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Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Back to the big list for the Kaiju Movie Challenge ...

Finally, another Godzilla film.  The third one in the franchise is King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962).

My son goes first:
I thought it was pretty funny,with the puppets and King Kong shoving a tree down Godzilla's mouth, then Godzilla spits it out w/ a little fire-power to make a torpedo. 
And in the movie, they had this type of cranberry sauce that made Kong sleepy, and it's like a medicine thing. Whenever Kong got struck by lightning he would turn into the Emperor and shock Godzilla. 
The fight scenes were funny, like when Kong tried to jump on Godzilla, he missed and his face went into a boulder, and when Godzilla kept on whipping Kong in the face with his tail, and the tree too.The first time we saw this movie, we had to keep on pausing because we were laughing too hard. 
The movie was great and i will give it 4.4 atomic breaths of awesomeness!! 

Now me:
I'm really of two minds when it comes to this movie.  So ... I feel the need to write two different reviews.   
The goofballing of kaiju films continues in earnest with King Kong vs. Godzilla.  Yes, there's the comic relief of a berry juice manufacturer hoping to snag a monster for PR purposes.  But of particular consternation is the excessive use of puppets, especially for Kong.  And Kong's suit ... oof.  It's just rough to look at.   
Before we even see the monsters, there's the native island.  Ah, Asians in blackface.  Oh, and giving cigarettes to kids.  And then the octopus attack.  Sometimes encased in Saran Wrap, sometimes not.  And the blue screen effect gets particularly bad when they're throwing torches and such at the octopus because you can see the objects' shadows on the screen. 
Unfortunately for us in the United States, we have only the English dubbed version to see.  The dubbing issues aside, there is a wealth of ultimately pointless scenes featuring a UN news anchor interviewing people from around the world as they talk about Godzilla and Kong interspersed with footage of the orbiting station from The Mysterians.  Waste of time.  And the music ... stock music used from several films, including the famed Creature from the Black Lagoon.  Except for the natives' songs, not a lick of the great Akira Ifukube's music is heard. 
Until the original version is made available over here, I'm forced to give King Kong vs. Godzilla 2.5 out of five atomic breath blasts. 
OK.  Now review number two: 
James and I watched the first two Godzilla films in a single weekend.  Gojira was dark and deep and surprised me; James was intrigued but, due to his age, not quite grasping it.  Raids Again was OK.  Then came Kong
This is the film that cemented our love of these movies for us.  Yes, Kong was far taller than he was in the RKO original.  Yes, his suit looked like it was sewn together from old fur coats (it was).  Yes, there were silly scenes that showed finger puppets as the monsters fighting.  Yes, the music was recognizably recycled.  Yes, many of the ancillary characters were either annoying or played by the same few actors yet again. 
It didn't matter. 
It was fun.  There was action and it was just fun.  We laughed hard at the big Mt. Fuji scene ... showed my wife the bit with the tree in the mouth ... watched it with my mother/James' grandmother when she came to visit ... It was just silly, infectious fun. 
Good times.  Good times. 
King Kong vs. Godzilla ... 4.5 out of five atomic breath blasts. 
Told you I was conflicted.
Before anyone asks, no.  There is no such thing as the alternate ending where Godzilla won and Kong lost.  That's a myth nearly as old as the film itself.

Here's the English trailer:

Up next, tokusatsu end-of-world epic Gorath.

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