konga

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Title cards from the Gorgo franchise: 1961 - present

Having recently re-read some of the early ‘60s Gorgo comics from Charlton, I got to thinking about another world where Gorgo was a popular and successful enough film to spawn a long-running kaiju franchise of its own.

Detailed history of the franchise (directors, trivia, etc.) under the cut.

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Scream, Ann, scream for your life - it’s KONGSPLOITATION!

Having recently re-watched both the original King Kong and Son of Kong, I’ve found myself with a hankering for more big ape movies. It’s strange, though - King Kong as a character has somehow just never quite got the hang of the whole franchise thing. Having said that, he and his remakes have been the subject of a multitude of spin-offs, ripoffs, sequels, and parodies. I therefor submit the term “Kongsploitation” as a collective noun for said productions.

My system for defining such films boils down to two major factors:

  1. A giant ape film spurred on by the success or production of a recent King Kong film, made with the intent of capitalising on Kong’s hype. Examples of this: The Mighty Peking ManKing of the Lost WorldThis can include official Kong productions, for example: Son of Kong.
  2. A film which uses the “Kong” name in an attempt to capitalise on the appeal of Kong as a character. For example: Kong: King of the Apes, The Mighty Kong, KongaThis can also include official Kong productions, for example: King Kong Lives, King Kong Escapes.

You might notice some conspicuous absences, such as the 1998 remake of Mighty Joe Young, having included the original version. This is because the 1949 film has several factors which tie it directly back to the original King Kong, whereas the remake has no Kong-related factors whatsoever.

I’m sure there are other examples out there which fit into my definition, and remember that is all this is - one person’s definition and musings. Feel free to suggest more, or challenge some of my entries if you disagree.

Titles in bold are officially licensed Kong productions.

Son of Kong (Dir: Ernest B. Schoedsack, USA, 1933)

Japanese King Kong (Dir: Torajiro Saito, Japan, 1933)

King Kong Appears in Edo (Dir: Sōya Kumagai, Japan, 1938)

Mighty Joe Young (Dir: Ernest B. Schoedsack, USA, 1949)

Konga (Dir: John Lemont, UK, 1961)

King Kong vs. Godzilla (Dir: Ishiro Honda, Japan, 1962)

King Kong Escapes (Dir: Ishiro Honda, Japan, 1967)

Queen Kong (Dir: Frank Agrama, UK, 1976)

A*P*E (Dir: Paul Leder, South Korea, 1976) (not pictured)

The Mighty Peking Man (Dir: Ho Meng-hua, Hong Kong, 1977)

Yeti: Giant of the 20th Century (Dir: Gianfranco Parolini, Italy, 1977)

King Kong Lives (Dir: John Guillermin, USA, 1986)

The Mighty Kong (Dir: Art Scott, USA, 1998)

King of the Lost World (Dir: Leigh Scott, USA, 2005)

Banglar King Kong (Dir: Iftekar Jahan, Bangladesh, 2010)

Kong: King of the Apes (Dir: various, USA, 2016)

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KONG: Skull Island All Stars vs. Queen Konga! - Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson