Wednesday, March 20, 2013


When Christopher Elam posted this awesome promo image of GIGAN on his OWARI blog -- a picture which, you'll note, is labeled "King Kong" -- it started a Twitter conversation about the odd naming conventions of monster movies in various countries around the world.

For example, in Germany "Godzilla vs. Megalon" was apparently released as KING KONG - DÄMONEN AUS DEM WELTALL ("King Kong: Demons From Space"!)...

...and "Terror of Mechagodzilla" somehow became KONGA, GODZILLA, KING KONG - DIE BRUT DES TEUFELS ("Konga, Godzilla, & King Kong: The Brood of the Devil")...

Man, that's TWO giant apes that aren't actually in this movie! (You may recall I kicked this blog off with a review of Konga).

And then I found this on eBay:
So here we have what is presumably a poster promoting the Italian release of "Gamera vs. Guiron" that has been retitled "King Kong Contro Godzilla" ("Contro" is Italian for "against"). The poster clearly depicts our giant turtle pal Gamera, but what the hell is that shaggy beast with the long fingernails posing as Kong?
The poster for MST3K's take on "Gamera vs. Guiron." Note Guiron's complete failure to look like a gorilla.

 At first I thought he might be the star of such giant gorilla movies as "The Mighty Peking Man" or "A*P*E", but a quick Google search showed no real resemblance...

So I began to do searches on every giant ape movie title I could find, and then branched out into movies about apemen, Bigfoot, the Yeti, and even Dr. Jekyll's Mr. Hyde, but to no avail. Christopher didn't have any luck either, but between the two of us, our search did turn up three more "King Kong Contro Godzilla" poster designs:

The first one depicts our mystery ape-thing, Gamera, Guiron, and Ghidorah! Three big G's, but still no Godzilla.

The second one leaves out Gamera and Guiron altogether, instead giving us Godzilla, Ghidorah, Mothra, Rodan, a flying saucer, and finally, as Christopher described it: "Don't forget the Upset Italian(?) Guy in the corner!" (I feel like I should recognize the upset corner guy, but like the ersatz-Kong, I have no idea from where).

And the third... well... you can see that one for yourself. I like that all of them list "Terence Flasch" as the director. He appears to be an imaginary person that the Italians also credited with directing "The Little Norse Prince," which they of course released as something like "The Great Adventure of Little Prince Valiant." Italians must be compulsive name-droppers. "Yeah, Prince Valiant is in this movie. He fights Frankenstein and Caligula."

In the end I'm no closer to determining the identity of the vaguely gorilla-like monster in the posters, but I have come to the conclusion that I desperately want to see "King Kong Contro Godzilla"! Come on, a massive battle between King Kong, Godzilla, Gamera, Guiron, Ghidorah, Rodan, Mothra, alien invaders, and various indeterminate monsters that fly and breathe fire, all while New York City burns? How could this not be the Best. Movie. Ever? I like to believe that in some parallel universe it actually exists. Probably the same universe that Terence Flasch is from.

A Special Thanks to Christopher Elam for his time wasted help on this mystery! And of course, if anyone out there can help identify the giant hairy monster or the upset human in these posters, please post in the comments!

I'll conclude with a final "King Kong Contro Godzilla" poster design which I discovered while compiling this blog post. This one is fairly accurate, considering that the movie it's supposed to be promoting is actually "Gamera vs. Guiron."

It's still directed by that Flasch guy, though.