REVIEW: KONG: SKULL ISLAND

CAST

Tom Hiddleston (Thor)
Samuel L. Jackson (The Legend of Tarzan)
John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane)
Brie Larson (21 Jump Street)
Jing Tian (The Great Wall)
Toby Kebbell (Fantastic Four)
John Ortiz (Narc)
Corey Hawkins (24: Legacy)
Jason Mitchell (Contraband)
Shea Whigham (American Hustle)
Thomas Mann (Amityville: The Awakening)
John C. Reilly (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Richard Jenkins (The Cabin In The Woods)

In 1944, in the midst of World War II, two fighter pilots – an American soldier named Hank Marlow and a Japanese soldier named Gunpei Ikari – parachute onto an island in the South Pacific after a dogfight. They both engage in close combat, with Ikari gaining the upper hand, but the fight is interrupted by a behemoth ape known as Kong.In 1973, U.S. government agent Bill Randa hires former British Special Air Service Captain James Conrad, a skilled tracker, to guide an expedition to map out an island known as “Skull Island”. Their military escort is the Sky Devils, a Vietnam War helicopter squadron led by Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard and his subordinates, Major Jack Chapman and Captain Earl Cole. The group is joined by pacifist and photojournalist Mason Weaver, who believes the expedition is a secret military operation. Upon arrival at Skull Island, Packard’s men begin dropping explosives developed by seismologist Houston Brooks to map out the island. However, the air unit is attacked by Kong, who destroys all the helicopters and kills a number of military personnel before scattering the survivors across the island.Packard regroups with some of the scattered survivors, including his door gunner Reles, pilot Glenn Mills, Cole, Landsat employee Steve Woodward, and Randa. After being confronted by Packard, Randa reveals his affiliation to the secret government organization Monarch, which was trying to prove the existence of monsters and determine their threat to humanity.The other survivors (Conrad, Weaver, Brooks, biologist San Lin, soldier Reg Slivko, and Landsat employee Victor Nieves) try to get to a rendezvous point to meet a resupply team arriving in three days’ time. They encounter the local Iwi natives and an older Marlow. He reveals that Kong is the island’s guardian, worshiped as a god by the natives for protecting the island’s inhabitants from many predators, including reptilian underground monsters dubbed “Skullcrawlers”. They have killed Kong’s ancestors, leaving him as the last of his kind. Ikari was killed by one of the Skullcrawlers.Packard’s group begins making their way to Chapman, whose helicopter crash-landed elsewhere. Along the way, they are attacked by a giant bamboo spider in the jungle before Packard kills it. Meanwhile, Chapman witnesses Kong wrestle and defeat a large squid, causing him to flee into the woods, where he encounters a giant stick insect. He is then ambushed and eaten by a Skullcrawler. Conrad’s group helps Marlow complete a boat built from parts scavenged from Marlow and Ikari’s downed planes. They ride the boat down the river, and manage to secure communication with Packard’s group, but the boat is attacked by pterosaur-like creatures which kill Nieves. They regroup with Packard, who insists on searching for Chapman, though his true objective is to find and kill Kong.Marlow leads the two groups to a mass grave littered with the bones of Kong’s kind. There, the same Skullcrawler that devoured Chapman attacks the group, killing Randa and many soldiers before dying in a flammable gas explosion triggered by Weaver. Learning about Chapman’s death, a vengeful Packard blames Kong for the deaths of his men and becomes determined to kill Kong. The two groups part ways, with Packard’s group laying a trap for Kong, while the non-military personnel head back to the boat. While scouting the path ahead, Conrad and Weaver encounter Kong up-close and resolve to save him.As Conrad and Weaver encounter Kong, Packard’s group triggers napalm explosions to lure him in. Kong charges to the lake, where they manage to incapacitate him with ignited gasoline, though Woodward is killed. Conrad’s group arrives and persuades the other soldiers to spare Kong, but Packard refuses to stand down. The alpha Skullcrawler, Ramarak, then emerges from the lake, and Packard is crushed to death by a recovering Kong. Ramarak overpowers Kong and chases the humans. Cole is killed in a failed suicide bomb attempt to kill it, but Kong returns to rescue the others and manages to kill Ramarak by ripping out its innards. He saves Weaver from drowning, as she had been knocked into the water during the fight, and allows the survivors to leave the island.During the credits, Marlow returns home, reunites with his wife, meets his son for the first time, and finally watches a Chicago Cubs game on television. In a post-credits scene, Conrad and Weaver are detained by Monarch and informed by Brooks and Lin that Kong is not the only monster to roam the world. As proof, they are shown archive footage of cave paintings depicting Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah. The final cave painting shows Godzilla battling Ghidorah.brie_larson_kong_skull_island_4k-wideKong: Skull Island is the perfect monster movie. It’s an epic display of what a popcorn movie should be. Great visuals, soundtrack, and a pleasant plot that is not bogged down by the melodrama. It’s a giant monster movie.

