TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby EricDent » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:52 pm

Just rewatched the movie (on Blu-Ray for the first time).
It's still a fun movie, but I kinda wish Universal had put just a bit more into it.
Of course everybody would love to see the Japanese version.

The one scene that I always kinda wonder about is the Kong balloon scene.
I know its stock footage, but at least show an attempt to have it look like everybody evacuated.
Instead of having it all lit up like Las Vegas...unless they are like in the original Godzilla (IIRC) where everybody thought the military "killed" him (or in this case the wires would hold him off).
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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla 4K

Postby mr.negativity » Mon May 02, 2016 10:39 am

The Good, The Bad, and Godzilla:
4K REMASTERING OF "KING KONG VS. GODZILLA"
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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla 4K

Postby mr.negativity » Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:55 am

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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby lhb412 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:45 am

Watching Uni's Blu-Ray last night and the crystal clear quality is a bit of a double edged sword; you can admire the great Godzilla design and wonderful miniatures, but at the same time you get up close with the Kong suit which seems to get worse as they years go by. The shape of it is poor, the shaggy fur looks bad, and the detail and the skin is just so bad! I used to be okay with the way he looked, more ogre than ape, but it's the now un-missable skin detail that really bugs me.

Is this the worst monster suit produced under Tsuburaya?
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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby mr.negativity » Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:08 am

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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby GFan » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:16 pm

lhb412 wrote:Watching Uni's Blu-Ray last night and the crystal clear quality is a bit of a double edged sword; you can admire the great Godzilla design and wonderful miniatures, but at the same time you get up close with the Kong suit which seems to get worse as they years go by. The shape of it is poor, the shaggy fur looks bad, and the detail and the skin is just so bad! I used to be okay with the way he looked, more ogre than ape, but it's the now un-missable skin detail that really bugs me.

Is this the worst monster suit produced under Tsuburaya?


I've brought this up before, but I'm totally convinced that Tsuburaya simply re purposed the abominable snowman suit from HALF HUMAN [Jû jin yuki otoko] (1955). It would explain why he looks so ratty and UN-ape like.

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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby lhb412 » Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:13 pm

^ There's some similarly, but I honestly think a reused Yeti suit would have deteriorated to a point far rattier than ratty Kong. Maybe they could have stripped the suit and used it as a base? Even then I'm not sure that would've been practical for, what was it? An 8 year old suit made when they were just getting a handle on the ins and outs of suit making?
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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby O.Supreme » Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:36 pm

Also wasn't one of the Kong suits used for Goroh in episode 2 of Ultra Q? ---You gotta hand it to them though...they got max use out of those suits 8)

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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby mr.negativity » Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:33 am

GFan wrote:
lhb412 wrote:Watching Uni's Blu-Ray last night and the crystal clear quality is a bit of a double edged sword; you can admire the great Godzilla design and wonderful miniatures, but at the same time you get up close with the Kong suit which seems to get worse as they years go by. The shape of it is poor, the shaggy fur looks bad, and the detail and the skin is just so bad! I used to be okay with the way he looked, more ogre than ape, but it's the now un-missable skin detail that really bugs me.

Is this the worst monster suit produced under Tsuburaya?


I've brought this up before, but I'm totally convinced that Tsuburaya simply re purposed the abominable snowman suit from HALF HUMAN [Jû jin yuki otoko] (1955). It would explain why he looks so ratty and UN-ape like.

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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby lhb412 » Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:58 pm

GFan wrote:I've brought this up before, but I'm totally convinced that Tsuburaya simply re purposed the abominable snowman suit from HALF HUMAN [Jû jin yuki otoko] (1955). It would explain why he looks so ratty and UN-ape like.


Just read in Kalat's book that the Half Human costume was sent off to the states for use in the Americanized version of the film. Makes it seem even more unlikely to me. I wonder if they even sent it back?
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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby MekaGojira3k » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:40 am

That and I think the Half-Human suit looks much better. I really love the way that looks. Honestly I think Tsuburaya's ape creatures got worse as they went along.
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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby lhb412 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:39 pm

The King Kong Escapes suit is really cartoony, but I think it's a step above the vs. Godzilla suit. It certainly cuts a better silhouette.
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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby MekaGojira3k » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:24 am

The cartoonyness is fine, but it just doesn't jive for me.
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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby Geno » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:05 pm

It's a shame the Kong suit is so awful and there's some really messy effects because this film is so close to being as good as Ghidrah visually. A lot of the fight choreography is great, and there's some good composition, but man those random puppets, stop motion scenes, and general oddities with the Kong suit are far too jarring. I'm not gonna comment on the dialogue, as I've really only see the Japanese version with the purportedly inaccurate fansubs and I wouldn't do it justice, but I can say Tako has a great performance.
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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby Kaiju_Ultra_Fan » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:55 pm

I like the octopus attack scene the best.

It's pretty hard to overlook how bad the King Kong suit looks.
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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby EricDent » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:59 pm

So a buddy of mine got me a copy of the Japanese version (with subs).
Really not that much different.

Besides the Eric Carter stuff, and the larger earthquake near the end.
What was really surprising is the fact they didn't dub over the "native" talk in the US version.
Also I think they did tone down the ridiculous Southern accent from one of the sub guys.
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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby mr.negativity » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:48 pm

THR:
'King Kong vs. Godzilla': THR's 1963 Review
On June 26, 1963, Universal unveiled, in color, the 91-minute feature King Kong vs. Godzilla in theaters stateside. The Toho production title had been billed in ads as "the most colossal conflict the screen has ever known!" The Hollywood Reporter's original review is below:

A funny monster picture? That's what Universal has in King Kong vs. Godzilla, a Japanese-made Toho production.

