My favorite Kaiju period is the 90s. I especially love the Gamera trilogy. But I’ve really been diggin on the recent American films as well.
This film is none of those. It’s old and it’s weird and I really liked it. I think it’s the first “Japanese” kaiju film from the Showa period (I’m currently working on a Kaiju vocabulary page but it’s taking longer than I expected because I’m trying to invent some stuff, or correct some things I don’t like about kaiju nomenclature) that I’ve actually watched all the way through in one sitting. I’m definitely going to try to watch all of Ishiro Hondo’s kaiju films now.
But unfortunately I’m pretty sure the blu Ray I picked up off Amazon for almost nothing is a bastardized American cut. There are these strange long sequences where one of the US military guys just talks into the Camera. Later you realize he’s speaking to some guy in Japan but it’s very odd. The blu Ray also only had English audio. I don’t care as much about that for these older films because it adds to the flavor a bit when they have stupid things thrown in like terrible dubbing and reused footage from unrelated films!
But that’s also sad because Honda took his work seriously and it would be interesting to see the true vision of one of the great directors of the 20th century. But at the end of the day I watch these movies because they are fun. I like the miniatures. I like that they used a real octopus to represent a gigantic octopus destroying a house. And I really enjoyed watching Godzilla and Kong duke it out.
I don’t know what it is exactly about suitmation and the minatures from these sorts of films but they just really get me excited. You almost feel like your childhood of playing with toys is getting performed before your eyes. That’s a big part of the appeal for men. These films feel like something I could make. They just look like a bunch of people playing with big toys.
So I give this an 8/10. It’s a great Godzilla film and a decent Kong film. It’s easy to see why its such a beloved classic amongst Kaiju fans.