 

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REVIEW: KING KONG – THE EXTENDED CUT

CAST

Naomi Watts (Birdman)
Jack Black (Gulliver’s Travels)
Adrian Brody (Hollywoodland)
Thomas Kretschmann (Wanted)
Colin Hanks (Roswell)
Andy Serkis (The Hobbit)
Evan Parke (Alias)
Jamie Bell (Fantastic Four)
John Sumner (Power Rangers RPM)
Craig Hall (30 Days of Night)
Kyle Chandler (Super 8)
Tom Hobbs (Winners & Losers)
Jed Brophy (Brain Dead)
William Wallace (Step Dave)
Stig Eldred (Power Rangers SPD)
Latham Gaines (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)

In 1933, during the Great Depression, New York City vaudeville actress Ann Darrow is hired by financially troubled filmmaker Carl Denham to star in a film. Ann learns her favorite playwright, Jack Driscoll, is the screenwriter. As their tramp steamer, the SS Venture, journeys to the mysterious Skull Island, Ann and Jack fall in love. Captain Englehorn has second thoughts about the voyage, prompted by crewmen Lumpy and Ben Hayes’ speculation of trouble ahead.Deep in the southern waters, the Venture receives a radio message informing Englehorn that there is a warrant for Carl’s arrest due to his defiance of the studio’s orders to cease production. The message instructs Englehorn to divert to Rangoon, but the ship becomes lost in fog and runs aground on the rocky shore of Skull Island. Carl and his crew explore the island and are attacked by natives, who kill Carl’s sound technician as well as one of the sailors. Ann screams as she is captured, and a loud roar is heard beyond a wall. The matriarch of the tribe targets Ann, muttering the word “Kong”. Englehorn kills one of the natives and his crew break up the attack and return to the ship. They lighten their load to float off the rocks and carry out repairs, but Jack discovers Ann has been kidnapped. The natives offer Ann as a sacrifice to Kong, a 25 feet (7.6 m) tall gorilla. The crew returns fully armed, but is too late as Kong takes Ann and flees into the jungle. Ann wins Kong over with juggling and dancing, and begins to grasp Kong’s intelligence and capacity for emotion.Englehorn organizes a rescue party, led by Hayes and Driscoll. They encounter and kill a Ferrucutus. The rescue party is then caught in the middle of a pack of Venatosaurus saevidicus and the herd of Brontosaurus baxteri they are hunting, and six people are killed, including cameraman Herb. The rest of the rescue party come across a swamp where actor Bruce Baxter and two others leave the group. The rest cross the swamp on rafts, only to be attacked by “Scorpio-pedes”, as well by a “Piranhadon”, which devours three sailors. The rescue party is making their way across a fallen log over a ravine when Kong attacks. Five crewmen, including Hayes and Choy, are killed after being thrown off the log, and the rest of the crew ride the log down the ravine and land in a pit. Kong returns to Ann and rescues her from three Vastatosaurus rex. Kong takes her to his lair in the mountains. The remaining rescue party find the pit to be full of giant insects. Lumpy is killed by the maggot-like “Carnictics Sordicus” while two others are killed by spider-like creatures. Englehorn, Baxter and the two crewmen return, saving the last four members of the rescue party from the pit. As Jack continues searching for Ann, Carl decides to capture Kong. Jack goes to Kong’s lair, inadvertently waking him and provoking a swarm of flying Terapusmordax. As Kong fights the swarm, Ann and Jack escape. They arrive at the wall with Kong pursuing them, and Ann becomes distraught by what Carl plans to do. Kong bursts through the gate and attempts to get her back, killing several sailors, but is subdued when Carl knocks him out with chloroform.In New York City, Carl presents “Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World” on Broadway, starring Baxter and an imprisoned Kong. Ann is played by an anonymous chorus girl, and Kong becomes enraged after realizing that the girl on stage is not Ann. After breaking free from his chrome-steel chains, he wrecks the theater and chases Jack. Kong knocks Jack out by stopping his car and flipping it, then encounters Ann again. Kong and Ann share a moment on a frozen pond in Central Park until the army attacks. Kong climbs with Ann onto the top of the Empire State Building, where he fights off six F8C-5 Helldiver Navy planes, downing three. At the end of the confrontation, Kong is mortally wounded by the gunfire and gazes at Ann for the last time before falling from the building to his death. As Ann is reunited with Jack, civilians, photographers, police and soldiers gather around Kong’s corpse. Carl makes his way through the crowd, takes one last long look at Kong and says, “It wasn’t the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast.”Wow, what a set. As complete a set of all things Kong as one could possibly hope to obtain. In the end there is only one overriding question; is this set worth upgrading. And despite my reservations about the actual extended version of the film, this set is well worth the upgrade; extras alone do not a DVD make, but with such a quality product so lovingly put together as this one, it is hard not to admire. If all DVD’s took as much care in their presentation as this one does the format would be irreplaceable. Picture, sound and extras, this is a quality product and deserving of the title delux.

