Godzilla: Sound EFX / BGM on Japanese Film Title
 SPFX Film Collection
International Title
Music By: Various
Record Label: Avanz Records
Running Time: 55:53/52:29 Discs: 2
Release: October 1996 CD Number: SP/CR-71004~5
Anthony Romero
This release from Avanz Records is an oddity, to be sure. The firm itself is one that specializes in mostly releasing Italian scores, sometimes of questionable quality with the source coming straight off vinyl records. For whatever reason, to commerate their first year of business the company decided to release a two disc set dedicated to the trailers of Toho's special effects productions. Sadly, their efforts are mixed at best.

In terms of scope, the set is fairly exhaustive. It skips over the two "self banned" films, Half Human (1995) and Prophecies of Nostradamus (1974), but covers a lot of the well known science fiction productions from Toho. Vampire Doll (1970), ESPY (1974), Yamato Takeru (1994), and a selection of others are notably absent but most everything up until the 1970's is featured along with all of the Godzilla films up to 1995. There is no specific trailer for Godzilla Raids Again (1955), but the movie is featured in the start of the Rodan (1956) one.

Sadly, some of these trailers are really bad in terms of audio quality. Varan (1958) is easily the worst, sounding so muffled one would swear they are hearing it coming from a TV on the other side of a wall. A lot of others sound rough and slightly distorted. Notably worse than they have on other CD releases, such as Toshiba's Futureland set or Apollon's releases such as The History of Godzilla Vol. 1 (APCF-5096). Frankly, the lacking audio quality is really the downfall of this release, and one could easily get better quality recording directly off the many DVDs available that contain the trailers on them today. Furthermore, there are a couple of glitches found on these tracks as well. The Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) one being the most obvious, as it ends too early and actually is interrupted by the start of the trailer for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)... only for the track to cut back out and for the next track to start playing the intro again from the start.

Now, the set is largely focused on the "main" Japanese trailers for these movies, but there are a few exceptions. There are "international" trailers for Godzilla (1954), The Last War (1961), King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), and Latitude Zero (1969). The quality on all of these are a little iffy, especially the last one, but they are still great extras to have. The one for King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) in particular, as its somewhat rare and features a dub track I have never heard before. There are also two versions of the Japanese trailer for King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) present. One of these is in mono, while the other is in stereo. Sadly the stereo one is in real horrible condition. It also suffers the same problems of the stereo version of the trailer found on the Godzilla 2 release (GX-2) in terms of the audio levels being off, although the condition of this one is much worse than what's found on that release.

In terms of presentation, the set is certainly a mixed bag. It's different for the sake of being different, really. The disc contains two small booklets, one for each disc, which are notably smaller than the standard insert size. The covers of these are quite unnattractive, with captures from the movies literally cut out and placed together on the cover with the background still around the figure. Its artsy, no doubt intentional, but far from pleasing to the eye. On the plus side, the CD discs themselves look nice. The first has a blueprint sketch of the Helios-7 from Space Amoeba (1970) on it, while the second has a sketch of the Trip Wire Cannons from The War of the Gargantuas (1966).

Overall, this set has limited appeal. I love what the set is trying to do, as I have always found trailers to be a very memorable and an exciting aspect of a movie. Even in audio form I find the trailers to be catchy and interesting. The market for this is limited though, and this set has a boat load of problems with it. It's really the only set to focus solely on this, though, and will probably still be of interest to some, if for nothing more than the Heisei Godzilla trailers. Still, hopefully someday a company comes along and gives the concept a proper release, in far better quality.

As a side note, although I ran into no problems, it has been said that there are issues with the second disc in this set playing in some DVD players and computer drives. This is likely due to the way the disc was produced. It's one of the rare examples I have seen where they actually include a track listing that carriers over from the first CD, meaning that track one reads as track 23, a feature that some players might have trouble with.
Rating: Star Rating
    Disc 1
  1. Godzilla
  2. Godzilla (International Version)
  3. Rodan
  4. The Mysterians
  5. H-Man
  6. Varan
  7. The Three Treasures
  8. Battle in Outer Space
  9. The Secret of Telegian
  10. The Human Vapour
  11. Mothra
  12. The Last War (International Version)
  13. Gorath
  14. King Kong vs. Godzilla (Version A)
  15. King Kong vs. Godzilla (Version B)
  16. King Kong vs. Godzilla (International Version)
  17. Matango
  18. Atragon
  19. Mothra vs. Godzilla
  20. Dogora
  21. Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster
  22. Frankenstein vs. Baragon
    Disc 2
  1. Invasion of Astro-Monster
  2. The War of the Gargantuas
  3. Ebirah, Horror of the Deep
  4. King Kong Escapes
  5. Son of Godzilla
  6. Destroy All Monsters
  7. Latitude Zero
  8. Latitude Zero (International Version)
  9. All Monsters Attack
  10. Space Amoeba
  11. Godzilla vs. Hedorah
  12. Godzilla vs. Gigan
  13. Godzilla vs. Megalon
  14. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
  15. Terror of Mechagodzilla
  16. The War in Space
  17. The Return of Godzilla
  18. Godzilla vs. Biollante
  19. Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
  20. Godzilla vs. Mothra
  21. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II
  22. Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla
  23. Godzilla vs. Destoroyah