The Great Debates: King Kong vs Godzilla

This month’s great debate is a monstrous battle.

Literally.

Two classic movie monsters, squaring off to see who is the last one standing. King Kong vs Godzilla. The two most legendary oversized creatures of the silver screen duke it out for your votes.

Who will reign supreme??

Click through to read the tale of the tape!

KING KONG

First Appearance: 1933

Number of Movies: 8

King Kong, Son of Kong, Konga, King Kong vs. Godzilla, King Kong Escapes, King Kong (’76 Remake), King Kong Lives, King Kong (’05 Remake)

Why Kong? Perhaps the most famous example of early stop motion animation ever, King Kong (33) is one of the great American classics. It’s become completely iconic. The gigantic gorilla battling biplanes atop the Empire State Building is one of the most famous movie scenes of all time. But we all know it wasn’t the planes which killed him. It was beauty that killed the beast. Although he didn’t spawn the franchise that Godzilla did, his first film remains a legend, and each generation, some filmmaker brings the story to the screen again in their own way.

Plus! He IS the winner of the only head to head matchup. King Kong vs Godzilla ends with Kong emerging from the ocean… and Godzilla nowhere to be seen! 

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Godzilla

First Appearance: 1954

Number of Movies: 29

Godzilla, Godzilla Raids Again, King Kong vs. Godzilla, Mothra vs. Godzilla, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Invasion of Astro-Monster, Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster, Son of Godzilla, Destroy All Monsters, All Monsters Attack, Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla vs. Gigan, Godzilla vs. Megalon, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, Terror of Mechagodzilla, The Return of Godzilla, Godzilla vs. Biollante, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, Godzilla 2000: Millennium, Godzilla vs. Megaguirus, Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla, Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S., Godzilla: Final Wars and Godzilla (1998, American)

Why Godzilla? Since his inaugural appearance in “Gojira” in 1954, Godzilla has spawned one of the most legendary movie franchises of them all. Over the course of nearly 30 films, Godzilla has done battle with everything under the sun… and come out triumphant. He has been both a menace and a saviour to Japan in film, and his legend lives to this day. Legendary Pictures is prepping a new Godzilla movie for 2014, directed by Gareth Edwards.

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There you have it folks! Who do you think should reign supreme? Who should we crown the King of the monsters? Godzilla, or Kong? YOU decide!

80 thoughts on “The Great Debates: King Kong vs Godzilla

  1. A 10-year-old version of myself would have went with Godzilla. However, I have to go with King Kong. I think both the 1933 and 2005 films were great and even the 1976 version was a breakthrough film for such great actors as Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange. Meanwhile, the Godzilla films don’t really hold up.

    • Hmm. Well, personally I always felt that campy kind of bad special effects but fun spirit vibe off of Godzilla movies, so I dont know if I’d agree there. They were always kind of cheese city for me. :D But fun as hell, I used to watch them everyday after school!

      Kong’s a fine choice here though, there’s no losers in this one. They’re both titans

  2. You’re speaking to my soul with this one, buddy.

    Now, you’ve already pointed this out, but in a straight up head-to-head we all know who comes out on top. But paying heed to the conclusion of King Kong vs. Godzilla defeats the purpose of the whole exercise, so let’s ignore that.

    If you want to go based off of filmography alone, Godzilla triumphs. I’d also argue, probably with little opposition, that Godzilla himself represents a much larger influence on a single genre than Kong; compare, say, Ultraman against both of them and observe which of the two it resembles more. Godzilla is the undisputed king of the kaiju, and for that alone, he’s certainly deserving of a vote.

    But then think about what Kong has influenced. Ray Harryhausen would be Ray Harryhausen without King Kong, and when you think about Harryhausen you inevitably think about how his work in stop-motion animation influenced filmmakers outside of the genre stories he told. And if you get away from Harryhausen entirely, you come around to Peter Jackson. If that’s not worthy of a vote, I don’t know what is.

    And of course there’s just plain old personal preference. Radioactive, towering thunder lizards are right up my alley, but Kong is so much more of a character.

    I think I’m going King Kong here.

    • There you go. That’s some debate team stuff right there. I feel like I should turn to “Team Godzilla” now and say, “You have two minutes for your response” :)

      The original Kong is such a landmark movie in America, too. It’s really considered the dawn of special effects… I mean, obviously they existed pre-Kong. Hell, even stop motion did. But ask the average movie watcher and I bet Kong is their answer now.

      Good choice, great rationale!

  3. King Kong. The original and Peter Jackson’s remake are both serious even important films. Without the first King Kong there would be no Godzilla at all. When I think of Godzilla I think of poorly dubbed, cheaply made cartoonish B grade movies, fodder for MST3000. No contest at all.

