Article: VHS Box Art (1970's-1980's)
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1970's

Space Amoeba (1970)

Space Amoeba (1970)

Company: Trans-Atlantic Video (1987) - United States

Released under the confusing American title Yog, Monster from Space, this incredibly cheap video from Trans-Atlantic used artwork that closely resembles (but isn't) the artwork from the American theatrical poster. The art makes the monsters look scarier (and bigger) than they actually are, and adds in laughable spaceships to blast Gezora. Two shadowy Ganimes are shown emerging from the darkness of space behind, along with a vicious, feral Kamoebas, who looks rather different from the almost cute monster in the actual film. If you look carefully at the original poster, the slight differences become apparent. For example, the explosions are shaped differently, and the colorization of the planet and the composition of the clouds are rendered differently. For some reason, Trans-Atlantic must have had the art redone rather than paying licensing fees. The text along the top comes from the poster as well, although with the words moved around a bit -- the word "Yog" originally rode on top of the word "monster." Along with their other public domain releases, this video from Trans-Atlantic does not include any screenshots from the movie on the back, or anywhere else. The "synopsis," if it can be called that, is actually some more of the text from the poster, slightly altered. Here, it reads "Spewed from intergalactic space to clutch the planet earth in its tentacles of terror!" The original reads, "Spewed from intergalactic space to clutch the planet earth in its -- terror tentacles!" Either way, whoever wrote that tagline looks to have based it on the artwork itself rather than the actual movie. None of the cast or crew is given on the back; instead, most of the text is devoted to advertising Trans-Atlantic's other cheap releases. Furthermore, the box is too tight for the size of the tape, making it difficult to extract.


Space Amoeba (1970)

Space Amoeba (1970)

Company: Amvest Video (1988) - United States

This release from 1988 for Space Amoeba (1970) features a short intro by Al Lewis (Grandpa Munster, whom they refer to as "Grampa"). One wonders if this was an accidental misspelling, a playful interpretation, or done as a matter to try and avoid legal entanglements. There is an interesting rating system included, as this particular film is rated 1 1/2 "bats" by Grampa, although I have never seen another film released under Amvest... so I don't know if this is good, bad, or average.

Credit: Brandon Lusk

Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Company: Orion Pictures Corp. (1989) - United States

This is the original screener copy of Orion's release of Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971). The case is plain with no photos, but contains the logos of the film and four others that Orion released at the same time. The tape contains an Orion-made trailer for all four films, as well as the complete Smog Monster movie.

Credit: Ryan Clark

Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Company: Orion Pictures Corp. (1989) - United States

Possibly the only Godzilla film to be released by Orion, the front features the predominantly popular movie poster for the U.S. verison of the film. The description on the back is not too bad, although calling Godzilla a "closet environmentalist" prior to this film was a little over-the-top. All things considered, this is a nice print and is only one of two releases that I know of that feature the original AIP dub track... and the English version of the infamous "Save the Earth" song.

Credit: Brandon Lusk

Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Company: Simitar Entertainment, Inc. (1990) - United States

Released the same year as their All Monsters Attack (1969) VHS, Simitar's Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971) release has equally horrid artwork. It features a greenish Heisei Godzilla walking behind several smoke-spewing factories while a very angry looking Flying Form Hedorah flies overhead. As with Simitar's All Monsters Attack VHS, the sides of the box have a smaller picture of the cover art and the film's title written down the side. Again, the summary on the back is completely accurate, and this one even has four sentences!

Credit: Inferno Rodan

Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Company: Toho Video (1992) - Japan

In 1991, Toho started to re-release the Godzilla titles, now up to the 1970's productions by 1992. Like their other VHS tapes of the kaiju productions of this era, it retails for a very resonable, for Japan, cost of ¥5,500 (a little over $50). The design matches their other titles: largely blue with the Japanese title on the front flanked by English of the international title and the "Godzilla - The King of the Monsters, The Record Great Battles" with it. The back features three production stills, a very short film summary and a shot of the poster. The poster is one of the tall ones, and as a result rarer than the standard ones used for Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971).

Credit: Jessica Stan

Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Company: Vision Film Distribution Company (1992) - Poland

Hedorah focuses his eye beams on Godzilla's head as the atomic saurian fires a rather gaseous ray in a seemingly random direction. The original poster, described above, is the primary scene for this particular VHS release. The back of the case features an even more perplexing publicity shot; Hedorah stands still as Godzilla defies gravity! What exactly is occurring here is all up to speculation, although it likely references Godzilla's famous flying scene. The film's summary is extremely revealing, and will likely disappoint first time viewers as such. The final phrase even gives away the ending: "... brutal battle ends with victory over the disgusting monster".

Credit: Megalon2005

Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)

Company: Carlton Home Entertainment (1998) - United Kingdom

To coincide with the release of the US Godzilla film on DVD and video, Carlton jumped on the bandwagon and released several Godzilla films. Presented in widescreen and featuring the international dubbed version of the film, the front cover of this clam shell release of Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971) uses an atmospheric composite of Godzilla facing off against his opponent, Hedorah. The background on the back cover is the The Return of Godzilla (1984) poster artwork, presented in a monochromatic purple hue. A picture of the 1984 Godzilla grins on the spine. The write-up on the back summarizes the entire plot, even giving away the ending (although the description of the power of Hedorah's optical ray is somewhat misleading).

Credit: Andrew Rowe

Lake of Dracula (1971)

Lake of Dracula (1971)

Company: Paramount/Gateway (1994) - United States

Here we have Paramount/Gateway's 1994 VHS release of Michio Yamamoto's second vampire movie: Lake of Dracula (1971). The cover art is very good, although it doesn't really have anything to do with the film. "Dracula" is silouhetted against the moon and a blood-red sky, with his reflection in the water showing his true vampiric nature. Wait, I thought vampires didn't have reflections (the one in the film doesn't!).

...maybe that's only with mirrors...

Anyway, the back cover has a particularly ugly picture of the main vampire from later in the film. And of all the Toho films released by Paramount, the synopsis printed here is definitely the corniest. "A delivery truck pulls up, the driver steps out, then removes the cargo: a coffin. Addressed to you. Do you accept it?" The third paragraph states that the main vampire is "an heir of you-know-who", though I don't remember this being stated in the film at all.

Still, with this film not available on R1 DVD, this is the only official way to see the film in English, so it should make a worthwhile addition to any serious fan's collection.

Credit: Cody Himes

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

Company: Derann Video Services Ltd. (1980) - United Kingdom

An early release of Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) in the UK market, under the title Godzilla: War of the Monsters. The clam shell front cover uses the UK poster artwork; a rather blurred Godzilla fights a blurry King Ghidorah. The film was released in UK cinemas by Miracle Films and this is the version that appears on the video (their logo is featured at the beginning of the film). The "Godzilla vs. Gigan" title card is replaced by the new UK title. The blurb at the rear is fairly faithful to the film.

Credit: Andrew Rowe

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

Company: RCA Video/Lamcoz Productions (1981) - France

Released by RCA Video as a part of their “Fantastic Video” collection in 1981, Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) was originally debuted in French theaters by Les Films Marbeuf on August 9th, 1973 under the title Objectif Terre, Mission Apocalypse (Target Earth, Mission Apocalypse). The movie was also released in Belgium at the same time under the title La Planète de Godzilla (Planet of Godzilla). Some of the Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) poster is printed at the rear of the package. The French dubbing is okay, but there is quite a bit of broken dialog. The release includes supplements as well, which are the French Poster and the Belgian Poster.

