King Kong vs. Godzilla (キングコング対ゴジラ - Kingu Kongu Tai Gojira) is a 1962 Japanese Kaiju film produced by Toho Studios. Directed by Ishirō Honda and starring Tadao Takashima, Kenji Sahara, and Mie Hama.
|2012 Blu-Ray Release Cover Art|
This is the third instalment in the Japanese series of films featuring the monster Godzilla. It was also the first of two Japanese made films featuring the King Kong character(be it the TOHO version) and also the first time both King Kong and Godzilla appeared on film in colour and widescreen. Produced as part of Toho’s 30th anniversary celebration, this film remains the most commercially successful of all the Godzilla films to date. The US version sported a different edit and Universal Studios library music including cues by Henry Mancini from Creature from the Black Lagoon.
This marked the first step into a more comical approach to Godzilla. Many on the production crew were displeased with how light-hearted the film was, believing that Godzilla was more appealing when he was something to be feared. However, Toho wanted to broaden the audience and felt targeting children with the more comical scenes was the way to go
The plot is basically a mash up of the King Kong and Godzilla storylines. The head of Pacific Pharmaceuticals, Mr Tako , is frustrated by the ratings the television shows his company is sponsoring. When reports of monster discovered on the small Faro Island, Tako believes that capturing it would be a brilliant idea to gain publicity. Meanwhile, American submarine Seahawk gets caught in an iceberg. Unfortunately, this is the same iceberg that Godzilla was trapped in by the Japanese Self-Defence Forces back in 1955, and the submarine is destroyed. Godzilla breaks out and heads towards a nearby Arctic military base, attacking it. He continues moving inland, razing the base to the ground. Godzilla’s appearance is all over the press, overshadowing Tako’s publicity plans making him furious.
|(Left) On set with the cas od King Kong Vs. Godzilla - (Centre) US Cinema Lobby Card - (Right) King Kong, Ishirō Honda & Godzilla|
On Faro Island, a giant octopus attacks the native village as they often do. It is now that the mysterious Faro Island monsters is finally revealed, and guess who? It’s King Kong. The great ape he defeats the octopus and celebrates the victory by getting pissed on red berry juice and passes out. Whilst in a drunken stupor Kong is put on a large raft by Tako’s men and transported back to Japan. However, the Japanese authorities (Japanese Self-Defence Forces ) order Kong to be returned to Faro Island because Godzilla had just come ashore in Japan. Unfortunately, during all this, Kong wakes up from his drunken state and breaks free from the raft. Reaching the mainland, Kong meets up with Godzilla…
There are two major fights in the film, the short scuffle near the middle and the big climax. The short one is basically a tease for the climax and establishes the hate the two monsters have for each other. These aren’t just two mindless animals fighting; they have reactions and make plans. I particularly love the bit when King Kong walks away from the short scuffle while scratching his head like he’s not sure what the hell he is up against. Eiji Tsuburaya is responsible for handling how the monsters looked and acted.. Godzilla has a very unique design, probably the most unique of the franchise. It perfectly matches the tone of the film and makes him look like an arrogant bully. In fact, this is the first time Godzilla is given
King Kong vs. Godzilla is Solid fun. The dubbed dialogue hits all kinds of fantastic comedic moments, such as a character’s tendency to ache and complain about his ‘corns’ or the behavior and stuttering of Mr. Tako, Normally I tend to like my monster flicks taken seriously – but considering that the humor and satire is part of the script’s DNA, I really really like the goofy cheese which I reckon totally adds substantially to the overall fun-ness of this flick.
King Kong Vs. Godzilla - Master of Puppets by Metallica