There are all the usual special effects characteristic of these films. The difference is that this one spoofs the whole cycle. Audiences which patronize this kind of picture will eat it up. It should be a big success via the multiple-booking, exploitation route.

Since the film was re-edited and some additional scenes made for the English-language edition, credits are mixed. John Beck produced the American version, and Thomas Montgomery directed it, after the Japanese original by Inoshiro Honda. Paul Mason and Bruce Howard did the English-language screenplay. Dubbing is good.

The plot simply is a device for getting the two celebrated monsters, King Kong and Godzilla, into conflict. They meet in Japan. Human efforts to divert or disable them having failed, a plan is devised for getting them together, on the theory they will knock each other off.

In a scene reminiscent of two gigantic TV wrestlers grappling for holds, the prehistoric beasts grunt, puff and ham it up for all the world like Gorgeous George and Man Mountain Dean. It's a peculiar kind of humor, but it does play.

Eiji Tsuburaya did the special effects, which are meticulous, as they always are in Japanese films of this sort. The cast is largely Japanese, with some American actors interpolated in scenes shot in this country.

Color is good, and other technical credits are also satisfactory. — James Powers, originally published on June 6, 1963.
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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby lhb412 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:53 pm

^ What a fantastic time capsule! We think of reviewers of that time to be aweful un-savvy about our genre, but this person gets the comical tone of the production, points out aspects of the Americanization, and compliments Tsuburaya's effects!
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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby jellydonut25 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:26 pm

I always wonder with a film like this, what initial impressions would have been had it been the...10th entry in the franchise. This really is the film that set a lot of the formula for the 'vs' movies. How differently would it have been received had it been another user of that formula rather than the architect?
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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby lhb412 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:09 pm

^ You could say that about any genre where a formula becomes established. An earlier example that creates the clichés will typically be afforded more credit.
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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby Benjamin Haines » Thu Nov 14, 2019 12:07 am

King Kong vs. Godzilla is so awesome. It's different from most other "vs." movies in which the stories of Godzilla and the opponent monster are more closely linked. The crux of this film is that there's an entire Godzilla story and an entire Kong story happening simultaneously. It gives both monsters equal focus, elegantly shifting back and forth between the two stories with the cast of human characters being the connective tissue. Godzilla sinks a submarine, attacks a military base, terrorizes the Japanese countryside and fights through an elaborate military operation. Kong invades the islanders' village, battles a random overgrown animal, gets taken from his island home by exploitative people and carries a woman to the top of a landmark building. With a Kong story and a Godzilla story occurring at the same time, their stories naturally collide midway through the film, then they each continue back on their own paths. It emphasizes how each monster is practically too big to be contained in the premise of a crossover film, with humanity going to preposterous lengths to bring them back together for another round. It's a real treat to finally be able to watch this on BRD with a quality English subtitle translation.

Of course the American cut was the first version I ever saw as a kid, renting the old Goodtimes VHS and later recording it off the SciFi Channel. It never really wowed me compared to other Godzilla movies. I got Universal's DVD in late 2005 and I watched it once. I got Toho's Japanese DVD the following year and it made me like the film a lot more, so I just never opted for the US version again until now. Rewatching it on Criterion's BRD after 14 years gave me the unique experience of being less familiar with it than the Japanese version even though I saw this cut first. The benefit of no longer being a teenager is that I don't have to feel a misplaced sense of indignation over the goofy dubbing or the lame added scenes. I still vastly prefer the Japanese version but it's interesting to watch the US cut and consider the alterations. It speeds up the pacing of the submarine scenes by editing them into one sequence, then it breaks up Godzilla's emergence from the iceberg and attack on the Arctic base with another American talk show scene. I think the biggest weakness of the US version is how almost all of Akira Ifukube's score is replaced with stock music that gives the onscreen action much more of an American B-movie vibe.
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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby H-Man » Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:13 am

IMO this is the most underrated Godzilla film.
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Re: TALKBACK #3: King Kong vs. Godzilla

Postby tbeasley » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:41 pm

Finally got the see the Japanese version thanks to the Criterion release. Such a shame it's shoved aside on the bonus disc, in the middle of all the other extras, it's not treated as a main feature at all. The visual quality is also noticeably inconsistent, some scenes look decent, others are really rough. At least the subtitles are as good as they could possibly be, I guess.

Grew up with the US release so it was definitely a little jarring, in a good way I mean. I couldn't help but feel it had a more small scale, domestic feel to it. The humor is a lot more evident, of course. It was interesting to see how things were originally meant to link up, and elements people normally poke holes at in the US cut were made a lot clearer. There's a simple logic to the film that is very endearing, more so than other Honda/Tsuburaya films, it's definitely aware of what it's supposed to be - a charming, celebratory goodtime.

I know Honda had misgivings about Godzilla's behavior, he's perhaps a bit too jovial and 'human' at times, but still a big, mean, destructive bully. And then we have Toho Kong, the lovable drunk ogre he is.

There's some stuff that still bothers me, some just from the time period (handing out cigarettes to the natives, using a real octopus [and to add insult to injury, eating him afterwards]), but something that really struck me was the lack of a real strong female character you normally see in these films, usually as the film's moral compass. There's no Emiko, Junko/Naoko, or Miss Namikawa. Even Raids Again had the two radio girls. You're just kinda stuck with the bumbling male characters. Maybe that's a silly nitpick but it jumped out to me compared to the others.
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