Credit: Baptiste Pujolle

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

Company: New World Video (1988) - United States

This is the 1988 New World Video version of Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972). Like their other contemporary VHS releases, this box features the very same artwork that would grace Starmaker's re-release four years later (although the successor would find itself devoid of the claim: "All new! Never before seen on video!”). The blurb does contain one slight error, as it makes it seem as though the Nebulans seized control of Children's Land (when, in truth, they were the ones who were directly involved with the park's construction). As an interesting side note, even though the voice actors use the name "Angilas" in the dub, the synopsis utilizes the less antiquated monster moniker, "Anguirus".

Credit: Michael Calhoun

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

Company: Family Tyme Video Productions Inc. (1989) - Canada

This VHS of Godzilla on Monster Island is among the rarest of releases and is highly sought after by collectors. The front features the Cinema Shares Movie Poster for the North American Release of the film while the back cover sports a familiar B&W publictity still of the four featured monsters. The one sentence which describes the film is at the very least attention grabbing. The film itself also has the Cinema Shares logo mostly intact which was cut from most VHS releases of Godzilla vs Megalon and Godzilla vs The Cosmic Monster.

Credit: o.supreme

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

Company: StarMaker Entertainment Inc. (1992) - United States

When it comes to covers for the Showa movies, StarMaker excelled. Their Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) cover features a great modification of the poster of Godzilla and Gigan facing off as a group of masers shine... bright lights on Gigan as two versions of the priestess from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) pray. Ok, so maybe this isn't the best cover ever, but it looks good enough. The front cover is bordered by a golden frame that stretches out to the sides and the fringes of the back. Speaking of the sides, both are exactly the same. Each side shows off the title in a black box and a smaller image of the front cover (minus the praying "twins"). The back is tipped with two screen shots, one showing Gigan and King Ghidorah standing over a beaten Godzilla (*gasp!*) while the other shows the main characters in the alien base (*yawn*). Beneath the pictures, sandwiched between the synopsis, is the title of the film. Speaking of the synopsis, it's not half bad. The only complaint is the name "King Ghidra", but this was in the 1990's when the preferred international spelling was still a bone of contention.

Credit: Monster Master

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

Company: Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc. (1997) - United States

Yet another Anchor Bay release, the front cover holds true to the company's tradition of placing a green '84 Godzilla in the background, while ususally the main villain poses in front. Oddly enough, it seems as though Anchor Bay messed up on Gigan's color scheme as well, as the space creature is now colored a very ugly-looking shade of brown (aside from his "eye" and metal parts, which are all of correct hue).

As usual, one side of the box features a section of Anchor Bay's multi-VHS Godzilla 1985 poster. The other side of the box simply features the title of the film, the word "Godzilla" in a rather cool looking font, and a small portrait of Godzilla's head (again taken from the Godzilla 1985 poster).

The back features a mostly accurate summary of the film, although the home planet of the Nebulans is simply referred to as "Space-M". Also, on the back, there is an incredibly ugly picture of a bright green Godzilla firing an orange heat ray at a (once again) brown Gigan (who doesn't seem to be doing anything) while a wall of flames surround them.

Credit: "Varan"

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)

Company: 4 Front Video (1998) - United Kingdom

Well, in terms of blandness, this cover certainly fails to disappoint. On the front we have a strange silhouette of a roaring Godzilla with a boring scaly background. The Japanese spelling of "Godzilla" is rendered in big green letters; also, there is a large, flaming (literally) version of the name "Godzilla" in Roman letters. On the side, as with all releases of Godzilla by 4 Front Video, we have Godzilla shooting a flamethrower-like beam from his mouth. On the back, there is a strange shape with green flames lapping about the perimeter. The summary is almost perfect, for it contains only one minor mistake: "The tape when played sends a code to all monsters in space including Godzilla" which could confuse some into thinking that Godzilla is actually in space! Below, there is a sort of mini-credit list talking about all the main characters and some legal stuff. Overall, it sure keeps a low profile like other releases from 4 Front Video. Also, it is obvious that this release was produced to cash-in on Godzilla popularity in 1998 (thanks to the US Godzilla remake).

Credit:"gfw spacezilla"

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) and Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) and Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Company: PolyGram Video Ltd. (1992) - United Kingdom

PolyGram released some Godzilla films in style in the UK. Megalon makes it's video debut and Gigan finally gets released under its original title. Like the other releases by PolyGram, these two films are both in widescreen (still the wrong aspect ratio) and are the uncut international versions. Gigan has the mild swearing intact, and all the violence of Megalon is included. For the design of this clam shell case: the front cover utilises rather generic artwork, which doesn't really look like either Godzilla from the films (a nice picture, all the same). The back cover plot write ups are concise and quite accurate (although a confusing clause makes it sound as though Godzilla hails from space, and Goro is misspelled "Gorro").

Credit: Andrew Rowe

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Company: StarMaker Entertainment Inc. (1993) - United States

As an economical alternative to buying StarMaker's 1992 releases of Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) separately, this special *2* tape set from 1993 portrays what can only be described as a far more utilitarian sales strategy. A dolphin grey background and thumbnail artwork (of the richly detailed cases from the prior release of these tapes) take up the majority of the visible space on this case. As an added way to stress efficiency, the blurbs are simply abridged versions of the previous year's releases. Not that this would have been much of a problem, but the paragraphs chosen tend to feature the same grammatical error as the first prints, with the adjective "ancient" rendered as the obsolete noun: "ancienty". The reference to Mechagodzilla's mass being "50 tons" is extremely inaccurate, as well. Nevertheless, if aesthetics were far from the top of your list in the early '90s (and you didn't mind setting Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) slightly out of chronological order), then this certainly proved to be a more than helpful way to hit two balls with one racquet.


Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Company: StarMaker/Anchor Bay (1995) - United States

This "double feature" 2-pack contains two of StarMaker's previous releases... and the titles and StarMaker covers are present with all their errors intact as well, backed-up by a ferocious image of the 1984 Godzilla facing down some approaching fighter jets.

For the most part, the descriptions on the back of the slip cover are accurate and to the point. The only obvious errors are the misconceptions about Mechagodzilla made by StarMaker, but these are forgivable, given their proclivity to exaggerate the facts.

Credit: Shounen_Goji

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Company: GoodTimes Home Video Corp. (1985) - United States

GoodTimes' 1985 release of Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) is quite possibly the first home video release of the movie. The box utilizes the famous World Trade Center battle poster as its cover. The sides of the case simply have the title of the movie written horizontally near the top, and again vertically down the side. The synopsis on the back of the box opens with the utterly hilarious line “Vivid special effects highlight this classic monster fantasy with Godzilla, the giant, dinosaur-like creature, returning to the screen for the sixth time.” This VHS could very well be where Megalon's nickname originated as well, as he is described as “a larger-than-life cockroach”. It should also be noted that a couple seconds of footage have been edited out of this release, namely when the two Seatopian agents grab Rokuro and throw him in their car and when the Seatopian agent gets crushed by a falling boulder.

Credit: Inferno Rodan

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Company: Video Treasures, Inc. (1986) - United States

The front is a rather dull, red and gray design with plain white text for the title and a black-and-white filmstrip-style trim. The picture is not from Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) at all, but rather a shot of the Soshingeki-Goji Godzilla suit (which is a weird reddish-brown, but that just might be from the lighting/coloring of the picture) from what I assume is Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971). Overall, it's a rather lackluster cover.

