If you are here after catching up with the latest monster film, ‘Godzilla vs. Kong,’ it is quite reasonable that you are looking for other movies giving away similar vibes. Whether you are here for the gigantic ape King Kong or the King of monsters, Godzilla, neither of the two superspecies have been entertaining us for just a few years. While the first King Kong movie in the English language was released almost a century ago, Japan had released their first movie of the Godzilla franchise in 1954 ( although the ones produced by Hollywood producers came in the late 90s).
Here are all the King Kong movies released to date along with the movies in the Godzilla franchise that you must watch in order to understand Godzilla vs. Kong completely. Without further ado, let us get started.
1. King Kong (1933)
Directed by: Ernest B. Schoedsack, Merian C. Cooper
Starring: Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot, Robert Armstrong
Production company: Radio Pictures
One of the greatest horror movies of all time, ‘King Kong’ follows the story of a successful filmmaker named Carl Denham, who travels to an unknown island for a movie shoot by ship, along with his friend Jack Driscoll and the upcoming movie star, Ann Darrow. The residents of the place used to worship a giant gorilla, 30 feet tall, whom they called Kong. They abduct the girl in order to offer her to Kong as a sacrifice. Jack Driscoll had been in love with Ann and therefore he determines to protect her and capture the gorilla for an exhibition in New York. A part of the crew walks into the jungle, which is inhabited by dinosaurs, for rescuing Ann. However, Kong falls for her and tries to save her against all the perils but ends up getting captured and escorted to New York. Later, he escapes in the middle of a show, leaving the Apple city in panic. Although the movie had aired decades ago, you can still find it on Prime Video and Hungama.
2. Son of Kong (1933)
Directed by: Ernest B. Schoedsack
Starring: Helen Mack, Robert Armstrong, Frank Reicher, Victor Wong, John Marston, Edward Brady
Production company: RKO Radio Pictures
The sequel to the first movie titled, ‘King Kong,’ this movie was released within a year after the release of the parent movie, owing to its huge success. The movie begins with the showman returning to Skull Island after the terrible results of the last expedition, where he comes across a smaller version of King Kong. He is the son of Kong, a spunky 12-foot gorilla, with a charming personality blessed with the strength of his son. Carl Denham along with Hilda Petersen team up to rescue the gorilla from the quicksand from the clutches of fierce prehistoric monsters. However, the situation worsens, when an earthquake strikes the land, which is stronger than the strength of Jr. Kong. You can stream the movie easily on platforms like Prime Video and HBO Max.
3. King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
Directed by: Ishirō Honda
Starring: Tadao Takashima, Kenji Sahara, Ichirō Arishima, Yū Fujiki, Mie Hama, Haruo Nakajima, Shoichi Hirose
Production companies: Toho Studios
‘King Kong vs. Godzilla’ is the first of the two Toho King Kong movies that start with a reporter for the U.S reporting that a submarine has crashed into an iceberg freeing the mighty Godzilla. As the news reaches the president of a pharmaceutical company, Mr. Tako, he decides to look for the creature hoping to generate his own publicity. He sends two of his people to Pharoh Island where they find the king of the island, King Kong. The two men manage to make the ape asleep and tie him to a raft, in order to take him back to Japan. However, he breaks free and escapes from the place and swims toward Japan. On the other hand, Godzilla is out in a frenzy, throughout the countryside of Japan. The two rivals finally clash with each other resulting in a giant climactic battle. You can catch up with the movie online on Netflix with a subscription.
4. King Kong Escapes (1968)
Directed by: Ishirō Honda
Starring: Akira Takarada, Mie Hama, Rhodes Reason, Hideyo Amamoto, Linda Miller
Production companies: Videocraft International, Toho Studios
The second and the last Toho King Kong movie, ‘King Kong Escapes’ follows an evil Doctor named Dr.Who, who after a failed experiment of using a mechanical duplicate of King Kong for digging a highly radioactive element at the North Pole, decides to abduct the real Kong, with the help of his sponsor Madame Piranha. They execute their scheme and kidnaps the giant ape from Mondo Island, and then Lt. Susan Miller, with whom Kong falls in love when she visited the island, along with her boyfriend and Cmdr. Carl Nelson, disguised as insurance officers. Later, Kong escapes from the place, heading off to Tokyo. On the other hand, Susan and her associates escape as well. The doctor and his companions follow Kong in order to re-capture him by activating the MechaKong. The robot grabs Susan and takes her to the top of Tokyo Tower, where King Kong and the robotic replica battles. The movie is available for stream on Prime Video.
