My first posting here on Cinematical was about a month ago when I shared news of the first Region 1 DVD release of Gojira, the Japanese film that was drastically re-edited for its U.S. release as Godzilla: King of the Monsters. According to DVD Drive-in, Classic Media is continuing the coolness with its DVD release of the Big G's second outing (and his last in black and white) 1954'sGodzilla Raids Again (Gojira no gyakushû in Japanese), or as it was called during its 1959 U.S. release, Gigantis the Fire Monster. Not as somber as its predecessor and with less of an emphasis on the nuclear weapons metaphor, this film truly set the tone for kaiju films for many years to come, with Godzilla squaring off against another monster (a spiny fellow named Angilas) for the first time. As with the Gojira disk, each version of the film will be featured on a separate disk of a two DVD set, with the Japanese version presented with English subtitles. Godzilla historians Steve Ryfle and Ed Godzizsewski will provide an audio commentary as they did on Gojira, with other extras including a photo gallery, international poster gallery and the Japanese theatrical trailer.

And of course, just as soon as Tokyo recovers from the devastation, it happens all over again with Classic Media's release of the Japanese version of 1964's Godzilla Vs. Mothra which is being released on a two-disk set with its American release version Godzilla Vs. the Thing. In this film Godzilla comes home to find that someone has chewed holes in his favorite sweater, and large urban areas are trampled as our hero tracks down the moth responsible. OK, not quite. In this film Godzilla is still a badass and not the heroic creature he became later in the series, and when the world needs saving its up to Mothra to make things right. Extras include another commentary from Ryfle and Godzizsewski and a photo gallery, international poster gallery and the Japanese theatrical trailer.

The differences between the Japanese and American versions of Gojira were quite profound, so I'm curious to compare the different versions of these two films as well. Both of these two-disk sets will release on November 7. In the not too distant future Classic Media will be releasing the likes of Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster,Monster Zero, Godzilla's Revenge, Terror of Mechagodzilla, Frankenstein Conquers the World and War of the Gargantuas. Conspicuously absent is Godzilla's third film King Kong Vs. Godzilla which received an Americanization just as drastic as that of Gojira. Maybe there are rights issues with King Kong, but I'm still hoping one day for a side by side comparison of the U.S. and Japanese versions.

AMENDEMENT: As commentor Andrea points out, the general releases of Godzilla Raids Again and Godzilla Vs. Mothra have been pushed back until this coming spring. However, the original release date will be honored at the Godzilla on DVD website.