REVIEW: SON OF KONG

CAST

Robert Armstrong (Gang Busters)
Helen Mack (The Silent Witness)
Frank Reicher (The Mummy’s tomb)
Victor Wong (Lost Horizon)
Ed Brady (Do Your Duty)

The story picks up about a month after the dramatic finale of the previous film and follows the further adventures of filmmaker Carl Denham, now implicated in numerous lawsuits following the destruction brought by Kong. Carl Denham leaves New York City with the captain of the Venture, Captain Englehorn, who is certain it is just a matter of time before he is similarly served. Their efforts to make money shipping cargo around the Orient are less than successful. In the Dutch port of Dakang, Carl Denham is amused to see there’s a “show” being presented, so he and Captain Englehorn attend. It turns out to be a series of performing monkeys, capped by a song (“Runaway Blues”) sung by a young woman named Hilda Petersen.That night, Hilda’s father, who runs the show, stays up drinking with a Norwegian skipper named Nils Helstrom, who had lost his ship under questionable circumstances. The two men fight and Hilda’s father is killed, their tent burns down and Hilda releases all the monkeys. Carl Denham and Englehorn run into Helstrom, who was the man that sold Carl Denham the map to Kong’s Island, and he convinces the two that there was a treasure on the island. Carl Denham and Captain Englehorn agree to go back and try to retrieve it. Later, Denham meets Hilda while she is trying to recapture her monkeys and tries to cheer her up. Despite her pleas, Carl Denham refuses to take her with him when he leaves Dakang. Shortly after they put out to sea, however, Hilda is found stowing away on board.Helstrom talks Hilda into silence and incites a mutiny on board the Venture, but the sailors want no more captains and throw him overboard alongside Denham, Englehorn, Hilda and the cook, Charlie. The five land on Kong’s Island where they discover the natives blame Carl Denham for the destruction of their village and they are forced to move to a different part of the island. There, Carl Denham and Hilda Petersen meet and befriend an albino gorilla just over twice the height of a man. Carl Denham assumes the ape to be Kong’s son and names him “Little Kong”. Meanwhile, Captain Englehorn, Charlie and Helstrom are attacked by a Styracosaurus which chases them into a cave. Denham and Hilda are attacked by a giant cave bear but Little Kong fights and fends it off by swinging a tree branch.Carl Denham bandages Little Kong’s injured finger in return. Despite the fact that Helstrom made up his story out of desperation, Carl Denham finds an authentic treasure. Shortly afterwards, Little Kong, Carl Denham and Hilda Petersen are attacked by a dragon-like Nothosaurus which Little Kong kills, while Helstrom tries to escape in the lifeboat but is killed by a Elasmosaurus. Hilda Petersen, Captain Englehorn and Charlie run to the lifeboat, but an earthquake strikes the island and it begins to sink into the ocean. Little Kong has his foot stuck on the top of a mountain of the island, and he sacrifices his life by saving Carl Denham by holding him above the water until he can be rescued. The film ends with Carl Denham and Hilda Petersen throwing their lot in together, as the treasure will make all four of them (including Captain Englehorn and Charlie) wealthy.This was a pretty decent sequel to one of the greatest films of all time. Of course, when it first came out it was pretty much a flop. This was due to the fact that it had a lot to live up to, especially since it was released just a relatively short time after the original Kong was released. However, taken alone this film does hold up well as a nice little adventure film and for a change of pace the big ape is not a vicious and destructive creature, but rather a cute and gentle imp who when pushed is a fighter. Also, what is nice about this film is the fact that Denham gets the girl for a change. In the original he was too driven to have a relationship, but at least in this film you are allowed to see his softer side. This film, though not a classic like its predecessor, is still a great film.

