Cinema Slap Fight: King Kong Vs. Godzilla

In which I settle an old score.

Obviously, there is already a movie dedicated to the entire proposition of Gojira and Kong beating the crap out of each other. Shockingly, it was called King Kong vs. Godzilla and came out in 1962. In the film, Kong appears to emerge victorious, rising from the ocean and swimming back to Faro Island (not Skull Island, as in the original film...or Mondo Island, as in King Kong Escapes).

It is not my intention to give a blow-by-blow of that movie, because let's face it: As critical as the movie is to the kaiju canon, it still kind of sucks. Instead, I want to look at the fundamental premise of the film itself: In a stand-up fight, could King Kong defeat Godzilla?

And before you ask, yes: These are the kind of questions that keep me up at night.

In This Corner: Kong; a.k.a. Megaprimatus kong; baddest ape on the whole damn island (whichever island that happens to be). Enjoys brawling and has a weakness for blonds/Asians, suggesting he might have had a fine career as a mixed martial-artist.

And In This Corner: Godzilla, a.k.a. Gojira, Gozira, not to be confused with "That Stupid Iguana from the American Film." Atomic ray-breathing, mutated dinosaur resurrected by nuclear testing and key contributor to Japan's exorbitant insurance rates.

Professional Record: Despite the wild popularity of both characters, Kong and Godzilla have only scrapped in the one movie. Godzilla beats him straight up in the film's first bout, sending him fleeing from his atomic breath. Later, when it's discovered Kong gains power from electricity, he has better success against Godzilla. The two fight as equals until falling into the sea, whereupon Kong rises from the waves alone, leading to (misguided) speculation he has vanquished Godzilla.

So against each other, Kong and the Big G are 1-1.

Why This Is Bullshit: We'll get into that. Suffice to say, there's no way Godzilla, whose powers and size have stayed fairly consistent through the years, would have lost to an oversized ape, I don't care what kind of laughably retconned abilities Toho gave him for their movie.

Japanese vs. American: For the longest time, the rumor was propagated that the Japanese version of King Kong vs. Godzilla had two endings, with the Japanese version allegedly showing Godzilla as the winner. This myth has persisted since the 1960s, and were it true, would have mitigated the need for this blog. Sadly, the only real difference in the American/English version is that Kong's roar is the only one heard at the end of the credits (instead of both), and the spectators don't say that Godzilla might have survived. Both of which only reinforce the ridiculous assertion that Kong is somehow Godzilla's equal.

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