The back continues the same boring red/gray/filmstrip theme. The plot synopsis is pretty bad, beginning with the tag line "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water..." which makes no sense whatsoever because, last time I checked, this wasn't Godzilla vs. Jaws. While it gets the storyline of Seatopia being sick of humanity's continual atomic tests right, it says "We'll (their typo, not mine), we can't let this happen, so out of his resting place in Tokyo Bay comes Godzilla, but this time, to save Japan," completely ignoring Jet Jaguar and his summoning of Godzilla from Monster Island. In fact, Jet Jaguar isn't referred to by name at all, and is merely called "a Robot" once near the very end. Gigan isn't mentioned once, save for a quick "Megalon and his friends" comment. The synopsis ends with the humorous line, "The world is safe again for atomic testing."


Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Company: Viking Entertainment, Inc. (1988) - United States

This late 80's release features artwork of Godzilla standing in the foreground of a random metropolitan backdrop. Oddly, the Godzilla featured is more akin to his 1984 incarnation. With a greenish tinge and black fins, this false-color saurian is firing a rather translucent atomic ray. Also, there is a light blue aura all around Godzilla (possibly an attempt at conveying his pre-beam powerup).

On the back cover, there is a still of Godzilla from his original movie. It is baffling as to why a picture from another film is present. In fact, if a passerby neglects to read the summary, this cover more than inaccurately portrays Godzilla as the villain! Concerning the blurb, there is little to be said. It simply states, "Godzilla once again proves that evil cannot prevail in this clash with super villain Megalon". That's it and nothing else! Detail is sorely lacking...

Credit: "Kaiser Ghidorah"

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Company: United American Video Corporation (1991) - United States

For this early 90's release of Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), the most glaring error is right on the front cover. Instead of Godzilla fighting Megalon, he's fighting Mothra, who isn't even in the movie! The artwork of Godzilla and Mothra is just plain bad, and the duo don't even truly look like their onscreen counterparts with Godzilla blowing fire from his mouth instead of his trademark blue atomic ray. Also, Godzilla oddly looks as though he is merely sitting down while attacking Mothra. His color is mostly green (including the fins), a far cry from a truer to life charcoal grey hue that would more accurately emulate the film. As for errors concerning Mothra, she only has two legs instead of six. Mothra's mandibles don't appear at all correct, and to boot, she has fangs!

On each side of the box is a small drawing of a circle, in which the words "Horror Mania" are written in a horrific style (partially dark red and partially light red, with blood dripping from the letters). There are also black spider webs in the vicinity, and ghoulish yellow eyes flashing through the night. It seems to connote that this is in fact a horror movie, which anyone who has seen the film will vociferously deny. The blurb on the back is surprisingly accurate.

Credit: "Kaiser Ghidorah"

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Company: Toho Video (1992) - Japan

Toho Video continues their 1990's releases of the Godzilla films on VHS, now up to Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) by 1992. This release matches the same design as the others, being primarly blue. However, the image choices are a little strange on this one. First off the back, besides the poster, uses black and white production stills. Second, the image on the front is strange for fans. It has Megalon Photoshopped on top of an image that was originally Godzilla and Jet Jaguar together, with Jet Jaguar covered up by Megalon. However, the perspective is off, with Megalon closer in the frame but Godzilla appears to look at him straight ahead.

Credit: Jessica Stan

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Company: Vision Film Distribution Company (1992) - Poland

The front cover of this clam shell release shows off Jet Jaguar in all his glory, but alas, there is nothing else except the line: "Monster Against Monster for the Lost Continent of Mu". This is clearly a mistake, for Mu was the lost civilization featured in Atragon (1963). Fortunately, the synopsis uses the correct "Seatopia" instead. Concerning the blurb, it pretty much reveals all; though strangely, Jet Jaguar isn't mentioned by name. The word "cyborg" is used, but this is yet another mistake, as Jet Jaguar is a fully mechanized automaton.

Credit: "Megalon2005"

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Company: Burbank Video (1993) - United States

Produced in 1993, the Burbank Video release of Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) features the famous poster for the movie with Godzilla and Megalon squaring off on the World Trade Center, a scene that sadly just isn't in the movie. The background for the entire box is filled with classic characters from Hollywood with Godzilla, from Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), being the lucky foreigner. The sides of the release feature the same background with the title of the movie while the back features a short synopsis and a nice picture of Godzilla standing over a fallen and defeated Megalon (why they would decide to use a victory picture over an actual battle picture will probably never be known). One also has to crack a laugh at the very first line "The most enjoyable of this now classic series."

Credit: Monster Master

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Company: Greatest Film Classics / Alpha Video Distributors Inc. (1993) - United States

Distributed by Alpha Video Distributors under the "Greatest Film Classics" label in 1993, this is just one of several Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) releases to grace the 1990's. The box has a complementary purple/yellow color scheme with a film strip style front cover and two stills of the title monsters posing. As a nice treat to those jaded by the green-hued Godzilla's of VHS yore, both monsters are surprisingly rendered in their proper shades. As for blurb errors, there is one comical one that stands out: "Atomic testing in Tokyo, Japan is causing an uproar..." First, it would be prudent to point out the absurdity of testing nuclear weapons within the borders of the Tokyo prefecture! Second, the nuclear testing wasn't even conducted by Japan in the actual movie! And yet, to add to the weirdness, the concluding sentence features the all-too painful words: "Godzilla conquers Megalon to save Japan and the atomic testing goes on happily ever after!"...


Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Company: UAV Corporation (1994) - United States

UAV's 1994 release of Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) sure looks good sitting next to the company's concurrent release of Godzilla vs. Cosmic Monster. Both tapes have a red & blue color scheme (although they are inverted for this release), use the same "Godzilla" font, and feature similar artwork.

The synopsis on the back is mostly accurate (except for "Seetopia") and concise, and is accompanied by an image of Godzilla from the film and the Godzilla artwork featured on the front cover. The meager credits are also correct, and a fortunate inclusion considering the US version omits them altogether. UAV's "guaranteed superior quality" is an outright lie, but in my humble opinion, it's worth overlooking for the fact that this release is one of very few to include the original Cinema Shares logo at the beginning of the film.

Credit: Cody Himes

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Company: GoodTimes Home Video (1996) - United States

This is GoodTimes' re-release of Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973). Facing off against Megalon, Godzilla spouts a stream of flames from his maw instead of his trademark atomic ray. Godzilla's face, from Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975), looms overhead (blurred). At the bottom are the words, ‘It's A Titanic Tag-Team... Godzilla Style'. On each side of the box is the title of the movie with slightly altered coloration. At the rear, this release sports its own tagline: ‘He's Back! Godzilla. The Green, Mean, Fighting Machine'. For crying out loud, Godzilla's grey! The summary of the movie (overlapping a random, false color island scene) is surprisingly accurate and has no obvious errors.

Credit: "Kaiser Ghidorah"

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Company: Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc. (1997) - United States

This Anchor Bay release of Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973), unlike many other releases of this film in the US, appears to have been officially licensed from either Burbank Video or Starmaker (the Starmaker logo is on the back cover, while the tape opens with the Burbank Video logo). Unfortunately, the movie is still the cut US version that had been available from literally dozens of companies in the 80's and 90's.

Credit: Cody Himes

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Company: HGV Video Productions, Inc. (1997) - Canada

This HGV release is the Canadian version of the Anchor Bay title seen above (HGV distributes Anchor Bay titles in Canada). The cover is the same, except for the distributor information on the back. On it, Megalon stands ominously amidst lapping flames, against the usual false-color stillshot from The Return of Godzilla (1984). There is not much to note when comparing this to other VHS releases of Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973); although the blurb calls Gigan a "flying metal creature", which paints a somewhat inaccurate mental picture of the space cyborg. Both this release and its US counterpart give an erroneous runtime of 96 minutes on the sleeve.

