Before this summer's bloated monster showdown of Alien vs. Predator was barely a twinkle in the eye of the Hollywood pitchmen, those Japanese B-movie geniuses at the Toho Studio had concocted an even better match up: King Kong versus Godzilla (1962). Film Forum will be screening this Toho gem, also directed by the original Godzilla helmer Ishiro Honda, today and Saturday as a part of their continuing series, "They Came From Toho: Godzilla and the Kaiju Eiga."
Gothamist always enjoys King Kong with its clichéd representation of voodoo and Fay Wray classic shrieks, but before last week's screening of Godzilla, had never seen this monster movie in entirety. Let us reassure the uninitiated that there's a reason this lizard has made it into our cultural canon. Sure, he looks like he's made of rubber and his radiation breath of death is just an air hose, but when he stomps on the papier-mâché Tokyo, there's nothing but glee in the viewer's ordinarily sensitive heart. And heck, even the Surrealists loved themselves some King Kong, with it's out of whack proportions and sense of nature-fueled Schadenfreude. Imagining these two titans of destruction meeting up to duke it out sounds like sure-fire fun for a long weekend matinee.
The series runs through next Thursday, Sept. 9, with King Kong vs. Godzilla playing at 1, 4:30 and 8 pm on Friday and Saturday.
A Gothamist tip for at home fun: the terrified Tokyoers pronounce the monster's name as "Gaud-jee-ra." Try roaring like an atomic morphed lizard or gigantic South Seas monkey at your co-workers or loved ones, it's sure to make the Friday go by quicker.