The headline says it all. Expect more and more classic Godzilla titles to find their way to Blu-ray in the coming months as the May release of the big budget American reboot approaches.
Even King Kong is getting some hi-def lovin’ thanks to the King of the Monsters’ resurgence.
King Kong vs. Godzilla may not ever get critical respect, but it has more than earned its status as one of the all-time great b-movies. The forerunner to the Alien vs. Predator, Freddy vs. Jason, Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys, and Batman vs. Superman of today, the King of the Monsters and the 8th Wonder of the World squared off for the one and only time in this 1963 Toho monsterpiece.
When an underhanded pharmaceutical company goes to a remote tropical island to steal King Kong for advertising purposes, they get more than they bargained for when the gigantic ape attacks an unsuspecting village and an enormous octopus. Meanwhile, far below the sea, a submarine crew unleashes reptilian terror when they melt a block of ice and release the ferocious Godzilla from his icy lair. When both destructive monsters descend on Tokyo, it’s a fight that holds the future of mankind in the balance in this knock-out film that was the first theatrical release to bring its larger-than-life contenders to the big screen in glorious color.
Toho’s less-than-kingly take on King Kong would return again to the big screen to do battle with dinosaurs, a robot version of himself, and a diabolical supervillain named Dr. Who in 1968’s King Kong Escapes. The movie, co-produced by Rankin/Bass, aka the folks behind countless classic stop-motion Christmas specials like “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” was designed to be a big screen version of a popular “King Kong” Saturday morning cartoon of the era.
King Kong, having fallen in love with the beautiful Lt. Susan Watson (Linda Miller), is kidnapped from his Mondo Island home by the evil Dr. Hu (Eisei Amamoto) to dig for precious gems in a mine when the robot MechaKong is unable to complete the task. Soon, though, the machine and the real Kong engage in a tremendous battle that threatens to level Japan.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment is wasting no time getting these two onto high definition before Godzilla comes stomping back on the big screen this summer. Both films will be released on Blu-ray April 1st in 1080p with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Mono track. Alas, both will come barebones with no special features. That probably explains why they’re both currently available on Amazon for the bargain price of $13.99 each.
Well then. Hot on the heels of Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster, Godzilla on Monster Island, and Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster, that now marks four vintage Godzilla movies announced for Blu-ray in less than a week. What will next week bring hi-def word of? I’m hoping for Godzilla vs. the Cosmic Monster and Terror of Mechagodzilla, myself.
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