Credit: Leslie Hurteau

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Company: Filmax Home Video (1998) - Spain

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) is no exception to the beautiful covers Filmax has used for their kaiju eiga releases. The theatrical poster is used as a front on this clam shell release, although the background with the kaleidoscope effect is left out in favor of a landscape setting. Sadly this is released under the ridiculous "Gorgo and Superman meet in Tokyo" title, which was the film's official title in Spain. This was done to cash in with a tokusatsu show called "Supergiant" which was dubbed "Superman" in Spain. Luckily this was changed when the film was released on DVD. The back cover is what you can expect from Filmax; a short synopsis, some stills, credits and a poster for the film. One aspect of which to complain, however, is the way the cover was printed, as it looks over-exposed on the front (though this might have been a problem with this particular copy, as the other titles in the collection don't suffer from such an anomaly). It should be noted that Gigan never really got his name right in Spain. In the movie he is called Gorgo, and in Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) he was called Galien. There's even a tagline which does correctly call him "Gigan", which means he is addressed under 3 different names on the same cover!

Credit: Hank Xavier

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Company: Front Row Entertainment, Inc. (1998) - Canada

This particularly unique VHS release of Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) was distributed in Canada near the turn of the Millennium. The front cover features a greenish-hued Godzilla (of an earlier suit design) towering over a cyanotype city with his two foes beneath him, and his one-time robotic ally at the top left hand corner of the composite. Robert Dunham (despite only appearing briefly in the film) receives top billing at the bottom right hand corner of the box, while a fantastically whispy synopsis dons the rear. The blurb manages to find itself technically devoid of factual error, which can sometimes prove quite the feat for a Godzilla VHS from any era.

Credit: "Godzilla63"

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)

Company: UAW Entertainment (1998) - United States

Shades of blue dominate this rather unique VHS slip cover from 1998. Unleashing a cyanish beam on his foe, Godzilla is the main visual draw at the front of this case. A small fraction of the front cover is repeated at the rear underneath a tag line that reads: "Godzilla battles two mighty monsters to the death!" It leaves out Jet Jaguar and incorrectly indicates that at least one monster will pay the ultimate price, but it certainly is an eye catcher. The synopsis, on the other hand, is quite accurate with only one spelling error. It lists the underwater domain as "Seetopia" instead of "Seatopia".

Credit: "Sole Man"

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) and The Snow Creature

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) and The Snow Creature

Company: GoodTimes Home Video (1986) - United States

This is the 1986 GoodTimes double feature release of Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) and the 1954 movie The Snow Creature. The box art features the upper half of the famous teaser poster, while the bottom half features the mysterious outline of the "snow creature" atop the Himalayas. The Snow Creature, while not a Toho movie, is quite enjoyable nonetheless. All in all, it is an interesting combination that somehow fits.

Credit: Michael Calhoun

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) and The Return of Godzilla (1984)

Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) and The Return of Godzilla (1984)

Company: StarMaker/Anchor Bay (1996) - United States

The first thing you'll notice about this Anchor Bay "double feature" 2-pack is the effort taken to colorize the enlarged image of the 1984 Godzilla to a dark shade of green. Alongside this somewhat blurred image of a green Godzilla are two small images of textless posters of the included films.

On the back, the cover contains a small, ambitious synopsis of Godzilla's history as well as descriptions for the two featured films. There are no noticeable errors in way of the synopses. As per the theme of the front of the cover, the back is cascaded with a particular image of the 1984 Godzilla, standing amidst nighttime Tokyo while a news chopper hovers above. The image is well-placed, as the darkness fits in well with the backdrop for the film descriptions.

Credit: Shounen_Goji

The Petrified Forest (1973)

The Petrified Forest (1973)

Company: Toho Video (1998) - Japan

Released in 1998, this is a rental VHS of Masahiro Shinoda's The Petrified Forest (1973). The front cover of this particular release is a bit unorthodox, as it's intended for the case to rest on its spine. It's possible this was to try and prompt rental stores to put it on display, or it was just an odd creative design choice. For the back, there are a few nice production stills shown across a slightly slanted view. Note that my particular copy had served a long life at a rental store. Normally I try to remove the stickers before scanning, but these would not budge without ripping the cover.


Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974)

Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974)

Company: Paramount/Gateway (1994) - United States

Here's a rare film in its only American home video release thus far. Part of UPA's Toho film catalog, Last Days of Planet Earth is the butchered television version of Toho's Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974). The front features a lavish drawing of a mushroom cloud engulfing a city, tearing up trains, buildings, and throwing people into the air while dozens more run screaming. None of these people seem to appear in the film, but it's such an amazing drawing anyway. On the spines, one sees the title with a small version of the cover as a border.

It should be noted that this particular copy of the cassette is a distributor screener copy released to retail chains as a tape to preview on tv screens throughout the store. It doesn't affect the film at all except for copyright notices appearing once in a while on the bottom of the screen.

Credit: Cody Himes

Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974)

Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974)

Company: Paramount/Gateway (1994) - United States

This official VHS release boasts almost no visual differences from the above screener copy. The text bubbles are vacant from the front, however, thereby showing off the frightening artwork at its scary-best. The back cover stays the same, though, and follows the "Japanese flag" motif Paramount and Gateway used in their many Toho releases of the early '90s. The synopsis is, as usual, very cheesy, detailing some of Nostradamus's predictions and also noticeably not mentioning the film is Japanese.

Credit: Michael Calhoun

Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974)

Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974)

Company: Tevelândia (19XX) - Brazil

Released by Tevelândia, this VHS contains Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974). Called Catastrophe: Prophecies of Nostradamus on this release, the cover largely uses the poster design for the front and then reuses some of this for the back. No still images appear, while this artwork is flanked by a description on the back and large blue areas listing Tevelândia and other copyright details.

Credit: Blake Matthews

Evil of Dracula (1974)

Evil of Dracula (1974)

Company: Paramount/Gateway (1994) - United States

The 1990s Paramount/Gateway releases are noticeably very cartoony, regardless of the film contained within. Evil of Dracula (1974) doesn't disappoint; however, it seems that Paramount decided to ditch the typical exaggerated artwork for this particular movie. The plot synopsis on the back is extremely campy (even more so than the other Paramount releases!) but mostly accurate, and it's accompanied by two digitally-colored stills from the film. This VHS marks the only home video release of Evil of Dracula (1974) in the US, and beyond that, the tape isn't anything special. Curious fans who haven't seen the film might search for the (unfortunately) out-of-print Artsmagic DVD instead. That region 2 release is subtitled and the film is presented in its original Tohoscope aspect ratio, unlike the pan & scan dubbed version presented here.

Credit: Cody Himes

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Company: Hokushin Audio Video Ltd. (1980) - United Kingdom

For this early release of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) on home video, a crude title card is slipped in at the beginning of the film, which features the "Cosmic Monster" title. The front cover uses the same artwork as the poster. The plot write-up on the back cover makes no mention of King Caesar but does mention that Mechagodzilla defeats "Ghidrah". Perhaps they were watching a different film than us?

Credit: Andrew Rowe

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Company: New World Video (1988) - United States

One of the three Godzilla films acquired by New World for VHS release in the mid-to-late 80's, this marks the very first time U.S. Godzilla fans could bring home the famous 1970 classic. The description on the rear is informative and respectful of the film's nature, which is something very rare among the VHS releases of Godzilla movies. Nevertheless, there are a few errors... mainly in the way of the common underestimation of Mechagodzilla's mass and the inaccurate spelling of "King Caesar".