5. King Kong (1976)
Directed by: John Guillermin
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange, Charles Grodin
Production company: Dino De Laurentiis Corporation
The movie is a remake of the 1933 movie titled the same, starring Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot and Robert Armstrong in lead roles. It was quite successful at the box office and was even praised for great visual effects, cinematography and sound. The story follows a research ship that is sent to explore an isolated island for oil. However, they come across the sole survivor of a shipwreck, a girl named Dawn, and is rescued by the team. When they arrive at the location, they come to know that the natives fear a giant ape named Kong. Dawn gets kidnapped by the people and offer her to King Kong as a sacrifice. However, Dawn gets saved and the explorers capture the ape for a gala exhibition. The movie is available for stream on multiple platforms including Prime Video, Vudu and Disney+.
6. King Kong Lives (1986)
Directed by: John Guillermin
Starring: Brian Kerwin, Linda Hamilton, Peter Michael Goetz, John Ashton
Production company: De Laurentiis Entertainment Group
‘King Kong Lives’ is the direct sequel to the 1976 remake of the original King Kong movie. It revolves around the giant ape King Kong, who has been shot and has fallen off from the twin towers. Although he seems to be alive, he has been actually in a condition of coma for ten years and in order to save him, a blood transfusion, with an artificial heart implantation, is in need. On the other hand, a female gigantic ape is discovered in the rainforest, who is brought to the USA, and the heart implantation succeeds. However, when King Kong senses the presence of the Lady Kong, he breaks loose and sets out to look for her. You can stream the movie online on Prime Video.
7. The Mighty Kong (1998)
Directed by: Art Scott
Starring: Dudley Moore, Jodi Benson, William Sage, Randy Hamilton, Jason Gray-Stanford, Don Brown, Richard Newman, Ian James Corlett
Production companies: Hahn Shin Corporation, Lana Productions
A musical adaptation to the classic story of King Kong (1933), the movie casts Dudley Moore as Carl Denham in his final role before he dies in the year 2002. The movie has been defined as a lighthearted romp for families, flavoured with delightful tunes and pleasing appealing vocal performances. Although it remains loyal to the original version, this animated adaptation is more kid-friendly and is more like the classic tale of the beauty and the beast. Ann Darrow, who desperately looks for work in acting meets the film director Carl Denham and gets cast in a new movie surprisingly. As they set out for filming on an island, the monkey on board makes trouble throughout their journey. The people living on the isolated island asks the crew to leave Ann for them to sacrifice her to a giant ape named King Kong. However, things don’t go as planned since the ape falls for the girl. You can check the movie out on Prime Video and Vudu.
8. Godzilla (1998)
Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Maria Pitillo, Jean Reno, Kevin Dunn, Harry Shearer, Hank Azaria, Michael Lerner
Production companies: Centropolis Entertainment, Independent Pictures, Fried Films
The first American movie of the franchise, Godzilla follows the events resulting from the French atomic bomb tests which took place in the South Pacific, causing destruction by a giant reptilian monster striding into New York City. In order to investigate deeper into it, an earthworm scientist named Niko Tatopolous is summoned who quickly uncovers that the creature has been created accidentally due to the explosions. As Godzilla goes on wreaking havoc in the city, the scientist, his reporter ex-girlfriend and the combined efforts of the U.S. military team up in order to confront the monster and save the residents of New York. You can stream the movie online on Netflix and Prime Video with a subscription.
9. Kong: King of Atlantis (2005)
Directed by: Patrick Archibald
Starring: Saffron Henderson, Scott McNeil, Kirby Morrow, Alec Willows
Production company: Warner Home Video, BKN International
The 2005 animated kaiju film titled, ‘Kong: King of Atlantis’ showcases the gigantic Kong who has been incarnated again as the king of the island, from the DNA of the original King Kong and Jason, his human brother. However, the prehistoric civilization of Atlantis reappears from the bed of the sea whose evil Queen offers Kong to govern the place with him as Kong: King of Atlantis. However, Jason aims not to let that happen as he confronts the soldiers of the queen, various animals, puzzles and foes. As the action-packed adventures don’t seem to stop, Jason realises that he needs to utilize his powers of cyber-union and unite with his brother Kong to become a single hero in order to save Kong Island. You can stream the movie online on Prime Video and Pluto TV.
10. King Kong (2005)
Directed b: Peter Jackson
Starring: Andy Serkis, Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody, Jack Black, Thomas Kretschmann, Jamie Bell, Colin Hanks, Evan Parke
Production company: WingNut Films
Another remake of the 1933 film going by the same title, the 2005 version of the movie was a record-breaking one during that time, grossing a sum of $207 million domestically, and $562 million globally. The movie had been largely appreciated by the critics for the performances of the actors, special effects and the sense of spectacle, with the three-hour long runtime being the only con. The movie is available to watch on Netflix, Prime Video and YouTube TV.
