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DVD Title
Godzilla King of the Monsters
International Title
Godzilla
DVD Length Original Length
78 Minutes 96 Minutes
Company Year of Manufacture
Simitar 1998
Language Subtitles
English None
Region Number of Discs
1 1 (Double Sided)
Aspect Ratio Sound
1.33:1 & 1.85:1 (altered) 2.0 Mono, 5.1 Surround
Extras
. Menus (English)
. Chapters (8)
. Trailers: Godzilla King of the Monsters (Simitar), Godzilla Versus Mothra (Simitar), Godzilla Versus Monster Zero (Simitar), Godzilla's Revenge (Simitar), Terror of Mechagodzilla (Simitar)
. Artist Gallery
. Trivia Game
. Sci-fi Monsters Documentary (trailer footage from the US release of Rodan, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Deadly Mantis, The War of the Worlds, the US release of King Kong vs. Godzilla, Invaders from Mars, Robot Monster, the US release of Gammera the Invincible, Gorgo, 20 Million Miles from Earth, The Land Unknown, and The Giant Claw)
Captures
Review
Simitar's release of the US dubbed version of the original Godzilla. Like Simitar's other DVD releases, this disc is plagued by digital inconsistencies that hurt the video presentation, while the audio presentation is only adequate; however, in terms of extras this is the best of Simitar's releases, which still merits picking this disc up over its Classic Media counterpart if found at a very resonable price.

 Video:

Godzilla King of the Monsters is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and a cropped 1.85:1 version of the film, which is passed off as Godzilla's " theatrical release" aspect ratio. This of course is not the case, but Simitar tries their best to give that impression as they even include the original American Transworld Logo on that print. As for the video quality itself, scratches are numerous through out, but never enough to become distracting. The brightness level is done fairly well here, although the title screen does appear washed out as details on the Godzilla King of the Monsters title are hard to distinguish.

Digital inconstancies run rampant on this release, like all of Simitar's discs. Artifacting is noticeably through out the film, but the fact that the Godzilla is in black and white makes this harder to notice compared to Simitar's other Godzilla releases. Edge enhancement is also apparant here, as the entire film looks blurred. Shimmering, a rainbow like band of colors on fine details, is very noticeable on this black and white release as well, as the array of colors stand out when they appear on people's clothing and other objects during the course of the film.


 Audio:

The audio here isn't flawless, and at points it gets a little scratchy, most noticeable around the 27 minute mark of the "Letter Box" edition of the film. Overall, though, it's a good audio presentation of the American version of Ishiro Honda's classic. Like all of Simitar's Toho releases, the disc also includes a "Surround" presentation of the film's audio track, which isn't bad, certainly better than the "echo track" on the Classic Media releases, but it pails in comparison to the original Mono track for the film.


 Extras:
The extras are really what separate this disc apart from other region 1 releases of the original Godzilla. The DVD includes the standard fare of extras available on all of the Godzilla DVD releases by Simitar, Simitar's trailers for the other Toho films, a "artist gallery" (a video showing mostly sketches of the DVD covers with photos from Godzilla vs. Biollante, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah and footage from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla), and a trivia game. However, as a added bonus, the disc also features a 'Sci-fi Monsters Documentary', which is selectable on the "theatrical" presentation side of the DVD. The documentary is compiled by Simitar themselves and, as one would expect, is incredibly cheesy. The footage used in the documentary is entirely from US trailers of various sci-fi films. The footage found in the documentary, though, is generally badly washed, appearing very brown in the trailers which are in color, and contain a almost unbearable amount of scratches. In the documentary's defense, it's rather lengthy, featuring the trailers from 12 films in total, and also has the original US trailers for two Toho films: Rodan (1956) and King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962). It's unfortunate, though, that the trailers have a added music track, similar to the menu music heard on the Simitar DVDs, and narration playing in the background; however, it's still a extra worth watching.

 Overview:

Bottom line, this is sadly still the best region 1 DVD of the original Godzilla, US version or otherwise, despite the fact that its video and audio presentations leave some to be desired. At least Simitar balanced out the lack of a real widescreen presentation on the DVD with a lengthy extra on Sci-fi films and their trailers.

This disc is also featured in the DVD box set, Godzilla.

- Anthony Romeros
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