Credit: Brandon Lusk

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Company: StarMaker Entertainment Inc. (1992) - United States

This StarMaker cover mimics the excellent New World Video on from a few years prior. On it, the human cast runs away from a cave that is erupting into flames behind them, as two titanic monsters battle each other in the background (with a sea of fire in the distance). The illustrations of the kaiju are almost exact to the film. Although the Godzilla suit used is technically incorrect (the cover features the 1972 suit), the artwork is still very nice. Heading to the back of the cover, this release sports two of the promotional photos for the movie. As far as synopses go, this one is pretty accurate.

Credit: Fredrex00

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Company: GoodTimes Home Video Corp. (1993) - United States

In this release of the original Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), under the title Godzilla vs. Cosmic Monster, GoodTimes employed the artist "Zina," who also did work on the GoodTimes release of Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966). Zina seems to have a few distinctive themes in his or her art, including favoring the Heisei Godzilla design, and giving Godzilla golden claws, toenails, and back plates. In this case, Zina adds two nostrils to the top of Godzilla's nose, which weren't present in the Heisei suit and look a bit silly, and imbues him with a flame-thrower breath rather than the blue nuclear beam used in the actual film. However, Zina's interpretation of Mechagodzilla is drastically different, apparently not based on any Toho design, but rather some personal, rather simplified, toy-like vision of the mechanical monster. The scene depicted, which wraps around onto the sides of the box, appears to be a modified recreation of the climax. On the back of the box, along with the three postage-stamp-sized photos from the film, a fairly comprehensive plot outline is included, which is quite accurate—and completely blows the ending for anyone unfamiliar with the film. The only problem other than spoilers is that, for some reason, King Caesar's name is rendered as one word—"Kingseesar."


Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Company: UAV Corporation (1994) - United States

Even before Cinema Shares first released Godzilla's 20th anniversary adventure stateside, legal problems loomed on the horizon. The title "Godzilla vs. Bionic Monster" couldn't be used (according to Universal, at least), so Cinema Shares simply retitled it "Godzilla vs. Cosmic Monster" instead. Of course, they cut some fight scenes, a little gore, and language to make it better off for the children. This version aired on television until the late '80s when New World Video released Toho's better international version to home video. The UAV Corporation however got a copy of the Cosmic Monster print and released it on video in 1994.

The front cover depicts a very cartoony Godzilla facing off against the titular cosmic monster, who is only shown from behind. The color scheme is bland and the title is rendered rather poorly, but it still has its charm. The spines feature the title twice per side with a small picture of the front cover, as was typical for home video cassettes. The back cover has another small version of the front cover at the bottom and title again at the top. There is a quote from Leonard Maltin, some generic slogans (eg. "Godzilla battles his cyborg double to the death!"), and the synopsis, which is mostly accurate, except for the probable typo "Kingseesar."

Also, UAV released Godzilla vs. Megalon (1974) (featuring very similar artwork and layout) at the same time... but they could have at least used a screen capture from the film inside the box! Here, Godzilla is seen shaking hands with Jet Jaguar! Casual fans might think that THIS is the "cosmic monster", leading certainly to some confusion.

Credit: Cody Himes

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Company: Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc. (1997) - United States

Once again sporting their 1984 Godzilla motif (with the misleading green hue), the front cover features Mechagodzilla shooting strange beams from his eye and his fingers (the latter of which could be a rocket trail) amidst a wavey fire pattern. On the side, the typical American poster from The Return of Godzilla (1984) is present. On the back, there is a scene of the burning oil refinery that features a powerful onslaught by Mechagodzilla firing poorly-rendered energy weapons. The summary is rather accurate, apart from the following: "can King Seeser and Godzilla overcome 50 tons of mechanized and menacing space titanium?" As is common with releases by StarMaker and Anchor Bay, this figure greatly underestimates the mass of something that size. Also, the now defunct spelling "King Seeser" is used throughout the blurb.

Credit: "gfw spacezilla"

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)

Company: Carlton Home Entertainment (1998) - United Kingdom

One of Carlton Home Entertainment's 1998 Godzilla releases, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) is presented in widescreen and features the international dubbed version of the film under the correct "Mechagodzilla" title (as opposed to the infamous "Cosmic" and "Bionic Monster" alternatives). The front cover features a fearsome Godzilla with ghastly eyes, facing off against a true-to-suit representation of Mechagodzilla. A green-hued The Return of Godzilla (1984) poster graces the background of the rear cover, and the synopsis is rather accurate (even including the currently-accepted spelling of "King Caesar").

Credit: Andrew Rowe

ESPY (1974)

ESPY (1974)

Company: W.R. Filmes (19XX) - Brazil

Released by W.R. Filmes (the W.R. referring to the founder, Wilson Rodrigues) in Brazil, this VHS features ESPY (1974) under the title "ESPY: Power of the Mind". This particular release is undated, although Wilson was also an amateur filmmaker, dabbling in adult films before trying to make the jump to family fare. After a few films based on different fairy tales, he tried to make a big sci-fi fantasy called "Gato de Botas Extraterrestre" (translated "The Extraterrestrial Puss in Boots"). That 1990 film was a flop and ended up leading W.R. Filmes into bankruptcy. So this would date the release as coming out before 1990.

Credit: Blake Matthews

ESPY (1974)

ESPY (1974)

Company: Paramount/Gateway (1994) - United States

Paramount/Gateway's ESPY (pronounced "Eh - Spy" for those who were wondering) sports some pretty bland artwork, especially compared to the company's other Toho releases. Likewise, it's surprising to see that P/G toned down the level of humor in the synopsis, instead allowing the fantastic occurrences in the film to speak for themselves. However, they still manage to work in one corny joke in the final sentence. All the stills on the back cover seem to be promotional images. Interestingly, the title on the actual film is "E.S.P./Spy" (the US TV version), despite the fact that "ESPY" appears no less than five times on the slip case.

Credit: Cody Himes

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Company: Derann Video Services Ltd. (1980) - United Kingdom

The film was released in UK cinemas by Miracle Films, and this is the version that appears on video (it features their logo at the start of the film). The "Terror of Mechagodzilla" title card is replaced by the new UK title, Monsters From an Unknown Planet, and the front cover uses a montage of publicity stills. A yellow-tinted Mechagodzilla appears on the back. The plot write-up leaves the reader with no doubt that Titanosaurus is defeated.

Credit: Andrew Rowe

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Company: Paramount Home Video (1989) - United States

This was an early Paramount release of Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975). The box art here is more faithful to the movie than their later version: featuring Godzilla and Mechagodzilla standing off while Titanosaurus (absent from the box art of later releases) roars as it forms a hurricane in the background. A devastated city, an exploding building, and a group of UFOs pad out the rest of the scene. The synopsis on the back is the same as the 1995 release, and above the blurb, a still of Godzilla facing off against the terrible duo: Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus, is present.

Credit: "Destroyah"

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Company: Vision Film Distribution Company (1992) - Poland

A composite shot of Titanosaurus and Mechagodzilla grace the front cover of this clam shell case release, although curiously, the film's archosaurian protagonist is nowhere to be seen! Only on the back does Godzilla appear, in a publicity shot with Mechagodzilla and Titanosaurus. This publicity photo does pose a bit of a posing problem, however. Due to the way they're all standing, it looks as though Titanosaurus is the antagonist while Mechagodzilla has joined sides with Godzilla! The blurb text is very revealing, with spoilers including (but not limited to) who won the battle. The color scheme for this release is very vibrant, with a color explosion in the background.

