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Godzilla:  5 Rampaging Movies Box Set
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Box Front Includes: Godzilla:  King of the Monsters, Godzilla vs. Mothra, Godzilla vs. Monster Zero, Godzilla’s Revenge, and Terror of Mechagodzilla.
DVD 5-Disc Box Set Released By: Simitar Entertainment
Region: 1
Format: NTSC
Packaging: 5 discs in keepcases housed in a box
MSRP: $49.99
UPC #: 082551760329
Catalog #: 7603
Status: Simitar went out of business, and this box set is out of print.


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Review: This box set contains five classic Godzilla movies, each on their own disc and packaged in keepcases.  Following are brief synopses of the included films.  For your convenience, the “Final Analysis” of each disc is also included.

Godzilla:  King of the Monsters (1956 U.S. version):  The mutant dinosaur Godzilla rises from the sea and attacks Tokyo.  The military is helpless against him, and the city is left a smoldering ruin.  A dark and somber science-fiction classic.  Final Analysis: Okay picture and sound, and a solid batch of supplements, make this release a winner.  Final Grade:  B

Godzilla vs. Mothra (1964):  A powerful storm washes Mothra’s egg ashore in Japan, followed by Godzilla.  Mothra comes to protect her egg from Godzilla, but is killed.  Can her two offspring fend for themselves against the unstoppable Godzilla?  One of the best films of the entire series.  Final Analysis: Once you’ve seen this film digitally remastered in widescreen, you’ll never want to waste your time watching a fullscreen version again.  This disc is a terrific improvement over any previous release.  One of the greatest kaiju films was finally given a worthy release in the U.S.  Final Grade:  A-

Godzilla vs. Monster Zero (1965):  Enigmatic aliens from Planet X "borrow" Godzilla and Rodan to do battle with their nemesis, King Ghidorah.  In a colossal cosmic double-cross, the Xilians turn all three monsters against the Earth!  Final Analysis: The original widescreen version of the film is a real treasure.  Once you see it in all its glory, you’ll never want to go back to the cramped confines of fullscreen.  Good video and audio quality, and some diverting extras, earn this disc a solid recommendation.  Final Grade:  A-

Godzilla’s Revenge (1969):  A lonely young boy daydreams of having adventures on Monster Island with Godzilla and Minya.  He will have to use the lessons he learns there to deal with both bullies and bank robbers in real life.  An underrated children’s fantasy.  Final Analysis: Once you’ve seen this film digitally remastered in widescreen, you’ll never want to waste your time watching a fullscreen version again.  This disc is a terrific improvement over any previous release.  This much-maligned film was finally given a worthy release in the U.S.; it’s a shame it’s out of print and hasn’t been re-issued.  Final Grade:  B

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975):  Mechagodzilla is salvaged and repaired by conquering aliens.  The invaders join forces with a disgruntled scientist whose cyborg daughter controls the dinosaur Titanosaurus.  Godzilla fights an uphill battle against two powerful foes.  The Showa series ended strongly with this interesting film.  Final Analysis: A solid entry in the Godzilla series that has been given consistently poor treatment in the West.  This movie really needs to be seen uncut, and in widescreen!  This is the poorest of Simitar's five Godzilla discs.  Final Grade:  C-

Please refer to the individual reviews for detailed specs and features of each disc. Ironically, some of the first Godzilla DVDs are still superior to more recent editions.  While all of Simitar’s discs are now out of print, several of them are worth tracking down.  Four of these films have since been re-issued by Classic Media, but all of the CM discs are fullscreen only and lacking in extras.

Godzilla:  King of the Monsters has more supplementary material (including the “Sci-Fi Monsters” trailer collection), but the Classic Media version has better picture quality.  The Simitar editions of Godzilla vs. Mothra and Godzilla’s Revenge are unquestionably superior, for they include widescreen versions.  Unfortunately, Terror of Mechagodzilla has never received a good home video presentation in the West.  Godzilla vs. Monster Zero has yet to be reissued.

One drawback of the Simitar discs is that the extras on all of them are almost identical.  Considering that this box set is now rare and may be very expensive if you can find it, it may be better to just seek out the individual discs of
Godzilla vs. Mothra, Godzilla vs. Monster Zero, and Godzilla’s RevengeGrade for the Set:  B+
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