King Kong vs. Godzilla ★★

King Kong vs Godzilla (1963) - I think it's pretty cool that they were able to mesh the story of King Kong into the story in a way that brought the American backstory into the Godzilla universe. It is in fact an east meets west film as this lays the groundwork for the two countries to work together to solve their common problem. Unfortunately, like many of these early Godzilla films, the action is packed into the last half hour or so. Kong spends way too much time being transported around strapped to a boat to get the monsters in close enough proximity to fight each other and once they do, it gets a little goofy with some of the moves. They feel more like humans in costume than giant beasts and they tend to succumb to campy comedy instead of just pure excitement. You have to admire the artistry in the sets and costumes though, even if Kong does look a bit drugged up. Skull Island is populated by a lot of Japanese people in blackface which dates the film pretty hard. They really like to have these very superficial distinctions for the people that live in made up places, but I liked it more when they wore those Shakespeare collars to differentiate the peoples who are all obviously Japanese.