Credit: "Megalon2005"

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Company: Paramount/Gateway (1995) - United States

Paramount's mid-1990's releases of the Godzilla films all had a distinctive design ethos. They had the same pseudo-Asian title font pasted over original art on the front cover. The cover art was usually designed after one of the original movie posters, and featured a bunch of competently-executed portraits of actors (often times from a different movie) crowding along the bottom, a red banner with the words "Special Home Video Version" slashed across their chests. On the opposite side one can expect a single screenshot from the movie and a synopsis of sorts written into a giant red ball on a white background, thus recreating the Japanese flag on the back of the box. In every example I have seen, the synopsis is written in a very informal, intentionally (if not always successfully) humorous fashion. Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) is no exception. In this case, the artwork on the front was based off a familiar poster—for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974), featuring both Anguirus and King Caesar, who had their part in the previous film, but not in this one. The actors featured along the bottom are also from the previous movie, certainly not from this one, but at least the artwork captures their likenesses well—especially the painting of actress Beru-Bera Lin as Princess Nami. As for the kaiju art, it's fairly well-rendered, although Mechagodzilla here looks to have real eyes (complete with irises and pupils), and Godzilla is wearing lipstick ala the Imperial Godzilla toys from the 1980s.

The plot synopsis is expectedly goofy, and includes several questionable plot details, such as the assertion that the aliens are "ogres," and that Katsura is "an evil bionic woman with X-ray eyes." To call Katsura evil seems a bit of a stretch, although understandable, but I don't remember her possessing X-ray vision. The jovial tone of voice employed in the synopsis is silly, but in this case it's fairly fitting, especially given the wacky plots of the later Showa Godzilla offerings.


Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Company: Manga Home Video (1998) - Spain

For some reason, Godzilla's face from The Return of Godzilla (1984) is seen on the front cover of the clam shell case while a tagline states the film to be "One of the movies that inspired Roland Emmerich's superproduction: GODZILLA", in a clear attempt to cash in with the mentioned movie. The background on the rear cover has a still of Godzilla from Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), along with a summary and some stills. The only real mistake in the otherwise accurate synopsis is the claim that Mafune is forced to rebuild Mechagodzilla by the aliens (he instead cooperates because they had saved his daughter's life). As usual with these releases, the film is presented in its original aspect radio and remains uncut, even though it features quite the pain-inducing dubbing.

Credit: Hank Xavier

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Company: Simitar Entertainment, Inc. (1998) - United States

One of two nearly simultaneous releases by Simitar of Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) in 1998, this marginally less expensive version bears very few differences from its theoretically higher-quality, "Digitally Remastered" counterpart. The front is similar, except the artwork is smaller and doesn't continue onto the side panels. The sections of the cover devoid of text and visuals are a basic black, only a minor difference from the high contrast flesh pattern that envelops the dark areas of the other release. The featured stills and blurb are exactly the same, as well. It should be noted that this version doesn't boast bonus materials like the other, such as the "Video Art Gallery" and "Godzilla Trailer Collection"; also missing is the claim that the footage is "Recorded on Class A Tape in SP for the finest quality". Whether or not there is a significant difference in picture or sound quality is still up in the air, as complaints about the remastered version appear almost identical with those of this release.


Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)

Company: Simitar Entertainment, Inc. (1998) - United States

For Simitar's second release of this movie in 1998, this one noted as the "digitally remastered" edition, Simitar graces it with an atrocious illustration: a fire-spitting Godzilla grapples with an odd caricature of Mechagodzilla. Mechagodzilla sports crimson eyes and looks like a strange amalgam of the Showa and Heisei counterparts, mixed with some generic Transfomers toy. The cover totes the video as "digitally remastered", but time has not been kind to the quality of the footage. The contrast and brightness have withered and now the film shows either extremely bright scenes during daylight or opaque darkness during night scenes, making many shots completely indistinguishable from one another.

For the most part, the synopsis detailed on the back of the cover is correct except for some profound errors. One, Mechagodzilla is described as being 400-foot tall (a commonplace Western Godzilla stereotype); and two, Doctor Mafune is now referred to as "Professor Mafuni". Aside from these errors, the layout is quite nice, boasting images from the film itself along with an appropriate description. One thing to note is that this video contains "bonus" features such as homemade trailers for other Simitar Entertainment Godzilla releases and a montage of the various Simitar video art for the Godzilla films backed-up by a repeated track of Godzilla's roars and sound effects from previous films.

Credit: Shounen_Goji

Conflagration (1975)

Conflagration (1975)

Company: W.R. Filmes (198X) - Brazil

This undated release of Conflagration (1975) is by W.R. Filmes, short for Wilson Rodrigues Filmes. It was issued under the title Terrorist Conflagration (Conflagração Terrorista) and features an artist rendering of an oil tanker exploding on the front. On the back, two production stills are included that focus on the disaster sequences created by Teruyoshi Nakano.

Credit: Blake Matthews

1980's

Kagemusha (1980)

Kagemusha (1980)

Company: CBS/Fox Video (1988) - Portugal

Released by CBS/Fox Video in cooperation with Publivideo, this 1988 release of Akira Kurosawa's Kagemusha (1980) clocks in at 153 minutes in length, making it much shorter than the original 179 minutes release and even shorter than the 159 minute US edit supported by George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola. However, this reduced length is likely attributed to it being a PAL format.

Credit: Luis Sobral

Kagemusha (1980)

Kagemusha (1980)

Company: Fox Video (1993) - United States

This 1993 release of Kagemusha (1980) by Fox features the US cut of the film, 20 minutes shorter than the original Japanese release, that was supervised by George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola. The back gives an accurate, well-structured description of the movie while ending with highlighting the numerous accolades the film got, such as its two Academy Award nominations.


The Imperial Navy (1981)

The Imperial Navy (1981)

Company: Sony (198X) - United States

This mid-80's video release of The Imperial Navy (1981) is, so far, the only home video release of the film in the United States. It was released by Sony as part of the "War Zone Videos" series. The movie is Toho's international version, dubbed in Hong Kong, and recorded in high-quality SP mode.

The front cover features a shot of the Japanese battleship Yamato firing its main cannons. This appears to be a publicity photo and not a shot from the actual film. The title is printed in a big, bold font, and is accompanied by the flag of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The description on the back sums up the film without giving anything important away. Interestingly, the credits fail to give the cast and crew's given names (only their initials!), even though there's plenty of space to do so.

Credit:Cody Himes

The Killing of America (1981)

The Killing of America (1981)

Company: Golden Harvet Group (1989) - Portugal

Unreleased in many markets for its mondo-style film making, featuring footage of actual deaths, this 1989 release of The Killing of America (1981) is for the Portuguese market. At 101 minutes, this is also a different edit than the US one, which was 90 minutes and only saw a one time screening in New York. It's also different from the full length Japanese version that featured greater emphasis on John Lennon.

Credit: Luis Sobral

Antarctica (1983)

Antartica (1983)

Company: CBS/Fox Video (1985) - United States

This VHS release of Antarctica (1983) by CBS/Fox Video shares the common design theme placed on most of the merged companies' titles of this time. This includes the gray margin on the front of the box, displaying credits for the production, and the black spine with the title in white. The back is also standard, featuring two shots from the movie below the CBS/Fox Video portion at the top while the remainder is dressed in white. The synopsis for this particular movie is also a fair representation of the film's subject matter, although holds back no punches in terms of spoiling aspects of the plot.


