CineSavant Column

Saturday January 20, 2024



We’ve got nothing but gratitude for associates like Kevin Pyrtle, who helped steer us to PD copies of Abel Gance’s La fin du monde back when any peek at that picture was a rare thing. He may yet reassemble that crazy show, adding montages kept for the goofball American release.

But today I steer readers, especially those interested in arcane Kaiju, to Kevin’s new page “Thrilling Tales of Weltraum★besty,” where he’s beginning to compile some recent thoughts on the subject.

His latest page details a certain hobby ‘restoration’ on which he’s embarked — ‘scanning’ an entire trailer for a Daiei Gamera feature — you know, the franchise about a titanic flying terrapin with rockets in his b___.  The progress made so far shows us Kevin’s raw ‘scan’ with his homemade copying apparatus. Doing something about the faded color comes next. We’re eager to see what he can do, considering how faded is the source trailer print.

The exact article is Film Scanning, Fool’s errands and Flying Turtles.



Japanese monster news keeps coming in — a theatrical reissue of the new Godzilla Minus One is coming up — in Black and White. We’re more keen on knowing when some fab 4K disc release will be announced.

Meanwhile, CineSavant informer-confederate Chuck Shillingford tells us that a 4K Ultra HD disc of the original Gojira ’54 went on sale in Japan back on October ’23.

Don’t jump to buy, as the disc description gives no indication of having English subs.

I’ve never heard a good answer as to why the superb remaster we saw of Gojira ’54 was never released here. We saw samples of it about 15 years ago at Steve Ryfle’s place. The image was far better than anything I’ve seen before or since, including Criterion’s disc releases; Toho has superior transfers of most of its Kaiju and Sci-fi classics that don’t get licensed abroad, including to Criterion. Being a Japanese disc, it also had no English language subtitles.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson