Score: 6 Out of 10
While on a recent trip to the store, I lifted my son up (he will be three in January) so he could see what was in the five dollar DVD bin. The very first movie he picked up was "King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1962)." I am a huge fan of "King Kong (1933)" and my son is a huge fan of "Godzilla (1954)." As you could imagine, we literally trash talke each other the entire drive home, then immediately watched the movie. "King Kong Vs. Godzilla" was directed by Ishirô Honda and stars Tadao Takashima, Kenji Sahara and Yu Fujiki. The movie begins with a pharmaceutical company kidnapping King Kong as a marketing gimmick. At the same time, Godzilla escapes his ice berg prison in the ocean. Eventually both monsters descend upon Japan for a kinda epic show down. In a weird kind of way, the semi-rivalry that developed between my son and I over the next hour or so is almost a metaphor for the movie we were about to watch. "King Kong" was, in fact, the film that inspired "Gojira."
The rivalry on screen plays out over about ninety minutes and actually set the pace for the next decade or two of Godzilla films and various other giant Japanese monster, or Kaiju, films. This was the first of the films to be marketed to younger audiences. As a result, people in the film tend to have silly reactions to the monsters rather than terrified ones. Also the monsters seem to appear more goofy than menacing. As a result, like most other films from this genre released through out the sixties and seventies, the film is silly and nonsensical. The special effects are bad and the acting is just plain atrocious. But for some reason, these films have a lot of charm to them. Maybe it is because it brings out the kid in me, or maybe it is seeing how much joy my son gets out of them. Either way, I am always happy to sit down and wastch one of these movies and "King Kong Vs. Godzilla," as silly and stupid as it may be, will from here on hold a special place in my heart.
The B-Movie Guy.