11.Kong: Return to the Jungle (2007)
Directed by: Stuart Evans
Starring: Kirby Morrow, Kathy Morse, Scott McNeil, Saffron Henderson, Paul Dobson, David Kaye, Richard Newman
Production company: BKN International
The 3D giant monster musical movie, ‘Kong: Return to the Jungle’ is the second spin-off film from the series, `Kong: The Animated Series’ which revolves around King Kong who has been captured by the hunters along with the other animals from his island and is forced to adjust to the whereabouts to a special zoo.
12. Godzilla (2014)
Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Sally Hawkins, Bryan Cranston
Production company: Legendary Pictures
The movie is a reboot of Toho’s Godzilla franchise and the second American instalment of the franchise. Due to the mysterious destruction of the Janjira nuclear plant in 1999, Sandra, the wife of supervisor Joe Brody and his colleagues lose their lives, leaving Joe in guilt for years. Fifteen years later, Ford, a US Navy ordnance disposal officer and the son of Joe Brody decides to go to Japan in order to help his father who has been looking for the mystery behind the unfortunate incident. Eventually, they come across the secret cause of the disaster that led to the wreck on the same location, but in the process, it leads to the reawakening of another, worse, threat to Humanity. The only hope which seems to save the world is another giant creature, Godzilla, although it can bring destruction as well. The movie is available for stream on multiple streaming platforms including Prime Video and Netflix.
13. Kong: Skull Island (2017)
Directed by: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, John Goodman, Jing Tian, Brie Larson, Toby Kebbell, Corey Hawkins, John Ortiz, Jason Mitchell
Production companies: Tencent Pictures, Legendary Pictures
The movie, ‘Kong: Skull Island‘ is a reboot of the King Kong series, serving as the second movie in the MonsterVerse. Set in 1973, the movie follows a team of explorers, scientists and Vietnam War soldiers, who have travelled to the isolated Skull Island following myths and legends stating the existence of prehistoric and monstrous creatures in the Pacific. They come across the last of the species of the gigantic apes, Kong, closely followed by some other scary creatures. The explorers and the soldiers run for the sake of their lives but Kong eventually lets them know that he is superior to all the creatures living on the island and he would protect the inhabitants at all cost.
The movie has been praised critically for the performances of the actors, especially of Jackson and Reilly, visual effects and action sequences. The movie offers thrilling eye candy and a fast-paced story. Although the movie, ‘Kong: Skull Island’ did not match up to the classic one, it still managed to earn its position in the mythos of the movie monster. It was also a success at the box office, grossing a sum of $566 million globally, against a budget of $185 million. You can stream the movie online on Netflix, Prime Video and Vudu.
14. Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
Directed by: Michael Dougherty
Starring: Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Bradley Whitford, Millie Bobby Brown, Sally Hawkins, Thomas Middleditch, Charles Dance, Aisha Hinds
Production company: Legendary Pictures
The movie has been set five years after the first time the MUTOs were sighted which had led to a whole lot of catastrophic events in San Francisco. As the world is still trying to recover from the existence of monsters, a new threat of a battery of god-sized Titans comes forward. The crypto-zoological agency Monarch must stop them before the situation worsens and for doing so, they must let Godzilla fight it out against Mothra, Rodan, and the most hard-to-defeat, the three-headed King Ghidorah. The whole world trembles watching the ancient superspecies, who were only considered myths, battling each other for the title of ‘King of the Monsters’. A direct sequel to the 2014 movie, ‘Godzilla,’ the movie features amazing visual effects and action sequences, with great cinematography and musical score. You can check this movie out on Netflix, Prime Video and Hungama with a subscription.
15. Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
Directed by: Adam Wingard
Starring: Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Brian Tyree Henry, Rebecca Hall, Eiza González, Shun Oguri, Lance Reddick, Julian Dennison
Production company: Legendary Pictures
One of the most anticipated movies of 2021, ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ is a joint sequel to the 2019 movie, ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ and the 2017 movie, ‘Kong: Skull Island’. As two of the most powerful superspecies of nature— Godzilla and Kong, collide, humanity gets to watch a spectacular battle. Following the events of the last Godzilla movie, humans have adjusted to co-exist with the Titans but soon, a series of events take place that enrages the King of monsters, Godzilla. As he begins a reign of his terror, people need another legend who can stop him: Kong. However, things do not come out exactly how they seemed when Monarch travels to Skull Island, where a young orphaned girl who can communicate with Kong warns him of the upcoming danger. As Godzilla goes on destroying nations and everything landing on his path, the fate of humanity now depends on these two Titans who will be confronting the real threat, along with fighting for the title of King.