o.supreme wrote:Thanks Goji,
Your passion and attention to detail are truly appreciated. My concern comes when we as fans start to speculate on what truly "exists" and what may or may not. I wish some fans had access to Toho representatives who know exactly what film elements truly exist and what do not with respect especially to International Versions.
Glad to be of help, good sir. Keeping track of all of this stuff can be confusing, and I was surprised that a comprehensive guide to all English versions didn't already exist. It's why Tamura and few of us decided to go ahead and make one.
According to this site, a Toho International English dub of The Three Treasures was released in 1960 (cut from 182 minutes down to 112). I have asked a few of the most knowledgeable Toho film fans that I know about this version-and they all basically said the same thing- that it did have limited release in 1960, but none of them have ever seen it personally, or know of anyone who did see it, or know if Toho even still has it.
I've heard very little about the English version of this, so thanks for the info. Unfortunately, it's possible that it's something that only exists in Toho's vaults. I guess we'll know if it still exists or not whenever somebody picks it up for release. This is what happened when MB was planning on releasing VARAN. Since they weren't able to use VARAN THE UNBELIEVABLE, they opted to use Toho's English dub from their international version (simply titled- VARAN). I believe Toho told them that it was no longer available, or something along those lines.
Other International English dubs such as King Kong vs. Godzilla, Return of Godzilla, or Godzilla 2000: Millennium are also questionable. I know some "previews" exist, but it would be nice to know if the actual film still exists assuming all elements were not destroyed.
RETURN OF GODZILLA definitely exists, and has had VHS releases in England and Finland, though has never been released on DVD anywhere. It's also the only English language-version of a Godzilla film that has never been released in the U.S, next to GODZILLA 2000:MILLENNIUM.
KING KONG VS. GODZILLA's export version either still exists in Toho's vaults, (and simply can't be released basically anywhere) or it's no longer around. I know it played in Malaysia as late as 1980, though the likelihood that it got a VHS release anywhere in the world is pretty low.
GODZILLA 2000: MILLENNIUM has never been released anywhere, neither theatrically, or on home video. It was basically replaced by Sony's version, which Toho liked so much, they released it internationally. It is the only Godzilla dub/international version that remains unreleased anywhere in the world.
There are a few cases where it is not known if an international versions actually exist, since they've never popped up anywhere. This includes GHIDORAH THE THREE HEADED MONSTER, and MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA. One that many aren't sure about is KING KONG ESCAPES. An international poster exists, as does one line from Dr. Nelson (what sounds to be from an alternate dub of the film) in the U.S. trailer for the film. Other than that, this version has never appeared on home video anywhere, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist for sure.
Also I think a more fair term for what I am doing is simply preservation rather than restoration. I fully admit I dont have the knowledge or equipment to do some of the fine restorations that some fans (such as Tamura- you are awesome!) have done. I just want them off of VHS and on to a best possible quality media file and/or DVD which is for the time being the best way to preserve the films.
Yeah, sorry, I think I went back and fourth between saying preservation/restoration. My bad. Using 35mm elements would be the only way to truly "restore" any of these versions, and I agree that we should at least attempt to preserve the ones that have (at the very least) had home video releases. It gets complicated when you consider some versions have only had releases in Europe, and that transferring PAL to a NTSC format seems to be pain in the ass, and requires equipment that most people don't have.
In the case of the international version of DESTROY ALL MONSTERS, since ADV's release of the film was so atrocious, it's worth restoring. It's the only Godzilla film in existence (on home video) to have international credits that exist in HD. Those credits could be matched up with a color corrected version of the film (to try and improve the rather bland look of Toho's transfers) to best re-create Toho's export version.
Also everything I have been reading about the changes MB made in order to release Frankenstein Conquers the Word is a bit disconcerting. I probably only saw this film in its unadjusted English format in the early 1980's on local TV, and have no recollection of how it originally was. Since then the multiple airings on TBS and TNT in the 1990's was all I had seen until the DVD release in 2007.
Tamura will tell you, MB's construction of the AIP version of FCTW is, in a word, a fluke. Tamura and CT Himes covered most of the changes in the guide we made a while back. Check it out.viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7462