REVIEW: KING KONG (2005)

CAST
Naomi Watts (Birdman)
Jack Black (Gulliver’s Travels)
Adrian Brody (Hollywoodland)
Thomas Kretschmann (Wanted)
Colin Hanks (Roswell)
Andy Serkis (The Hobbit)
Evan Parke (Alias)
Jamie Bell (Fantastic Four)
John Sumner (Power Rangers RPM)
Craig Hall (30 Days of Night)
Kyle Chandler (Super 8)
Tom Hobbs (Winners & Losers)
Jed Brophy (Brain Dead)
William Wallace (Step Dave)
Stig Eldred (Power Rangers SPD)
Latham Gaines (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
In 1933, at the height of the Great Depression, New York City vaudeville actress Ann Darrow has lost her job and is hired by financially troubled filmmaker Carl Denham to star in his new film. Ann signs on when she learns her favorite playwright, Jack Driscoll, is the screenwriter. As their tramp steamer, the SS Venture, makes the lengthy journey to the remote and mysterious Skull Island, Ann and Jack fall in love. Captain Englehorn begins having second thoughts about the voyage, prompted by crew speculation of trouble ahead.
Deep in the southern waters, the Venture receives a radio message informing Englehorn that there is a warrant out for Carl’s arrest due to his defiance of the studio’s orders to cease production. The message instructs Englehorn to divert to Rangoon, but despite his attempt to comply, the ship becomes lost in fog and runs aground on the rocky shore of Skull Island. Carl and his crew explore the island to film and are attacked by vicious natives. Mike, the sound technician and one of the sailors are killed. Ann screams as she is captured, and a loud roar is heard beyond the wall. The matriarch of the tribe vows to sacrifice her to “Kong”, a 25 ft (8 m) tall gorilla. Englehorn kills one of the natives and his crew break up the attack and return to the ship. They lighten their load to float off the rocks and carry out repairs, but Jack discovers Ann has been kidnapped by natives. On the island, Ann is offered as a sacrifice to Kong by the natives. The crew returns armed, but is too late as Kong takes Ann and flees into the jungle. Ann gradually wins Kong over with juggling and dancing, and eventually begins to grasp Kong’s intelligence and capacity for emotion.
Englehorn organizes a rescue party led by First Mate Hayes and includes Jack Driscoll, Carl Denham, Jimmy, Bruce Baxter, Preston, Lumpy, Herb, Choy, and several sailors. The party barely gets outside of the walls before they run into a Ferructus that Hayes kills with his machine gun. The rescue party is then caught in the middle of a pack of Venatosaurus saevidicus hunting a herd of Brontosaurus baxteri, and Herb is killed along with four sailors. The rest of the rescue party come across a swamp where actor Bruce Baxter and two others leave the group. The rescue party makes their way across a giant fallen log, when Kong attacks the rescue party. Hayes, Choy and several other crewmen are killed after being thrown off the log by Kong to the bottom of the cliff, and the rest of the crew is shaken off the log into a ravine; Carl’s camera is destroyed as well. Kong returns to Ann and rescues her from three Vastatosaurus rex, killing them. Kong then takes her to his lair in the mountains. The remaining crew wakes up to find themselves in a pit full of giant insects where Lumpy and two others are killed. Englehorn, Baxter and the rest of the crew returns, and save the last four members of the rescue party (Jack, Carl, Jimmy, and Preston) from the pit. As Jack continues to search for Ann, Carl decides to capture Kong. Jack goes to Kong’s lair, inadvertently waking him. As Kong fights a swarm of flying Terapusmordax, bat-like rodents, Ann and Jack escape. They arrive at the wall with the angry Kong following them, and Ann becomes distraught by what Carl plans to do. Kong bursts through the gate and attempts to get her back, killing several sailors in the process, but is subdued when Carl knocks him out with chloroform.
Back in New York, Carl presents “Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World” on Broadway, starring Baxter and an imprisoned Kong. Ann is played by an anonymous chorus girl, and Kong becomes enraged after realizing that the girl on stage is not Ann. After breaking free from his chrome-steel chains, he wrecks the theater. Kong wreaks havoc around the city and chases Jack in a taxi across town. He knocks him out by stopping his taxi and flipping it, then encounters Ann again. Kong and Ann share a moment on a frozen pond in Central Park until the army attacks. Kong climbs with Ann onto the top of the Empire State Building, where he fights off six F8C-5 Helldiver Navy planes, downing three. Kong is mortally wounded by the gunfire and gazes at Ann for the last time before falling from the building to his death. As Ann is reunited with Jack, civilians, photographers, police and soldiers gather around Kong’s corpse. Carl takes one last glimpse at him and says, “It wasn’t the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast.”
Naomi Watts is fantastic in the Fay Wray role, as is Adrien Brody as her love interest. The beast itself and cinematography are simply astonishing (and any reservations about Black are swiftly pushed aside once the real star of the show emerges). It’s a film that manages to both capture the (romantic) essence of adventure movies from that era and succeed as a modern action adventure.

