And they said coloring Godzilla wasn't a good idea...
1954. The Ishiro Honda, Eiji Tsuburaya, and Akira Ifukube-helmed Kaiju film Godzilla (1954)
hit japanese theaters, acting as a symbol for the Hiroshima bombings and reminding people of the tragedies of World War II.
was recut, reedited, and americanized into Godzilla: King of the Monsters
, introducing the movie, and the title monster himself, to audiences in America, where it would find new success and take on the title "King of the Monsters" for the first time.
1977. Wanting to take advantage of the 1976 King Kong
remake, an Italian filmmaker by the name of Luigi Cozzi decided to release the American Godzilla: King of the Monsters
in Italy (he was planning on releasing
the original Gojira
, but due to rights issues had to settle for King of the Monsters
However, simply dubbing the movie into italian wasn't enough, for there was one problem: the movie was in black and white. Italian theaters at the time weren't confident that black and white movies would do well with audiences. So Cozzi came up with a solution: colorize the movie.
However, Cozzi didn't stop there. He not only colorized the movie, but also cut out scenes for pacing reasons, and even (sloppily) inserted stock footage from various other movies (one of them even being Gojira's sequel
), as well as wartime newsreels (meaning that some of the devastation in this version of the film actually did happen). These new sequences were accompanied by new electronic music, and the sound effects in general were remixed and enhanced.
The result? A recut of Gojira
that manages to be trippy and psychedelic, as well as a hell of a lot more disturbing than the original version... for all the wrong reasons.
Surprisingly, this Italian version was a success in Italy and is sometimes considered superior to the American version. It's also rather rare, as it was only released in Italy and possibly Turkey as well. You can get an idea of what the recut is like from this video
, and Ed Glaser of Deja View (from whom the page quote comes from) dedicated an episode
Tropes pertaining to the original movie and King of the Monsters
belong in their respective articles.
Tropes pertaining to this version of Gojira:
- Fan Sequel: There's a proposed rainb-OW-vision cut of Godzilla Raids Again in the works by Box Monster, the guy responsible for the hybrid source fan restoration of King Kong vs. Godzilla.
- Notable Original Music: The added stock footage came with 70's electronic music by Fabio Frizzi, who would later compose music for the horror classic Zombi 2.
- Stock Footage: Some of which are actual footage of death and destruction take from wartime newsreels.
- Unnaturally Blue Lighting: As shown in the page image, though it was usually confined to the sky.
- Up to Eleven: The WWII newsreel footage has this effect on what was merely subtext in the other two versions.
- Violence Is Disturbing: The original Gojira and its King of the Monsters americanization may have been symbols for Hiroshima, but at least the events shown were fictional. The added wartime newsreel footage in Cozzilla, however, is very much real and adds a new level of disturbing to the movie.