Wasei Kingu Kongu
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|Wasei Kingu Kongu
1933 promotional flyer for the release of Wasei King Kong
|Directed by||Torajiro Saito|
|Written by||Akira Fushimi|
Wasei Kingu Kongu (和製キング・コング?, lit. Japanese King Kong) was a 1933 Japanese black-and-white silent film directed by Torajiro Saito. It was a silent 3-reel comedy short that uses the 1933 film King Kong as a backdrop to the story and was produced by Shochiku Studios (who released the original 1933 film in Japan on behalf of RKO). It is now considered to be a lost film.
Santa (Isamu Yamaguchi) and his friend Koichi (Nagamasa Yamada) are jobless vagabonds. They make their living by picking up coins on streets. Santa has a girlfriend named Omitsu (Yasuko Koizumi), but her father Seizo (Kotaro Sekiguchi) does not like having his daughter date a penniless man. He breaks the lovers up and tries to marry his daughter off to a rich man. Desperate, Santa seeks employment and wanders the streets. He can’t find a job at all but has an inspiration. RKO’s King Kong has been released and is a big hit in Tokyo. He decides to capitalize on its success by dressing up as an ape and playing King Kong in a vaudeville theater. He approaches one theater owner to tell him of the idea and the owner is pleased with Santa’s plan, thus giving him the job. Santa’s King Kong show becomes an instant success, with Santa interacting amongst props on the theater stage in his gorilla suit (small buildings, toy airplanes, a doll etc.). One day while performing on stage, Santa sees that Omitsu and her new rich boyfriend are in the audience. Blinded with rage, Santa jumps down from the stage and runs after them - with his gorilla suit on! Santa creates chaos in the town, as firemen and hunters chase him thinking him an escaped gorilla that is running wild in the streets. Eventually Santa confronts the rich boyfriend and knocks him unconscious. He puts the gorilla suit on him and leaves him lying out cold in the street. Just then Koichi comes and tells Santa that the theater owner will give him a lot of money for his performances. Now that he has wealth, Santa gets married to Omitsu.
Shochiku Studios produced this Torajiro Saito comedy short. Shochiku released King Kong in Japan on behalf of RKO and wanted to fund this film as a tie-in to the film's release, which is used as a backdrop in the story. Torajiro Saito was a very popular film producer/comedian at the time, known for his successful comedy shorts. Going by the information presented by magazines and newspapers covering the film's release, it is believed that there are no actual special effects in the film, as it focuses on a man trying to earn money to woo his girlfriend by playing the King Kong character on stage.
|Isamu Yamaguchi||Santa/King Kong|
- Tetsu Itoh & Yuji Kaida. 大特撮－日本特撮映画史 (Large Special: The Japanese Special Effects Movie History). Asahi Sonorama. 1979. Pg.173
- Ray Morton. King Kong: The History of a Movie Icon. Applause Theater and Cinema Books. 2005. Pg. 123
- August Ragone. Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters. Chronicle Books. 2007. Pg. 34
- 高槻真樹 (Maki Takatsuki). 戦前日本ＳＦ映画創世記 ゴジラは何でできているか (Senzen Nihon SF Eiga Souseiki). 河出書房新社 (Kawadeshobo Shinsha publishing). 2014. Pgs.79-82.
- October 21, 1933 issue of Kinema Junpo
- December 1934 issue of Kagaku no Nihon. Pg.85
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