REVIEW: KING KONG LIVES

CAST
Brian Kerwin (27 Dresses)
Linda Hamilton (Chuck)
Peter Elliott (Jack The Giant Slayer)
John Ashton (Gone Baby Gone)
file_204535_4_Black_Moon_Rising_Tommy_Lee_Jones
King Kong, after being shot down from the World Trade Center, is kept alive in a coma for about 10 years at the Atlanta Institute, under the care of surgeon Dr. Amy Franklin (Linda Hamilton). In order to save Kong’s life, Dr. Franklin must perform a heart transplant and give Kong a computer-monitored artificial heart. However, he lost so much blood that a transfusion is badly needed, and to complicate matters, Franklin says there is no species of ape or other animal whose blood type matches Kong’s. Enter adventurer Hank “Mitch” Mitchell (Brian Kerwin), who captures a giant female gorilla, who is dubbed “Lady Kong”; in Borneo (Mitchell theorizes that Borneo and the island from the first movie were once part of the same landmass), bringing her to the Institute so her blood can be used for Kong’s operation. The transfusion and the heart transplant are a success, but Kong escapes along with the female.Archie Nevitt (John Ashton), an insane army lieutenant colonel, is called in with his men to hunt down and kill the two apes. Lady Kong is captured alive by Nevitt’s troops and imprisoned; Kong falls from a cliff and is presumed dead. But as Franklin and Mitchell soon discover, Kong’s artificial heart is beginning to give out, forcing them to try a jailbreak only to discover that Lady Kong is pregnant with Kong’s offspring. The jailbreak is successful thanks to Kong, who survived his fall and breaks his mate out. After being followed, attacked, and shot by the military, Kong kills Lt. Col Nevitt and dies slowly near a military base on a farm where Lady Kong gives birth to a healthy baby boy. Kong reaches out to touch his son just before dying. Returned to Borneo, Lady Kong is now living peacefully with her son in the jungle.Don’t expect a work of art, but do expect a masterpiece of absurdity and fun. King Kong Lives is an ultra-cheesy monster flick that’s wacky from beginning to end. Sure it’s “bad”, but it’s also extremely amusing and entertaining. It’s absurdities are part of it’s charm.

REVIEW: KING KONG (1976)

CAST
Jeff Bridges (R.I.P.D)
Charles Grodin (Beethoven)
Jessica Lange (Big Fish)
John Randolph (Serpico)
Rene Auberjonois (Star Trek: DS9)
Jack O’Halloran (Superman 1 & 2)
Dennis Fimple (House of 1000 Corpses)
Ed Lauter (The Number 23)
Fred Wilson, an executive of the Petrox Oil Company, forms an expedition based on infrared imagery which reveals a previously undiscovered Indian Ocean island hidden by a permanent cloud bank. Wilson believes the island has a huge deposit of oil. Jack Prescott, a primate paleontologist who wants to see the island for himself, stows away on the expedition’s vessel. Prescott reveals himself when he warns the crew the cloud bank may be caused by an unknown beast. Wilson orders Prescott locked up, claiming that he is really a spy from a rival oil company. While escorted to lock-up, Prescott spots a life raft which carries the beautiful and unconscious Dwan. Wilson conducts a thorough background check on Prescott and realizes he is telling the truth. He appoints Prescott the expedition’s official photographer and requests that he be present when Dwan revives because of his medical background. Upon waking, Dwan says she is an aspiring actress who was aboard a director’s yacht which suddenly exploded.
Upon arriving at the island, the team discovers a primitive tribe of natives who live within the confines of a gigantic wall, built to protect them from a mysterious god known as Kong. The team finds that while there is a large deposit of oil, it is of such low quality that it is unusable. Later that night, the natives kidnap Dwan, drug her, and offer her as a sacrifice to Kong. Kong grabs Dwan from the altar and departs into the wilderness. Although an awesome and terrifying sight, the soft-hearted Kong quickly becomes tamed by Dwan, whose rambling monologue calms and fascinates the monstrous beast. After Dwan falls into mud, Kong takes Dwan back to a waterfall to wash her and dry her with great gusts of his warm breath. In the meantime, Prescott and First Mate Carnahan lead a rescue mission to save Dwan. The rescue party encounters Kong while crossing a log bridge, and Kong rolls the huge log, sending Carnahan and most of the rest of the sailors: Garcia, Timmons, and Joe Perko, falling to their deaths. Prescott and Boan are the only ones to survive. While Boan returns to the village, Prescott continues looking for Dwan. Kong takes Dwan to his lair where he begins to undress her top until a giant snake appears and attacks them. While Kong is fighting and killing the snake, Prescott rescues and escapes with Dwan as Kong chases them back to the native village. There he falls into a pit trap and is overcome by chloroform.
When Wilson learns the oil cannot be refined, he decides to transport Kong to America as a promotional gimmick for Petrox. When they reach New York City, Kong is put on display, bound in chains with a large crown on his head. When Kong sees a group of reporters pushing and shoving Dwan for interviews, the ape breaks free of his bonds, roaring at the crowd as panic ensues. People are trampled as Kong walks through the crowd, including Wilson, who is completely flattened by the ape’s foot. Prescott and Dwan flee across the Queensboro Bridge to Manhattan while Kong pursues them. They take refuge in an abandoned Manhattan bar. Prescott notices a similarity between the Manhattan skyline (notably the World Trade Center Twin Towers) and the mountainous terrain of Kong’s island. He runs downstairs to call the mayor’s office and tells them to let Kong climb to the top of the World Trade Center where he can be safely captured. Kong discovers Dwan through the window of the bar and grabs her, then makes his way to the World Trade Center with Jack and the National Guard in pursuit.
In the climax, Kong climbs the South Tower of the World Trade Center. After being attacked by men with flamethrowers while standing on the roof, Kong flees by leaping across to the North Tower. He rips pieces of equipment from the roof and throws them at the men, ultimately killing them when he throws a tank of flammable material. Going against Jack’s earlier request for safe capture, military helicopters are sent in to kill Kong. Kong fights them, destroying two, with Dwan pleading for his life the whole time, but the helicopter guns fatally injure him and he falls down to the World Trade Center plaza. Dwan rushes down to comfort him and tearfully watches him take his last breath. An enormous crowd gathers around the ape while Dwan is surrounded by photographers. Jack fights his way through the crowd to get to Dwan but stops short as she is taken away by journalists despite her cries to him.Its a wonderful movie and very underrated. I believe many people just critcised it because they are fans of the 33 version and as a result, simply deemed this 76 version as a crappy movie when it fact, it wasnt.

