Saturday, June 14, 2008

Gorilla Warfare: King Kong Vs Godzilla(1962)

I can remember the first time I watched King Kong Vs Godzilla: it was 1987 and I was at a friends' apartment watching a giant monster double feature on TBS Superstation. I had heard and read many things about this movie, which was released in 1962 by Toho, but had never seen it before.
Watching two of the most recognizable and infamous movie monsters on the planet battle it out was great fun for me. I saw none of the film's flaws the first time I watched it and, though I'm keenly aware of all this film's shortcomings now, I still greatly enjoy watching King Kong Vs Godzilla once a year. A more reptilian looking 50 meter tall Godzilla squares off against a 45 meter tall King Kong. The special effects are somewhat uneven and the Kong suit, as most would probably agree, doesn't look too good. Still, there's a lot of entertainment value to go around, from both the monsters and the cast.
Not too long ago Universal released this film, paired with 1967's King Kong Escapes, as a R1 DVD two pack. This version of the film is the "Americanized" version, with the inclusion of American actors, including James Yagi, and with sequences that "borrow" from the score for 1954's Creature From The Black Lagoon. This version was what American audiences watched in theaters when the film was released in the United States in 1963. Thankfully, Universal's R1 DVD maintains the original aspect ratio for the movie, 2:35.1 widescreen.
The original Toho version, uncut and in 2:35.1 widescreen format, can be purchased on R3 or on R2 from sites like, CDJapan(R2), and eThaiCD(R3).

The American trailer for King Kong Vs Godzilla: