Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby Zarm » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:58 am

I know the Japanese master of the film had some quality issues. Does the 60th Anniversary Blu-ray have the same issues? Or has it been restored?
Last edited by Zarm on Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby Goji » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:16 am

The Japanese Blu-Ray from 2014 is the only source you should ever be bothering with, at this point. Some of the scenes from the theatrical version, which have existed in bad quality since the '80s, are from a better source here, so it's definitely a huge improvement over the ancient DVD transfer. The transfer itself is mostly solid (I think it's probably one of their better ones, but don't quote me on that), but parts of it are a little overly red, IIRC. Honestly, Space Hunter M or Tamura would know more of the specifics better than I would, so hopefully they'll chime in.

One thing to note is that this is not the recent 4K restoration, which is the one that reinstated the missing trims from a source that wasn't 16mm, for once. That still hasn't had a home video release, and the ball is totally in Toho's court on that one (same goes for the 4K res. of the original film).
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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby Maritonic » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:29 am

I have to ask, as I feel like my knowledge of this subject is a dark, unlit room; why, exactly, are the Showa Era releases such a nightmare on home media? It seems like there are just so damn many of them, even in the Japanese market, and they all seem to be missing *something*. Like, there is no *definitive* version of each film.

This is just how it SEEMS, I could VERY well be wrong about this. Can someone explain this to me?
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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby Zarm » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:31 am

Goji wrote:The Japanese Blu-Ray from 2014 is the only source you should ever be bothering with, at this point. Some of the scenes from the theatrical version, which have existed in bad quality since the '80s, are from a better source here, so it's definitely a huge improvement over the ancient DVD transfer. The transfer itself is mostly solid (I think it's probably one of their better ones, but don't quote me on that), but parts of it are a little overly red, IIRC. Honestly, Space Hunter M or Tamura would know more of the specifics better than I would, so hopefully they'll chime in.

One thing to note is that this is not the recent 4K restoration, which is the one that reinstated the missing trims from a source that wasn't 16mm, for once. That still hasn't had a home video release, and the ball is totally in Toho's court on that one (same goes for the 4K res. of the original film).


Thank you! Long story short, I've been trying to get a foreign-language copy and ended up wasting money on a weird-frame-rate bootleg of the Japanese version, and a German version of the U.S. cut... so I was thinking very much that it was time to stop messing around and just go straight to the source. So this is exactly what I needed to know! :)

Added in 3 minutes 36 seconds:
Maritonic wrote:I have to ask, as I feel like my knowledge of this subject is a dark, unlit room; why, exactly, are the Showa Era releases such a nightmare on home media? It seems like there are just so damn many of them, even in the Japanese market, and they all seem to be missing *something*. Like, there is no *definitive* version of each film.

This is just how it SEEMS, I could VERY well be wrong about this. Can someone explain this to me?



I'm guessing rights issues, mostly? King Kong vs. Godzilla has the biggest problems because of the joint Universal production muddling the rights...

But I think a part of it is that each film also tends to have three versions; a Japanese original, a U.S. re-edited version, and an International Version prepared by Toho that could be adapted (re-titled and redubbed) into each language (including English). So basically, you have one Japanese version and 2 English-speaking versions (sometimes, you even get a third U.S. dub from a smaller distributor). Each of these versions can tend to have things exclusive to their re-editing, AND each of them can have mutiple rights-holders allowing whoever owns it now to only release certain bits or cuts, AND sometimes the masters/negative/prints of the original weren't well-maintained or stores, so the custom bits from one of the versions may only be available in low-quality or have deteriorated.

I think that accounts for most of it.
KaijuCanuck wrote:It’s part of my secret plan to create a fifth column in the US, pre-emoting our glorious conquest and the creation of the Canadian Empire, upon which the sun will consistently set after less than eight hours of daylight. :ninja:


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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby Maritonic » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:37 am

I kinda assumed it came down to rights, but thought it would be rather surprising Toho wouldn't be in control over the Japanese film. I get the International/U.S. releases. But the Japanese releases seem to be an issue, as well. Again, I'm just going based on what I read on here sometimes so I could SO totally be wrong.
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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby Zarm » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:57 am

Maritonic wrote:I kinda assumed it came down to rights, but thought it would be rather surprising Toho wouldn't be in control over the Japanese film. I get the International/U.S. releases. But the Japanese releases seem to be an issue, as well. Again, I'm just going based on what I read on here sometimes so I could SO totally be wrong.


