GORGO Blu-ray Disc
Along with the silent The Lost World (1925), The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953) and Gojira (1954), the British made Gorgo (1961) is my favorite film about a giant reptilian monster on the loose. Unfortunately, for years Gorgo was only available as a crappy VHS, a better laserdisc from VCI/Image, an even better wide-screen LD from the Roan Group, and a decent Gorgo Widescreen Destruction DVD from 2005. All of these prints featured faded, damaged, grainy prints and extremely limited supplements.
Finally VCI has released the definitive copy of Gorgo as a restored HD print on a Blu-ray disc loaded with supplements. The extras include:
– Sound Effects only Audio Track
– Original Theatrical Trailer
– Gorgo Lobby Cards, Posters, Images and Press Book
– Gorgo Toys and Collectibles
– A fascinating new documentary on the making of Gorgo
– Production Notes
– Before and After Film Restoration Clips
– Really cool animation menus
Some comments about the film print. Due to the restoration, this is the best sounding and looking print I have seen. No more blotches, tears, scratches or gate hairs. However, the print appears to be from the same historical source as the previous VCI releases*. The print is still grainy and will always remain grainy regardless of what digital mapping is performed on the film. The film contrast and saturation is vastly improved. I liken the restoration comparable to some of the color Harryhausen/Schneer films (e.g. Jason and the Argonauts or Mysterious Island) where the inherent resolution of the Blu-ray reveals the technical limitations of the source material. Don’t get me wrong -this print is a must have and my favorite release so far in 2013.
The colors in the Dorkins London Circus finale and scenes shot around Piccadilly Circus really pop (Gorgo is a wonderful time capsule of London circa 1960). Also, for the first time since perhaps the film’s initial release fans can appreciate Gorgo’s subtle color variations (he’s various shades of green) and the amount of detail that went into the design of the suit. I think Gorgo is far superior looking than any of Toho’s Godzilla body-suits from the same period. From the supplements section we also learn that portions of Gorgo’s suit were hydraulically operated.
Gorgo is a welcome addition to both family and genre collections. Kaiju fans will rejoice! Finally we have a restored print of Gorgo!