A Japanese company tries to hit it big with their discovery of a giant ape known as King Kong, but disaster strikes when another giant, Godzilla, is thawed out. Now begins the fight between King and God.
Godzilla movies are pretty easy to sum up, there’s giant monsters, humans move the plot along, and there might be a message or two. Most are fun, few are great, this one falls under fun as well but more importantly is the one that essentially establishes the sillier Godzilla that most would recognize. Specifically I’m reviewing the American edit, which I know alters the story a bit, but in general is telling the same story. I will say that’s one thing in it’s favor, yes, adding white actors to explain the plot is dumb and kinda racist, but I love the charm of seeing white actors awkwardly inserted to explain everything, despite having no connection to the situation, racist reasons? Sure, funny that some random character adds unnecessary input? Yeah actually. It’s just a funny quirk to how movies would get localized, even the original added Raymond Burr. So it’s not like the silliness was that surprising for American viewers.
In terms of effects, this is both an improvement and a downgrade for Godzilla. While things like the miniatures and octopus monster are definite improvements over the original feature, seeing Godzilla and King Kong in daylight just emphasizes how goofy the suitmation effects were. To be clear I don’t consider it bad, there’s charm and at least you know they’re there, but there’s no denying it’s silly, King Kong especially looks unrealistic. Honestly though, it all gets the job done for fans of kaiju movies and cheesy B-movies, so much as I could critique the effects, people will love it so why bother going harsh? I can’t cause I love that stuff.
The feature itself has a very ludicrous script, while I know some will blame the dub, it’s honestly even in the original language. We get some satire with companies obsessed with marketing stunts, but it never amounts to much, it’s just simple goofy jokes you’d probably think of today, though maybe it was edgy in it’s day? I doubt it but it’s all very simple and practically forces the title fight, which doesn’t really happen till the very end. It’d be more of an issue if it weren’t so fun to see the campy tone in it. Characters act like your typical kid cartoon caricatures, the people in Kong’s island are problematic, but not enough to be all that upset, and at one point a kid is offered a cigarette, something’s bound to make you laugh, even if ironically.
Do you like old, cheesy B-movies? Like Godzilla movies? You’ll have fun with this. It’s not high art, was never really meant to be, it’s just a silly feature. King Kong Vs Godzilla gives you what you expect, at least what you’d expect for a sixties feature that was meant to bank on the appeal of its crossover. I can’t say it’s good, it’s dumb, but it’s easy to take in and if you’re just looking for junk, you’ll get just that. Am I being kind? Sure maybe, but I’m not gonna get mad, not for a movie I’d watch on a Saturday morning as a kid.
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Written By Octaviano Macias