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Film / Cozzilla

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"Godzilla. A savage, catastrophic metaphor for atomic war, rendered in stark, dramatic black and white... or, is it a rainbow-colored acid trip with a bunch of stolen footage from other movies?"
Ed Glaser

1954. The Ishir⁠ō 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.

1956. Gojira was recut, re-edited, 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 release of King Kong (1976), 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 instead).

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 (itself being done by cutting out pieces of translucent gel and laying them over general areas of each frame), 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 by Fabio Frizzi, who would later compose music for the horror classic Zombi 2note , 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 to it.

Note: 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 BoxMonster, the guy responsible for the hybrid source fan restoration of King Kong vs. Godzilla.
  • Recut: An odd example, as it's a recut of a preexisting recut.
  • Kick the Dog: As if Godzilla's death in the original wasn't tragic enough, Cozzi throws in some stock footage of fighter jets and ships firing their weaponry, implying he's being shot to death at the same time.
  • Stock Footage: Some of which are actual footage of death and destruction take from wartime newsreels.
  • Unnaturally Blue Lighting: The main result of the "colorization" technique used for the film. To add color to Godzilla Cozzi's team cut out pieces of translucent colored gels and pasted them over certain areas of the film based on what was most prominently displayed there, such as placing a blue gel where the sky was, sticking a yellow gel over a crowd of people, and covering an entire frame in red gel because the city shown was up in flames.
  • 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.

Alternative Title(s): Italian Godzilla King Of The Monsters