SCOOP! TOHO DISCOVERS LOST FOOTAGE!! Japanese Satellite Cable Premieres In November
// The Good, the Bad, and Godzilla 続・夕陽の呉爾羅
Where original 35mm elements for KING KONG VS. GODZILLA found?
While Toho's Visual Effects films have been run before on the Nihon Eiga Senmon Channel (Japanese Movie Specialty Channel), and this past spring and summer saw a countdown of every Godzilla title on the Satellite Cable station to usher in the domestic release of Gareth Edwards' GODZILLA (2014), there was more amazing news dropped on their website this past Wednesday morning in Japan, that will be another great cause for kaiju eiga fans across the globe to rejoice.
For "Unearthed! Treasures of Visual Effects Collection," four films will be broadcast during the Big G's 60th Anniversary — a cross section of Honda and Tsuburaya's best, which isn't special in of itself, nor the premiere of new HD transfers, but rather that two of the films will be hailed as celebrations in of themselves. One of them, fans have been hoping on for decades, while the other is a completely mind-boggling surprising announcement, which I never saw coming.
Toho discovers three missing minutes of BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE!
Here's the biggest news, first: According to the NESC website, some of the lost negative elements for the full-length theatrical version of KING KONG VS. GODZILLA (1962) have recently been discovered and have been given a HD makeover. There is no word on how, when or where the footage was discovered, but this is extremely good news since the missing footage had been previously sourced from a worn anamorphic 16mm roadshow print.
NESC's website has also stated that the broadcast will be the premiere of this new "High Quality" presentation of KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, but it was also announced that there will be a non-HD video preview of this new (what the NESC website is calling an "up conversion") for viewers to see what has been done in regards to this restoration of KING KONG VS. GODZILLA. No other details were revealed, just a notice asking fans to please be patient.
Bah! This old movie... again!? Who cares!?
The second big one was dropped in the same announcement and on the same page — and with even less information divulged: Toho has discovered over three minutes of missing footage from BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE (1959)! NESC's website is promoting this as the "Long Version" of the film, boasting a running time of 96 minutes (the running time of the previously released DVD versions of the film run 90 minutes and 13 seconds).
Despite what appears to be a discrepancy in running times (which is to be sorted out, I'm sure), this is the discovery that I'm most excited about, as I absolutely am bonkers for this film. As a kid, it delivered everything the other space pictures promised, but didn't (or couldn't deliver on), and in "flaming color and Tohoscope" to boot! Sure, it might not contain any visual effects footage, and it could be just some dialogue scenes, or some exposition that won't change our lives, but I could care less — I can't wait!
The Amazing Colossal Frankie swings in his first HD transfer!
Also running will be the US version of GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS (1956), originally released theatrically in Japan in a faux "cinemascope" by masking the top and bottom of the 35mm frame. This HD transfer will be the first broadcast ever on television. Also making its HD premiere will be the original theatrical version of FRANKENSTEIN VS. BARAGON (1965) aka FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD, sans the Giant Octopus.
All of the films will be running on the same day, November 24th (sans the original GODZILLA will run on November 3rd and November 24th), for one broadcast only! Those will friends in Japan will probably be pressing them for copies of these broadcasts — a great year to be a fan of these films just got better — you can bet that I'll be looking forward to seeing them as soon as I can!
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