Gojirathon 3: Kingu Kongu tai Gojira (1962)

G: minus 35 days

Gojirathon is me just writing up some thoughts about the movies I see while I conduct my little marathon of Godzilla-movies in anticipation of the new Hollywood retooling. Why Gojirathon and not Godzillathon? Well, because Rolfe already did his Godzillathon as part of his Monster Madness, and I don’t want to steal his work. I’ll be using the terms, G, Big G, Godzilla and Gojira somewhat interchangedly… since I can be a bit lazy at times, when it comes to these things.

King Kong vs Godzilla (1962)

Yep. This happened. It is quite a sight.

It took them 7 years, but Toho moved up to color and TohoScope (basically just a retooling of Fox’s CinemaScope). And the time seemed right for another Godzilla. And if you weren’t ready for it. It is quite a tonal whiplash. Gone are the dire messages about nuclear power. And instead we get slapstick. And goofiness galore. And insensitive racial stereotypes. Not quite Jet Jaguar yet. But we’re getting there.

The character here that quickly became my favorite was hands down the chief from Advertising. Taking his cue directly from on-stage-performances, he overacts and plays to the crowd like none other in the film. He sees trouble as his company has bet their money on a boring science-show on TV. So to remedy this he funds an expedition that soon brings home none other than King Kong himself. Drunk on Pharaoh-Berries, he sleeps most of the way before the shipment is interrupted by Godzilla.

Wait, where did he come from? Well, in a rare effort to follow continuity (rare by later movies standards, that is) the ice-berg (the mountain it was attached to must have found itself in a spontaneous worm-hole) he was frozen in (insert Christopher Lloyd clip here) is adrift at see but the sheer radiation burns it free. Free to go home. Because home is Japan. Because home is where you were made. And no animal forgets about that location.

So this PR-stunt from the pharmaceutical company starts to pay off as Godzilla and King Kong basically square off in a turf-war. The military aren’t exactly happy. But they are too busy trying out new ways of trapping Godzilla. Which of course fail miserably. G and KK finally have a last duke’ing out and no-one’s really sure who won.

In all, it was a fun romp and the infusion of urgency, tempo, scope-width and color. And also a greatly lightened tone didn’t exactly make things worse either. I like it quite a lot. It’s just a shame that King Kong didn’t return for more Godzilla-films that I know of.

Oh, well. Tomorrow it’s Godzilla vs King Ghidora. The three-headed mainstay of the franchise.

Oh and yeah. Almost forgot. Apparently, King Kong uses Force Lightning… Who knew?

Be seeing you!

Gojira62

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