The Return of Godzilla (1984)

The Return of Godzilla (1984)

Company: New World Video (1985) - United States

This was the first release The Return of Godzilla (1984) saw on video in the United States. The front cover features the American poster for the film, while the sides both feature a black background with the title of the film in a yellow-orange rectangle. The back is crowned with two images from the American release of the film and, below that, is a quote from a reviewer. The quote itself has to make any self-loving Godzilla fan's heart warm and fuzzy: "Godzilla makes Rambo, Eastwood, Bronson and Schwarzenegger look like mere swizzle sticks." Below the quote is a rather accurate synopsis which features a nice head shot of Godzilla from the movie's US poster. Not that this release also includes the Godzilla vs. Bambi short before the movie.

Credit: Monster Master

The Return of Godzilla (1984)

The Return of Godzilla (1984)

Company: New Line Entertainment (1988) - Portugal

Distributed for SEV (Super Edicoes Video), this New Line Entertainment release, like all portuguese tapes, features a legal stamp to prove its authenticity with registration and serial numbers found on the casette. Given the film, the cover is oddly colorful while the funny thing is the synopsis on the back cover gives away the whole plot.

Credit: Luis Sobral

The Return of Godzilla (1984)

The Return of Godzilla (1984)

Company: StarMaker Entertainment, Inc. (1992) - United States

The cover of this 1992 Starmaker VHS release features Godzilla, in his most menacing incarnation in the Heisei era, looming over an exploding Tokyo with the Super-X and numerous fighter jets in the foreground attempting to halt his destructive rampage. It also sports the American tagline for The Return of Godzilla (1984): "The Legend is Reborn". The back showcases only two in-film stills: one of Steve Martin (Raymond Burr) among military personnel looking on and a shot of Godzilla strolling down a Tokyo street. The title and tagline are once again displayed on the back as with other StarMaker releases. The description incorrectly states that Godzilla originally attacked in 1956 when in fact he attacked in 1954 (with the former being the American release date of the film) and it also says that Steve Martin is "once again caught in Godzilla's destructive path" when in fact he's in the Untied States the entire movie. Both sides are the same: cover art at the top, title running down the rest of the way. It should be noted that this release does not contain the Godzilla vs. Bambi short found on the New World Video release.

Credit: Lone Wolf 117

The Return of Godzilla (1984)

The Return of Godzilla (1984)

Company: Anchor Bay Entertainment, Inc. (1997) - United States

Yet another release of The Return of Godzilla (1984) in the United States, this version's cover art is simply uncalled for. Anchor Bay, in ALL of its prior releases, displayed an undying love for the 1984 version of the monster king. But when it comes to the movie that actually stars the 1984 incarnation... they pull a 180 and decide to use the 1968 Godzilla! The world of Anchor Bay is truly backwards when it comes to the kaiju VHS. Like all other boxes from Anchor Bay, it does utilize the correct version of Godzilla, but only in the background. In the foreground, Showa Godzilla (converted to a hue of the greenest of greens) unleashes his trademark red atomic flame... wait... something about that doesn't sound quite right. Then again, maybe they were going for a nod to the 1970's cartoon Godzilla; but even then, that makes the front cover an epic, super-sized fail. Truly, when it comes to VHS box art, Anchor Bay drops the ball.

Moving on, the sides of the box are exactly the same as any other Anchor Bay release. The one side has the title while the other has a piece of the Godzilla 1985 poster. To form the entire poster, all of the Anchor Bay releases need to be placed in the proper order (or non-proper order, considering this release needs to find itself placed BEFORE Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964) to form a non-Picasso variation of the image). The back features a single still of Mr. Martin holding an image of Godzilla (a scene not once found in the movie itself) and a rather accurate synopsis.

Credit: Monster Master

The Return of Godzilla (1984)

The Return of Godzilla (1984)

Company: Manga Home Video (1998) - Spain

Fitting in a clam shell, the front cover for Manga Home Video's release of The Return of Godzilla (1984) uses a familiar teaser poster of the film, with a glorious red Godzilla decimating Tokyo in a sea of fire. As with their Terror of Mechagodzilla release, the VHS box's tagline attempts to cash in on the then recent GODZILLA (1998). The poster's artwork continues onto the back, where four pictures of Godzilla are present. The synopsis is mostly accurate, even though it refers to Shockirus as an insect rather than the more accurate taxonomic classification of a crustacean (specifically a copepod).

Credit: Hank Xavier

The Return of Godzilla (1984)

The Return of Godzilla (1984)

Company: Carlton Home Entertainment (1998) - United Kingdom

Another of Carlton's 1998 Godzilla VHS releases, The Return of Godzilla (1984) is presented in widescreen and features the international dubbed version of the film (Raymond Burr is absent from this one). Issued in a clam shell case, the front cover boasts a towering, fearsome Godzilla terrorizing a mass of fleeing citizens. The rear artwork is the The Return of Godzilla (1984) poster bathed in red. The blurb, like Carlton's other releases, completely reveals the ending.

Credit: Andrew Rowe

Bye-Bye Jupiter (1984)

Bye-Bye Jupiter (1984)

Company: Rossi Video/W.R. Filmes (198X) - Brazil

Presented by Rossi Video and W.R. Filmes, although the relation between them is unknown, this VHS features the movie Bye-Bye Jupiter (1984) under its international title. The front and back of the cover focus on the amazing special effects done by Koichi Kawakita, although are oddly devoid of any shots of the actors at all. In fact, the only human element is a hard to distinguish image on the spine. As a side note, the cover doesn't cite the year of release for the VHS.

Credit: Blake Matthews

Zero (1984)

Zero (1984)

Company: Sony (198X) - United States

Released under Sony's War Zone line, this is a 1980's release of Toho's Zero (1984) for the US market. While the description and wording is not "Anti-American", it is a bit more ruthless in its description of the events on the back cover than one might expect. The front design is actually adapting the Zero logo that Toho created for the posters. Note that the cover makes no actual listing of when this particular VHS was released.


Formula 2 Grand Prix (1984)

Formula 2 Grand Prix (1984)

Company: W.R. Filmes (198X) - Brazil

Presented by W.R. Filmes, this VHS features the movie Formula 2 Grand Prix (1984) under the sensational title "Grand Prix: Victory or Death". Both the front and back cover use images that make this look more like an exploitation documentary on crashes rather than the theatrical movie it is by director Tsugunobu Kotani. It should be noted that the case does not list the year this was released in Brazil. However, W.R. Filmes went bankrupt in 1990, which would place the date before then.

Credit: Blake Matthews

Tampopo (1985)

Tampopo (1985)

Company: Fox Lorber (1998) - United States

Issued at the same time as the Tampopo Fox Lorber DVD comes this VHS release of Juzo Itami's Tampopo (1985). Design wise, it's a mixture of impressive, the bowl of ramen with the characters inside, and amateurish, the outer glow effect and the figure looking down on them. The back fares a little better, while the entire slip cover is jam packed with critic praise. For the description, it's light on plot details, mostly talking up the production, while the credits notably leave off the cast, although actors like Ken Watanabe and Koji Yakusho had yet to make a name for themselves in the West.


Leda: Fantastic Adventure of Yohko (1985) BETAMAX

Leda: Fantastic Adventure of Yohko (1985) BETAMAX

Company: DCR2 (1986) - Portugal

This is an unorthodox listing as it's actually not a VHS tape, but in fact a PAL Betamax tape. So while Beta was a rival to the VHS format, it is a tape based medium and we'll make an exception. Anyway, this release by DCR2, short for Decio De Carvalho & RIbeiro, is of the animated movie Leda: Fantastic Adventure of Yohko (1985). Just called Leda on this Portugal release, the back of the case gives a lengthy description of the production. It also cites Toho twice, both as a production company and Toho International as the distributor.

