of the Monsters!, Godzilla Raids Again, Rodan, Mothra vs Godzilla, Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster, Invasion of the Astro-Monster, The War of the Gargantuas, Son of Godzilla, Destroy All Monsters, All Monsters Attack and Godzilla vs Megalon.
Many of the above mentioned Godzilla releases were previously owned by Dreamworks Classics after it restructured and absorbed Classic Media titles. However, those titles are now out-of-print, allowing Janus to acquire the rights to the films. Destroy All Monsters and Godzilla vs. Megalon were previously licensed by Media Blasters. It’s unknown what will become of the remaining Showa series films which are licensed between Universal, like King Kong vs. Godzilla or Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster, Godzilla vs. Hedorah and Godzilla vs. Gigan, which is licensed by Kraken Releasing.
The jolly green King of the Monster is already part of the esteemed boutique label’s collection of films. The original classic, Gojira was released as part of the Criterion Collection in a stunning Blu-ray and DVD edition back in 2012, which came packed with extras as well as Godzilla, King of the Monsters, the 1956 “Americanized” version. Even though fourteen films does sound like a pretty large box set, Criterion has already released the Complete Zatoichi Collection, which included 25 of the iconic Japanese character’s films so fourteen doesn’t seem all that outrageous.
It’s an exciting prospect for any Kaiju fan, and with the impending release of Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Godzilla vs. Kong films coming from Warner Bros, it’s a perfect time for a complete collection of some old-school Godzilla fun.
Images: Toho, Warner Bros., Universal