King Kong vs Godzilla
"Our only chance is somehow to bring them together. Kong versus Godzilla. If we are lucky, both will die."
- government official
release year: 1962
viewing setting: home Bluray, 7/4/19 and home DVD, 5/18/98
synopsis: Godzilla wakes up from a long nap inside an iceberg, while King Kong is found on a remote island and brought to Japan, setting up a meeting of the two.
impressions: Unfortunately, this time I had to watch the American version because that's all that was available. Either way, this was the first Godzilla film in color, as well as the first one in widescreen. Godzilla finally looked cool (they fixed his lumpy head and his snaggly teeth) but his breath weapon looked like mist or something. As for Kong, he looked somewhat goofy. Some memorable elements: bribing of the chief of the primitive people on Kong's island, dancing and singing when their god (Kong) falls asleep, an octopus that moves around on land, unknown methods employed to move the sleeping Kong from the island to a raft, Kong's ability to get stronger from electricity, an initial non-battle between the two monsters. The main battle later on was pretty good, featuring among other things: Kong being airmailed to the battle site, Godzilla using his tail to batter hurled boulders back at Kong, Kong head-butting a cliff and knocking himself out, Godzilla utilizing a sudden sliding kick Mortal-Kombat style to knock Kong away, more tail use to batter Kong, Kong recharging thanks to a convenient lightning storm, Kong force-feeding an uprooted tree to Godzilla.
number in Godzilla series: 3
previous Godzilla movie in series: Godzilla Raids Again
next Godzilla movie in series: Mothra vs Godzilla
other giant monsters appearing in this one: King Kong, generic giant octopus
total giant monster battle time: (TBD)
acting: Tadao Takashima is the main explorer guy, assigned by his boss to go find a monster; he keeps his wits about him. Yu Fujuki is his companion, who appears to be there for comic relief. Ichiro Asirhima is the greedy and somewhat naive head of the pharmaceutical company. Mie Hama and Akiko Wakabayashi (both of whom would go on to have Bond-girl roles five years later in You Only Live Twice) are in this movie, though not as major characters from what I could tell watching this American version. Added in the American version are Michael Keith as a news caster who kind of narrates things, and Harry Holcombe as an American scientist (both of these characters won't be in the original Japanese version, if I ever get to watch it.)
final word: The best one yet for giant monster battles.
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