Credit: Luis Sobral

Leda: Fantastic Adventure of Yohko (1985)

Leda: Fantastic Adventure of Yohko (1985)

Company: Everest Video (1987) - Brazil

Released by Everest Video in 1987, this early VHS features the animated film Leda: Fantastic Adventure of Yohko (1985). For the cover, an inverted version of the movie's poster is used to good effect. The back features a different promotional artist rendering, although it makes the text hard to read. On the spine, an actual image from the movie itself is seen.

Credit: Blake Matthews

Hollywood Dinosaur Chronicles (1987)

Hollywood Dinosaur Chronicles (1987)

Company: Rhino Home Video (1990) - United States

A documentary of Dinosaur films Hosted by Doug McClure from 1987, this oddity was released by Rhino Home Video in 1990. While the "Godzilla" portion of this documentary is noteworthy, most of the footage is from Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973). Why they chose this film over all the others is beyond me (unless that vile temptress: the public domain, is to blame). Pictures on the back are from 1948's Unknown Island, 1956's The Beast of Hollow Mountain and 1959's The Valley of Gwangi.

Credit: Brandon Lusk

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

Company: Fox Video (1994) - United States

The clam shell cover of Fox's English-dubbed, full screen release of My Neighbor Totoro (1988) features attractive, bright artwork that wraps around the case. The art appears to have been made by someone in the West; the characters aren't quite captured perfectly, and the design resembles the sort of thing I would expect to find accompanying other animated video releases at that time in America. On the front cover, the famous flying Totoro sequence is depicted in conjunction with an earlier scene from the movie in which Mei pursues the smaller Totoro creatures. The main protagonist, Satsuki, is clinging to the big Totoro's belly, but she could easily be mistaken for a boy here. Also, in this image Satsuki's pajamas are green, whereas they were blue in the movie. Furthermore, in the film, both Satsuki and Mei, along with the smaller Totoros, rode together on big Totoro through the skies. On the back of the box, the background image shows a scene from the climax of the picture, with Mei and Satsuki waving goodbye to the bizarre Catbus. I like the art on the back even more than the front because it captures a sense of dream-like wonder so prevalent in the actual movie. The synopsis for the film is accurate without spoiling anything, and it is punched up with several adoring quotes from such respected sources as Roger Ebert, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times.


Kujakuoh (1988)

Kujakuoh (1988)

Company: Pony Canyon (1989) - Japan

Released in 1989, this VHS from Pony Canyon features the Japan and Hong Kong co-production of Kujakuoh (1989). The cover on this release is a nice design, while the back, largely purple, has a number of production stills shown. Now this particular release is cited as being for "sale or rental", although it sold for ¥13,800 (around $125) and as a result was more likely to go to rental stores. In fact, the pictured version here was bought from a rental store, which is why the spine is so faded.


Mysterious Robber Ruby (1988)

Mysterious Robber Ruby (1988)

Company: Victor (1989) - Japan

Manufactured by Victor, this is a "sale or rental" release for Mysterious Robber Ruby (1988). As far the design goes, it's approach is minimal. It's largely white, with only three production stills: one of the back, spine and front. The cover art uses the one featured on a couple of the poster variants for the film, and has become the main visual for the home video releases of the title, from DVDs to Blu-rays.


Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Company: HBO Video (1992) - United States

This VHS box cover features one of the most spectacular pieces of poster art from the franchise. A menacing Godzilla stands alone before a vicious Biollante rose (who looks soooo much cooler than the movie prop) while four other roses rise up in the background. The back cover simply showcases a small picture of Godzilla during his Osaka rampage. The synopsis gets the general jist of the action part of the movie, but fails to mention anything about Biomajor, Saradia, or any of the politcal/ethical dilemmas presented in the film. In addition, it's wording makes Biollante seem like a heroine rather than the anti-hero that she actually is.

Credit: Legionmaster / Christian Salabert

Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Company: Videomax (1998) - Mexico

Exploding with pastel shades of ceruleans and vermilions, Godzilla emerges as a shadowy monolith on the front cover of this 1998 Videomax release of Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989) (here labeled as Godzilla 2). The back of this clam shell case, meanwhile, is a humdrum collage of low light shots with an all-caps synopsis near the top. Though the summary is vague in nature, it features a rather curious line that's roughly translated as: "In order to halt the creature, scientists would elect to use everything from deadly nuclear weapons to a massive beast that has been created especially for Godzilla's destruction." First of all, nuclear weapons were not really of prominent consideration by the characters of this film as a means to rid the world of the nuclear saurian. Second, Biollante was not created for the sole purpose of Godzilla's destruction. Needless to say, the case has its flaws, but the front and side are certainly colorful eye candy.

Credit: Luis Enrique Gómez

Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)

Company: Manga Home Video (1998) - Spain

Similar to their other releases, Manga Home Video's cover for Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989) uses one of the film's posters for the front, with Godzilla facing the rose-form Biollante. The image is expanded to fit the back cover perfectly. On the back there are some stills from the film that highlight important scenes. The synopsis, while elaborate, has one noticeable inaccuracy: Mount Mihara is referred to as "a volcano in Tokyo Bay". Though Oshima Island is within one hundred kilometers of Tokyo, it is technically not within the bay proper. Also, the description of Japanese scientists creating "super plants" is somewhat of a hyperbole, considering the idea of making them desert dwelling may be a bit below the necessary descriptive parameters of the adjective "super". Much like similar Spanish releases, we get the uncut widescreen version of the film (with rather bad dubbing).

Credit: Hank Xavier

Kiss to Moonlight (1989)

Kiss to Moonlight (1989)

Company: Toho Video (19XX) - Japan

This is the cover to the rental only version of Kiss to Moonlight (1989). Released by Toho Video, the box features production stills from the movie, including the same one in the background of both the front and back with different color tints applied. Regrettably, the case lists no date for this specific release, just the year of the movie on the back while the running time is slotted on the spine.


Baoh (1989)

Baoh (1989)

Company: Toho Video (1989) - Japan

Being a direct-to-video title, this VHS by Toho Video marks the first time the Anime Baoh was made available. For the artwork, the cover is detailed, although is also a far cry from the style seen in the actual movie. The cassette features the 50 minute film along with a "CD journal" of the characters. The movie was released first on VHS and was then followed by a December Laserdisc release.


Tokyo: The Last War (1989)

Tokyo: The Last War (1989)

Company: Pony Canyon (1990) - Japan

Issued by Pony Canyon, this is the first release of Tokyo: The Last War (1989) in Japan on VHS. While the cover is largely in Japanese, it does list the movie's English title at the bottom on the front. Meanwhile the back does a nice job of mixing various production stills. Worth noting that this release is marked "sale or rental". However, its price tag of ¥14,800 (around $135) would mean it's more likely to be used for rental outlets than sold to end consumers.


Gunhed (1989)

Gunhed (1989)

Company: A.D.V. Films (1996) - United States

One of A.D.V.'s early forays outside of Anime, this release was the first commercial one for the 1989 movie Gunhed in the United States. The cover design for this VHS box is fairly attractive and well constructed overall. The front in particular is a great meshing of several different photos, including a shot of the full size Gunhed prop, and has been adapted from one of the Japanese posters for the movie. The back features a lot of smaller stills from the feature while the whole design is nicely complimented with a futuristic overtone. The description of the movie is also well done, while the back has a rather generous listing of credits related to the production.


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