Friday, February 24, 2012
Two Bombs for Two Kings
Five years later, a different studio decided to try their own variation on the King Kong story, but they wanted it to be official. Zenshō Cinema approached RKO Pictures and received their permission to do a Kong film. The result was King Kong Appears in Edo (or "Edo ni Arawareta Kingu Kongu"), a period piece that featured a Kong-like beast attacking feudal Tokyo, warding away samurai, and running off with a geisha.
Sadly, beyond these scraps of information, along with a poster and single photo, nothing more exists of Japanese King Kong and King Kong Appears in Edo. During World War II, the bulk of Japan's films were lost, and it is believed that all the prints were destroyed in the fiery nuclear blasts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The devastation wrought by the bombs that finished the two Kongs of Japan would ultimately inspire their successor. Sixteen years later, Japan produced a home-grown creature with Godzilla (or Gojira for the purists out there). The film drew heavily upon the dread of atomic warfare, and Godzilla's radioactive flame scorched Tokyo just like Hiroshima.
But don't take my word for it!
You can read about it in a book.