REVIEW: KING KONG (1933)

CAST
Fay Wray (Mystery of The Wax Museum)
Robert Armstrong (The Most Dangerous Game)
Bruce Cabot (Diamonds Are Forever)
Frank Reicher (Stage Door)
Noble Johnson (She Wore a Yellow Ribbon)
Sam Hardy (The Miracle Woman)
Steve Clemente (The Double O)
In New York Harbor, Carl Denham, famous for making wildlife films in remote and exotic locations, charters Captain Englehorn’s ship Venture for his new project, but he is unable to secure an actress for a female role he reluctantly added. Denham searches the streets of New York for a suitable woman. He meets penniless Ann Darrow and convinces her to join him for the adventure of a lifetime. The Venture quickly gets underway. The surly first mate, Jack Driscoll, gradually falls in love with Ann. After weeks of secrecy, Denham finally tells Englehorn and Driscoll that their destination is Skull Island, an uncharted island shown on a map in Denham’s possession. Denham speaks of something monstrous there, a legendary entity known only as “Kong”.
When they find the island and anchor off its shore, they can see a native village, separated from the rest of the island by an enormous stone wall. A landing party, including the filming crew and Ann, witnesses a group of natives about to sacrifice a young maiden as the “bride of Kong”. The intruders are spotted and the native chief angrily stops the ceremony. When he sees the blond Ann, he offers to trade six of his women for the “golden woman”. They rebuff him and return to the Venture.
That night, a band of natives kidnap Ann from the ship and conduct her through a huge wooden gate in the wall. Tied to an altar, she is offered to Kong, who turns out to be a giant gorilla-like ape. Kong carries her off into the jungle as the alerted Venture crew arrives. They open the gate and Denham, Driscoll and some volunteers enter the jungle in hopes of rescuing Ann. They discover that there are other giant creatures on the island, including dinosaurs. A Stegosaurus charges them and they kill it. When they raft across a swamp, a Brontosaurus capsizes their supplies and kills some men. Fleeing through the jungle, they soon meet Kong, who tries to stop them from crossing a ravine by shaking them off a fallen tree that bridges it. Only Driscoll and Denham, on opposite sides, survive.
A Tyrannosaurus threatens Ann, but Kong kills it after a colossal battle. Driscoll continues to shadow Kong and Ann while Denham returns to the village for more ammunition. Upon arriving in Kong’s lair in a mountain cave, Ann is menaced by a snake-like Elasmosaurus, which Kong wrestles and kills. While Kong is distracted killing a Pteranodon that tried to fly away with Ann, Driscoll reaches her and they climb down a vine dangling from a cliff ledge. When Kong notices and starts pulling them back up, they let go and fall unharmed into the water below. They run through the jungle and back to the village, where Denham, Englehorn and the surviving crewmen are waiting. Kong, following, breaks open the gate and murderously rampages through the village. On shore, Denham, now determined to bring Kong back alive, knocks him unconscious with a gas bomb.
Chained and shackled, Kong is presented to a Broadway theater audience as “Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World”. Ann and Jack are brought on stage to join him, followed by an invited group of press photographers. Kong, believing that the ensuing flash photography is an attack, breaks loose as the audience flees in terror. Ann is whisked away to a hotel room on a high floor, but Kong, scaling the building, soon finds her. Carrying her in his hand, he rampages through the city. He wrecks a crowded elevated train and ultimately climbs up the Empire State Building. At its top, he is met by four military Curtiss Helldivers. Kong sets Ann down and battles the planes, managing to down one of them, but he finally succumbs to their gunfire and falls to his death. Ann and Jack are reunited. Denham arrives and pushes through a crowd surrounding Kong’s body in the street. When a policeman remarks that the planes got him, Denham tells him, “Oh, no, it wasn’t the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast.”
KING KONG is one of those rare films that just gets better and better with age. We watch it now as a 1930’s fable that’s transcended its own time, attaining mythical status. The undiminished, primordial energy it generates derives from all aspects of production; from Willis O’Brien’s masterly stop-motion effects and Murray Spivack’s innovative early sound mix, to Max Steiner’s brilliantly evocative music score. King Kong is just as effective now as it was in the 1930’s.