Godzilla Raids Again : 4 of 5
I'm pretty excited about these new Toho Master Collection DVDs, so I really hope the series continues for a long time! I completely enjoyed their excellent treatment of the original Godzilla, and now they've done it again with the very first Godzilla sequel from 1955, Godzilla Raids Again (which was released in the US as Gigantis the Fire Monster!). The original Japanese version does a great job of explaining that this is a second Godzilla in this movie, since the original was definitely disintegrated by the Oxygen Destroyer (I had always wondered about that). Godzilla's first monster opponent Anguirus is introduced, and there is some fantastic fighting footage. Godzilla finally kicks his butt by throwing him right into Osaka Castle (which was cool to see since I've been there!) and then violently biting his neck. Even though this is only a single DVD, the complete American release is included, which is great to compare. It contains nearly non-stop narration, additional stock footage, and even stock musical score, giving the film an entirely different feel. The audio commentary is simply fantastic, combining tons of interesting facts with a great dose of humor. My favorite fact was that one of the monster fighting scenes looks speeded up because of a camera operator error, but they had to use the footage anyway! I love the drama of these original Godzilla movies, and I'm looking forward to watching the next one soon.