SON OF KAIJU DAY MARATHON: Wasei Kingu Kongu (1933)

Shochiku Kinema was the film company that handled the Japanese distribution of King Kong for RKO.

Sadly, much like 90% of all Japanese movies made before 1945, this has been lost in the wake of World War II, with only a few flyers and posters left to prove that it even existed.

A three-reel silent comedy directed by Torajiro Saito, this film has the original in the background as an unemployed man named Santa (Isamu Yamaguchi) who graduates from being a pickpocket to dressing as a gorilla to get work and keep his girlfriend.

Santa ends up performing in a Kong-themed show in which he dresses up and attacks the city props on stage. However, his girlfriend has already left him and shows up at the show with her new boyfriend, which causes him to chase them and the authorities believe that a gorilla really is on the loose.

Either this movie was made to case in the fame of the release of the American film or used Yamaguchi’s comedy fame to sell King Kong to Japanese audiences.

Regardless, this is a movie that has been lost to the mists of time and presents an interesting footnote as we review so many kaiju films over the last few days.

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