Great Hierophant wrote:I specifically remember watching "Godzilla Raids Again" on the Disney Channel circa 1996. I never saw the Gigantis title card until over a decade later.
If the movie played at all as "Gigantis" in the '90s it was probably only because whatever station had picked up the movie for syndication had done so before the title was changed to "Godzilla Raids Again."
Gigantis was the unseen Godzilla movie for something like twenty years. Basically, Paul Schreibman (the credited producer) sold theatrical and TV rights for Gigantis and Teenagers from Outer Space to Bill Foreman of Pacific Theaters; Foreman sold the theatrical rights to Warner Bros., which ended up releasing the film in 1959. From Japan's Favorite Mon-Star:
...Harry B. Swerdlow, Foreman's attorney... became "designated owner" of the rights to both movies because Foreman did not want his own name to appear on the copyright notices... After Gigantis and Teenagers ran their course in the U.S. and other countries, Gigantis was syndicated to television in the early to mid-1960s. After the films reverted back to Foreman and Swerdlow, however, no attempt was made to continue selling the TV rights... In the mid-1980s, after Gigantis had seemingly disappeared for two decades, the rights reverted to Toho and the film was subsequently released to U.S. television and home video...
Somehow in all of this, Alan Enterprises (which had acquired Ghidrah, Sea Monster, and Son of from Continental/Walter Reade some time earlier) got the film. It was this package of four Godzillas that debuted on premium cable in circa 1984 on The Movie Channel (it was still "Gigantis" at this point) and later on basic cable through the next decade (although Gigantis was not seen as often in the '90s). In 1986, Alan Enterprises was purchased by Color Systems Technology, Inc., which licensed the four films to Video Treasures circa 1987. Also in 1987, Gigantis was renewed by Toho (according to the VHS sleeve); I think this may have been when the title was changed to "Godzilla Raids Again," although Video Treasures still released the film as "Gigantis" in 1989.
Anyway, I have two late '80s recordings of the film, both from syndication. One has the theatrical title while the other has the video-generated GRA title edited in. The dates don't help determine when "Godzilla Raids Again" or when "Gigantis" last appeared, but as I said above, I think there was likely some overlap, probably because of the way syndication worked then. But it should have appeared much more frequently as "Godzilla Raids Again" in the '90s.