As far as I know, there were issues with this particular one having the film-masters for the bits not used in the U.S. version properly maintained. Just kinda careless with the film prints, after a few decades. As far as issues with any of the other films, I am not knowledgeable enough to say.
KaijuCanuck wrote:It’s part of my secret plan to create a fifth column in the US, pre-emoting our glorious conquest and the creation of the Canadian Empire, upon which the sun will consistently set after less than eight hours of daylight. :ninja:


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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby KaijuCanuck » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:16 pm

For a long time I really hated this Godzilla suit, but I’m coming around to it. I still think the more reptilian face is less ‘Godzilla’ than just generic dinosaur for me personally, but it works in the context of this film. Helps set Godzilla up visually as a foil for/contrast with Kong as well as conceptually.
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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby eabaker » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:23 pm

KaijuCanuck wrote:For a long time I really hated this Godzilla suit, but I’m coming around to it. I still think the more reptilian face is less ‘Godzilla’ than just generic dinosaur for me personally, but it works in the context of this film. Helps set Godzilla up visually as a foil for/contrast with Kong as well as conceptually.


I wonder how much of this is an age thing. I always thought of this as one of the definitive Godzilla suits, but that's in part because so much of what was available in America in terms of Godzilla merchandise for a long time was either directly influenced by this suit, or simply went for a more traditional dinosaur look.
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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby Ivo-goji » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:12 pm

Kingoji is one of the most popular suits in the franchise, fans talk about it more than almost any other design. I'm not cazy about the reptilian face myself, but the proportions are perfect. Later suits are either too skinny or to fat.
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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby Zarm » Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:47 am

I think that nails it for me as well. I'm not a fan of the face, and I think that that's put me off of the design more than anything... but honestly, I do much prefer these proportions to some of the later entries where the 'human in a suit' aspect is really obvious because of the ultra-slim proportions.
KaijuCanuck wrote:It’s part of my secret plan to create a fifth column in the US, pre-emoting our glorious conquest and the creation of the Canadian Empire, upon which the sun will consistently set after less than eight hours of daylight. :ninja:


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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby Goji » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:19 am

Added in 3 minutes 36 seconds:
Maritonic wrote:I have to ask, as I feel like my knowledge of this subject is a dark, unlit room; why, exactly, are the Showa Era releases such a nightmare on home media? It seems like there are just so damn many of them, even in the Japanese market, and they all seem to be missing *something*. Like, there is no *definitive* version of each film.

This is just how it SEEMS, I could VERY well be wrong about this. Can someone explain this to me?

Are you strictly talking about the U.S.? Because if so, it has to do with all of the Godzilla films being licensed out pretty much on an individual basis. As of right now, Janus Films/Criterion currently has the rights to 13 of the 15 Showa films, but usually, the rights are split up between a ton of different companies, which results in varying degrees of the quality for the releases themselves. You can tell some really didn't give a poop, and just wanted to make a quick buck (Kraken, Sony), some tried to throw the fans a bone and include a ton of extras, but ended up shooting themselves in the foot (Media Blasters), and then there are some where just plain Toho got in the way (taking too long to approve Ed G's commentary for Biollante, resulting in it being unreleased).

Zarm wrote: So this is exactly what I needed to know! :)

Good to hear!

But I think a part of it is that each film also tends to have three versions; a Japanese original, a U.S. re-edited version, and an International Version prepared by Toho that could be adapted (re-titled and redubbed) into each language (including English). So basically, you have one Japanese version and 2 English-speaking versions (sometimes, you even get a third U.S. dub from a smaller distributor). Each of these versions can tend to have things exclusive to their re-editing, AND each of them can have mutiple rights-holders allowing whoever owns it now to only release certain bits or cuts, AND sometimes the masters/negative/prints of the original weren't well-maintained or stores, so the custom bits from one of the versions may only be available in low-quality or have deteriorated.

I think that accounts for most of it.

Just to clear things up, no Godzilla film has more than two English dubs (and even then, it's only a handful), and contrary to popular belief, there are not international (English) versions for *all* of the Godzilla films. None of the films before Ebirah have English export versions (or dubs) that we know of. There is a sort of faux international version of Monster Zero released under it's Invasion of the Astro Monsters title (not to be confused with Toho's preferred Invasion of Astro Monster title used on publicity materials in the '60's, and on the CM DVD), but it uses the same U.S.-produced dub, albeit with the few seconds of footage and audio cut from the U.S. version's release. This version is currently streaming on Filmstruck, and played on Comet TV last weekend, so it's seemingly 'replaced' the original U.S. version..