  4. Pingback: Wednesday Links (8/15/12)

  5. Godzilla, circle gets the square:
    1) more movies (over 3x KingKong pics)
    2) defeats a whole host of other beasties ( in other 28 movies)
    3) probably related to crocodile and can hold breath 2 hours and so swam away from first match vs Kong, and firebreath doesn’t work underwater ;-)

    • In regards to #3, I think we all know Godzilla wasn’t killed. But I stand by my original interpretation, Kong won that fight. If not, why didnt Godzilla get up? Huh?
      :D Case closed.

      1 and 2 are… harder to argue with, though. LOL

  6. Jet Jaguar!

    ….

    No, wait. Actually, I voted Godzilla. King Kong’s cool and all, what with his pathos and his love of tiny women and whatnot.

    But Godzilla has several things going for him:
    1.) His Rogue’s Gallery, which, I may remind you, include a giant moth that has two pixie women in his entourage
    2.) Far more footage of citywide destruction, whereas Kong only had that one building-climbing escapade
    3.) Flame breath, and
    4.) A truly righteous song by the Blue Oyster Cult.

    Godzilla wins, because history shows again and again how nature points up the folly of man.

    • Wanna hear something funny? I didn’t mention the Blue Oyster Cult song in the post because I thought it might prejudice the jury. LOL. It is pretty ^$&%ing cool.

      In honor of your comment, here’s the best two minutes of everyone’s day who chooses to click “Play” :D

  7. Godzilla all the way baby! Liked Kong as a kid, but he could not hold a candlestick to Godzilla. and Godzilla Vs King Kong never happened IMO :)

  8. I dont have time for a long, drawn out explanation of the emotional ties that bind me to Godzilla, King of the Monsters, except to say I do, in fact, own the entire 24 issue run in Near Mint condition of the 1977 Marvel Comics masterpiece Godzilla, King of the Monsters

    ‘Nuff said.

  9. Straight up personal preference here. I don’t think anyone can make an overwhelming case for one over the other. I LOVED watching Godzilla movies growing up and, yes, even own a copy of the Matthew Broderick version.

    For all you King Kong fans out there, give me a call when he gets his own song…

  10. OK, Godzilla certainly has the more kick-ass song, but… they have never actually used that song in a Godzilla movie. Just one of many, many failings with the 1998 Godzilla movie, but it’s also true with all the Japanese ones created since. King Kong may not have a kick-ass song, but if he did, somehow I just can’t picture Kong turning his back on Blue Öyster Cult that way. The guy was practically head-banging on top of the Empire State Building, you know he’s a metalhead.

    In truth, I haven’t seen — or just don’t remember — many Godzilla movies. The 1998 American version, yes, which wasn’t very good. I know I saw Godzilla 1985 as a kid, but I don’t really remember it. And I don’t think I’ve seen the original. So the big G has yet to really win me over, though he’s a pretty impressive concept for a monster. Meanwhile, I watched all three of the plain-titled King Kong movies back-to-back-to-back in a Kong-a-thon when Jackson’s version was new, first viewing for all three. The ’76 version sucked, Jackson’s needed some editing but was pretty decent, and the original was very good for its time. So I’m going to have to go with the King, especially since, as Ray Brayne notes, without King Kong there would be no Godzilla.

    I do admit a moment’s temptation to vote for Godzilla due to Bambi Meets Godzilla, though.

  11. I love me some Kong but the fact that he does not shoot out a radioactive heat ray and the fact that he can’t fly like Godzilla certainly tips the scales towards Godzilla.

      • No way. Godzilla is way more of a Batman, and here’s why. Batman is a character with a more flexible narrative. You can have campy, family friendly Batman (Adam West Batman, Brave and the Bold cartoon), you can have the grim avenger of the night (Nolan movies, Dark Knight Returns), you have a mix of both (Schumacher films), And Godzilla, throughout the years has pretty much filled all those roles, from the fearsome menace to the hero that kids look up to.

        Kong, like Superman, is pretty much locked into a single narrative. Superman has to be the stranger from another land, raised by good parents, who is compelled to do good. Kong has to be the anti-hero who you feel pity for when he comes to a tragic end. There is no silly Kong or kid friendly Kong or Kong the world adventurer. Kong is Kong like Superman is Superman.

      • OH!

        OH!

        Goody TWO SHOES? OH!!

        That’s it, I am definitely doing that topic one of these days. We’ll wait to see if Man of Steel can finally bring Superman back to the big screen though.

  12. OH OH. Godzilla winning big in the poll. I plead for sympathy for Kong, after all he didn’t go around destroying cities, killing innocent women and children and deer! Have you no humanity people?

  13. Godzilla rocks – what could be better than a man in a rubber costume destorying a little toy city? It’s every kid’s dream! And don’t forget the saturday morning cartoon show. Whatever happend to gadzookie?

    • Hopefully he wound up in the level of Hell reserved for children who are brought on to cute-en up dying sitcoms, like Sam on D’ffrent Strokes and Cousin Oliver on the Brady Bunch. LOL

      That said, I am highly entertained by actors in Godzilla outfits smashing model cities. Yup. :D

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