King Kong Versus Godzilla
King Kong Versus Godzilla
Tadao Tak- hima - Osamu Sakurai
Yu Fujiki - Kinsaburo Furue
Jun Tazaki - General M- ami Shinzo
Mie Hama - Fumiko Sakurai
Akemi Negishi - Chikiro's Mother (Dancing Girl)
Senkichi Omura - TTV Translator Konno
Haruya Kato - Obay- hi's - sistant
Kenzo Tabu - Dreary Newsc- ter
Yoshio Kosugi - Farou Island Chief
Ko Mishima - Official
Ikio Sawamura - Witch Doctor
Harold Conway - Scientist in Sub
Shoichi Hirose - Kingukongu
Katsumi Tezuka - Gojira
James Yagi - Yutaka Omura (U.S. version only)
Byron Morrow - TV Newsc- ter (U.S. version only)
Kenji Sahara - Kazuo Fujita
Ichirô Arishima - Mr. Tako
Akihiko Hirata - Dr. Shigezawa
Akiko Wakabay- hi - Tamiye
Somesho Matsumoto - Official
Sachio Sakai - Obay- hi (Mr. Tako's - sistant)
Nadao Kirino - General's Aide
Shin Otomo - Ship Captain
Tatsuo Matsumura - Dr. Makino
Yoshifumi Tajima - Man Aboard Ship (Japanese version only)
Ren Yamamoto - Helicopter Pilot
Osman Yusuf - Submariner
Haruo Nakajima - Gojira
Michael Keith - Eric Carter (U.S. version only)
Harry Holcombe - Dr. Arnold Johnson (U.S. version only)
Les Tremayne - Narrator (U.S. version only)
Ishirô Honda - Director
Paul Mason - Writer
Shinichi Sekizawa - Writer
Bruce Howard - Writer
Willis H. O'Brien - Writer
George Worthing Yates - Writer
John Beck - Producer (producer)
Reiko Kaneko - Editor
Hans J. Salter - Composer
Teruaki Abe - Production Designer
Tomoyuki Tanaka - Producer (producer)
Akira Ifukube - Composer
Heinz Roemheld - Composer
Takeo Kita - Production Designer
6/10 I've only seen the American dubbed version, so this review is based on that.
First off, this movie is full of corn (if you've seen it you get the pun, haha) but is very enjoyable. This movie throws two of my favorite monsters against eachother. King Kong, and of course....Godzilla! The effects are weak, especially King Kong, this is the only Godzilla movie I've laughed at(and I'm sad I did) but it's not all that bad. The monster battles are still great, and the ending is pretty great. I really didn't like the human story much, it was boring, and corny(haha!).
Let me talk about the dubbing for a minute here. It is horrendous for the most part. A lot of the people speak really slow, it is pretty annoying. I cannot wait to see the original version though, I can guess that it is a lot better. Overall, if you want to check out this one, go ahead, it is worth it.
This film represents Godzilla’s first below average entry, falling below the standards of the brilliant Gojira (1954) and the decent Godzilla Raids Again. (1955) While its match-up of the two most popular monsters in cinema had real potential, the resulting film is an uneven effort, which never reaches the heights that it could have.
While both its prequels were serious films, King Kong vs Godzilla (1962) is much lighter in tone, leaning toward comedy and thrills rather than horror and allegory. Unfortunately, this transition is very shaky, and the film frequently takes this new approach too far, too fast. Moments of goofy humour creep in at odd moments, most jarringly during the monster battles, which in turn reduces the effectiveness of these scenes. The plot is unremarkable, and though some attempt is made at social and political commentary through the character of Mr. Tako, this symbolism clashes awkwardly with the film’s more straightforward style. The acting, character development and pacing are passable, but never really excel.
Popularity pressures regarding the monsters also take their toll, resulting in the drastic weakening of Godzilla, numerous cases of blatant contrivance, and a lame cop-out of an ending.
As a result of his afore-mentioned weakening, Godzilla’s portrayal here is far inferior to that of his first two films. In place of the demonic, allegorical destroyer of the 1950s, the Godzilla in this film is a dumb brute who claps his claws in joy when he scores a hit, and retreats feebly from the powerlines he smashed through in Gojira. This in turn presents a significant plot hole; since when was Godzilla sensitive to electricity? He certainly wasn’t in the original film.
Kong likewise never attains the same level of character and presence that he had in his debut film, partly due to his rather ugly design.
Eiji Tsubaraya’s special effects are another disappointment. The Godzilla suit is badly designed, with a very angular, unconvincing head design, and the King Kong suit is even worse, looking ragged, disproportionate, unlifelike and goofy. The puppet used to simulate Kong’s head in certain shots is absolutely atrocious, making the awkward transition between suitmation and marionettes in Gojira look seamless by comparison. Pyrotechnics, miniatures and rotoscoping are fairly well done, but the use of stop motion at several points in the film is highly unrealistic, and sticks out like a sore thumb from the surrounding shots. Perhaps the worse special effects shot in the film comes when Godzilla and King Kong are fighting on Mt. Fuji, and one shot is achieved using tiny puppets half-visible over a miniature hill. These puppets are so obviously fake that it makes one wonder why Tsubaraya didn’t scrap the shot, or at least try it again. Overall, this is perhaps Tsubaraya’s worst work on the series, though thankfully he lifted his game somewhat for the next entry, Mothra vs Godzilla. (1964)
Even Akira Ifukube’s score is good, but not great. It is never hard on the ears, but it can’t begin to compare with his powerful score for Gojira.
While it has gained a large cult following through its legendary match-up, King vs Godzilla (1962) is one of Godzilla’s lesser entries, with only Godzilla’s Revenge, (1969) Godzilla vs Megalon, (1973) Godzilla vs Gigan (1972) and Ghidorah the three headed monster (1964) falling below it. The next film in the series, Mothra vs Godzilla, would be a slight improvement, though it still retained many of the flaws that plague this entry.
Max’s verdict: 4/10