Thursday, May 13, 2010

King Kong Escapes

Spoiler Level: Medium

I'm up to "Japanese Monster Movies" (aka "The Kaiju Collection") in my quest to copy all my VHS tapes to DVD. Last night I finished tape #22 in the set, and oddly enough this is the first time I've gotten to actually watch one of them in its entirety while I'm transferring them.

What I found fascinating about King Kong Escapes was that it was a co-production between Toho and Rankin/Bass. Yes, Rankin/Bass, the people who made the Rudolph specials. So the cast is a mix of Japanese and American actors. The Japanese characters appear to have been speaking in Japanese and dubbed into English, and the American actors are all speaking English, and from what I can gather online were dubbed into Japanese for the Japanese release! Pretty interesting.

The villain is also named Dr. Who, which I got a kick out of. I had assumed his name was Dr. Hu and that I was just being uber-geeky, and was surprised to learn in the credits that his name actually was Dr. Who!

The movie itself is pretty much what you'd expect for a 70's kaiju film, which is a fun romp with monsters being shot at by toy tanks. I would have liked it if Kong and Robot Kong (come on! He should be MechaKong) had gone at it earlier in the movie, but the final battle with them climbing Tokyo Tower is awesome.

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