Let Them Fight: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
For Godzilla’s third outing on the screen, Toho decided to throw King Kong into the mix. Because, why not? Who better than King Kong should be Godzilla’s nemesis, right? Well, actually, I can think of just about any other monster from the Godzilla series to come (Gigan, I’m looking at you, buddy!) but, they didn’t ask me so, here we are. For the record, I had not be born in 1962. Also, you should know going in that I watched the Japanese version of the film, not the Americanized version.
Godzilla is minding his own damn business (as usual) while being stuck in an iceberg somewhere in the Arctic Circle. He’s been there for years. Some jackass Americans in a nuclear sub get themselves stuck in Godzilla’s iceberg (what are the odds?) and, in trying to get themselves out, destroy the iceberg, letting the G-Man out in the process. As thanks, Godzilla destroys them and the military base they came from. You mess with the bull, you get the horns, know what I’m sayin’?
Meanwhile, back in Japan, the head of Pacific Pharmaceuticals is pissed off because the television show his company sponsors is boring as hell. He hears about the fantastic monster that has been found on some island in the Pacific. He sends two of his henchmen to bring back said monster for some much needed publicity. What could go wrong?!
In what I had originally thought was the world’s worst Kaiju suit (I say originally because just two hours later I was proved wrong by the suit worn in Queen Kong), King Kong struts out and kills a giant squid. And by giant, I mean GIANT. It’s the same size as Kong. Oh, and it is also gross. The noise it makes as it enveloping the village is rather nasty. So is the squid’s gaping maw. Blergh.
Godzilla makes his way back to Japan, as he is want to do. At the same time, King Kong drinks this magical red juice that makes him high as fuck (in the words of Dave Chappelle “What is this juice?!). The two henchmen get Kong tied down on a raft and get him back to Japan. Godzilla picks up where he left off and starts tearing shit up again. Kong breaks free and goes after Godzilla. The two foes meet and there is a little scrum. Kong runs away because Godzilla nearly makes some Kong Toast of him.
For some reason, Godzilla is still the bad guy in this one. Don’t give me a ‘zilla movie and expect me to want some ratty old gorilla to be the hero. He’s an ape, what can he do? They make him the same size as Godzilla, too. That ain’t right, man. Godzilla should be towering over Kong. Don’t even get me started on that suit, either. It looks like Kong really does have the mange. And what is up with that face?! It’s all wrong, wrong, wrong. Anyway, the authorities are trying to contain Godzilla which, of course, they can’t so Kong and Godzilla meet again in an “epic” battle. Really, it isn’t epic, it’s boring. We all know it would be easy for Godzilla to kill Kong.
Apparently, the Americanized version of this film is worse than the original Japanese. We were spared the news reports peppered through the film telling the viewer what was going on. I’m always up for seeing Godzilla on the screen but this is probably my least favorite of his films. King Kong should be no match for the big green guy so trying to force that shit makes for a rather tedious 127 minutes. I would never tell you not to watch a Toho Godzilla movie but, if you’re only going to watch one Godzilla film in your life, please do not make it this one.