KING KONG ESCAPES
(Kingukongu No Gyakushu)
Toho began their sequels with King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1962), which paired Kong up against Godzilla in one of the great monster bash title matches of the century. They then sequelized King Kong Vs. Godzilla with King Kong Escapes, which came minus the Big G. There is a laughable ineptitude to the shabbiness to Tohos Kong Kong is another of their men in a moth-eaten monster suit and comes with ridiculously inexpressive cartoon eyes. At the same time, there is a frequent innocence to Tohos films that makes it all rather inoffensive. The scenes with Kong engaged in a wrestling match with a dinosaur and the city-destroying mass destruction climax against the robot Kong has a colourful child-like appeal. Especially amusing is the heroines relationship with the ape rather than, as it was in King Kong, a fragile romance that verges on a fairytale, here it is more like a girl with a 40-foot puppy dog. Go after the ship, she orders him at one point. Seemingly unaware of the coincidence of the name of the long running British tv series Doctor Who (1963-89, 2005 ), the film has a super-villain named Dr Who.
Like many Japanese monster movies of the 1960s, King Kong Escapes has scenes filmed with American actors for English-language release. What is odious about the version that comes from Arthur Rankin is that Arthur Rankin Jr has not only overseen such scenes but also added credits to give the appearance that he directed the film and that the Japanese only contributed additional scenes. In actuality, the entire film was directed by Ishiro Honda and all that Arthur Rankin Jr did was oversee the dubbing of the English-language version and at no point stepped behind the camera.
Ishiro/Ishiro Hondas other genre films include:- Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1954), Gigantis the Fire Monster/Godzilla Raids Again/The Return of Godzilla (1955), Rodan the Flying Monster (1956), The Mysterians (1957), The H-Man (1958) about a radioactive blob that can dissolve people, the Yeti film Half-Human (1958), Varan the Unbelievable (1958), the space opera Battle in Outer Space (1961), Gorath (1962) about a rogue planet, King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1962), Mothra (1962), Atragon (1963) about a super-submarine, Attack of the Mushroom People/Matango, Fungus of Terror (1963), Godzilla vs the Thing/Mothra vs Godzilla (1964), Dagora the Space Monster (1964), The Human Vapor (1964) about a gaseous villain, Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965), Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Monster Zero/Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965), War of the Gargantuas (1966), Destroy All Monsters (1968), Godzillas Revenge (1969), the submarine adventure Latitude Zero (1969), Yog The Monster from Outer Space (1970) and Terror of Mechagodzilla/Monsters from an Unknown Planet (1976).