Additionally, there are way less U.S. versions than there are international versions. There are of course U.S. versions of all of the Showa films, but beyond that, technically only Godzilla 1985, Godzilla 2000, and Shin Godzilla, are U.S. "versions".
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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby Zarm » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:24 am

Goji wrote:Just to clear things up, no Godzilla has more than two English dubs (and even then, it's only a handful), and contrary to popular belief, there are not international (English) versions for *all* of the Godzilla films. None of the films before Ebirah have English export versions (or dubs) that we know of. There is a sort of faux international version of Monster Zero released under it's Invasion of the Astro Monsters title (not to be confused with Toho's preferred Invasion of Astro Monster title used on publicity materials in the '60's, and on the CM DVD), but it uses the same U.S.-produced dub, albeit with the few seconds of footage and audio cut from the U.S. version's release.

Additionally, there are way less U.S. versions than there are international versions. There are of course U.S. versions of all of the Showa films, but beyond that, technically only Godzilla 1985, Godzilla 2000, and Shin Godzilla, have U.S. "versions".


I stand corrected! From the various fan reconstructions of AIP dubs and the like, I was under the impression that additional alternate versions existed, similar to the Sandy Frank versions of the Gamera films. But, obviously I didn't know what I was talking about. :)

And actually, the difference between Monster Zero and Invasion of the Astro Monster was one I had been trying to find out about. So the only difference is that the Astro Monster International version has a few seconds of extra footage, but otherwise they are identical?

I am learning so very much in this thread!
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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby Goji » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:36 am

Wow, that was fast! I made some last minute changes to my post in regards to MZ, but to expand on it, yes, that is more or less the one major difference, but there is also a really brief scene (that isn't in the U.S. version) when they're traveling back to Earth from Planet X that features a line of on-set dialogue from Nick Adams where he says "tell me about it, pal". What's extra weird about this is that Fuji isn't dubbed in this, so his line is in Japanese, which is what Adam’s is responding to. It's pretty strange.

This version was released on VHS in the UK in the '90s, but hasn't ever been released here in the States on home video. It has it's own unique English title card that's quite similar to the U.S. title card's font.

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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby Maritonic » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:46 am

Thanks for all the info, Goji.
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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby UltramanGoji » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:49 am

Goji wrote:There are of course U.S. versions of all of the Showa films, but beyond that, technically only Godzilla 1985, Godzilla 2000, and Shin Godzilla, are U.S. "versions".


I didn't know there was an alternate US version of Shin. I thought it was just a straight-up dub.

But yeah, echoing Maritonic, thanks so much for the interesting info.
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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby Pkmatrix » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:28 am

Goji wrote:There are of course U.S. versions of all of the Showa films, but beyond that, technically only Godzilla 1985, Godzilla 2000, and Shin Godzilla, are U.S. "versions".


Wait, there's a different U.S. cut of Shin Godzilla? I've not heard of this, I've only ever been aware of the Japanese theatrical cut and the shorter 100-minute Japan Airlines cut (the one that circulated online before the movie hit DVD)?
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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby Goji » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:54 am

You're welcome, guys.

Sorry, I should have been more specific regarding Shin. The dub was commissioned by Funimation, and is the first Godzilla film not to have a Hong Kong-recorded "international" dub since 1971. (Godzilla 2000 had an international dub, but it's never been released.)
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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby daveblackeye15 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:17 pm

I saw the American King Kong vs. Godzilla way too early because a lot of the edits feel more nature than the original cut. I mean the original version has a better sense of the characters and better music but not exactly a super fan of the humor. That said if you're gonna take away Ifukube's score at least they gave it a near 'A' grade replacement. Godzilla emerging after the poison gas attack goes really well with the Black Lagoon's theme. I think Godzilla's raid on the Nato base works really well without the music as a monster attack. I mean the original cut makes it seem a little more like a bad ass moment, and it is, I mean he's been asleep for ten years real-world wise and in color so better give him a big opening.

And I think I'm one of the few fans okay with King Kong winning, I do wish he was less of a doofus though. So a part of me is excited for Godzilla vs. Kong to hopefully do it a little more right.

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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby JAGzilla » Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:16 am

I also have no objection to Kong winning, and I really doubt that's an unpopular opinion on TK. King Kong '62 was my introduction to the character (I was obviously aware of him, but this was the first of his movies I actually saw), and I'll always love this version of the character, terrible suit and all.

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Re: Talkback: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

Postby Goji » Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:17 am

Kong doesn't really "win" in either version, considering they fall into the ocean together, and both survive. The amphibious one of the two swims off while still submerged, and the mammal surfaces, and then does the same. I'd say that's a tie.
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