In the previous post, I talked about an old videotape and how things are becoming a lot more widely available now than they ever were, which is mainly due to the fact that the ability to convert things to a digital format is a lot more cost-effective to most methods of distribution. All I know is that when DVDs were first coming out, they didn’t come with the VHS copy of the same movie like Blu-Rays have started to do. While this is great, it takes some thrill out of hunting for movie series. A few years ago, I made it my mission to obtain every Friday the 13th and Halloween movie, which were time-consuming but ultimately worth it. Now I could theoretically go to the store and spend a fraction of what I paid to get each and every movie in two DVD sets. The only real challenge left is, as you could probably tell from the name of this post, is Godzilla.

Once again, the reason for this is rights issues. While it seems that a lot of the movies have either been obtained by Sony or friendly DVD companies, there’s still a few outliers. The Japanese version of King Kong Vs Godzilla has never been released in the United States legally, and there’s some kerfuffle over the American version of Godzilla 1985, as well. There’s also several Heisei-era Godzilla movies which have had poor DVD releases. For the most part, you’re able to get a lot of the Godzilla movies (with subtitled and dubbed versions, no less) to get a pretty decent collection going. I know I’m missing a few but they’re only an Amazon trip away from obtaining.

Things were much different a scant few decades ago. Most of the Godzilla movies had one VHS release, and they were all dubbed. It was actually the release of the 1998 American Godzilla that made them re-release a lot of the movies, and somewhere I have a full VHS library of every Godzilla movie up to Godzilla 2000, which is now the only Godzilla movie that I own on VHS, DVD, and Blu-Ray. The one movie that was the most challenging to get was my VHS copy of Godzilla Raids Again.

Godzilla Raids Again was the second Godzilla moive, released in the States as Gigantis the Fire Monster, and for whatever reason it never got an official VHS release. Once I found out it existed, I scoured the Internet for it and during the infant days of the Internet, there was no YouTube or Google. Searching for things was a lot more slapdash. Eventually, I found someone selling bootleg copies on Yahoo Auctions and it took several months to actually get the tape sent. Now I have a DVD with both the American and Japanese cuts on it, all put together in a nice little package.

Compare this to Gamera. I was able to get almost every single Gamera movie on a DVD set from Wal-Mart. The thrill of the hunt has been lessened. Also, the term “Heisei” refers to the Japanese period when most of those Godzilla movies were made. The first batch are termed Showa-era, and encompass everything from Gojira to Terror of Mechagodzilla. Heisei used Gojira as a starting point, but truly started with Godzilla 1985 and ended with Godzilla Vs Destroyah. The Millenium series abandoned this naming convention, and while most of those films also used Gojira as a starting point, the series started with Godzilla 2000 and ended with Godzilla: Final Wars. Now we have Shin Godzilla and I don’t know what the heck is up with that thing.