son of king kong

5

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)

The Most Hilarious/Strange Alt. Titles for Godzilla Films from Around the World:

Mothra vs. Godzilla - Watang and the Fabulous Empire of Monsters (Italy)

Godzilla vs. Monster Zero - Monsters of the Galaxies (Mexico)

Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster - Mothra, the Flying Dracula Monster (Holland)

Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster - Frankenstein’s Monster Hunt: Godzilla’s Son (Germany)

Destroy All Monsters - The Heirs of King Kong (Italy)

Godzilla’s Revenge - The Return of Gorgo (???) (Italy)

Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster - Frankenstein’s Battle Against the Devil’s Monster (Germany)

Godzilla vs. Gigan - Frankenstein’s Hell Brood (Germany)

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla - King Kong vs. Godzilla (Germany, For reference, the original KKvG was called The Return of King Kong )

Terror of Mechagodzilla - Destroy Kong! The Earth is in Danger! (Italy)



And I’ve saved Godzilla vs. Megalon for last, not only cause it’s my favorite Godzilla film, but holy shit, look at these:

Gorgo and Superman Meet in Tokyo (Spain)

Planetary Titans (Mexico)

Godzilla 1980 (French Belgium

King Kong: Demons from Outer Space (Germany)

At the Borders of Reality (Italy)

The 1938 Dracula & Frankenstein Double-Bill

On Thursday, August 5, 1938, the Regina-Wilshire Theatre at Wilshire and La Cienega in Los Angeles, trying to stave off bankruptcy, began what was intended as a four-day run  of a tripple-bill feature of Dracula, Frankenstein and Son of King Kong. The bill unexpectedly captured the public’s imagination and became an overnight sensation. It was soon playing 21 hours a day to packed houses while police controlled the crowds queuing around the block. At the same time, an unemployed Bela Lugosi, who, apart from one week’s work in the Republic serial S.O.S Coastguard in 1937, had not been offered film work for two years, was suffering dire financial problems. At the start of the year, he had been forced to apply to the Motion Picture Relief Fund for help with medical costs when his son, Bela George Lugosi, Jr., was born on January 5th, 1938. His only work during 1938 had been an appearance on the Baker’s Broadcast radio programme on March 13th, on which he sang a duet with Boris Karloff. As the crowds began to grow outside the Regina-Wilshire, he was forced to move into a rented house when the mortgage company foreclosed on his beloved mansion at 2227 Outpost Drive. Realising the goldmine he had stumbled upon, Emil Umann, manager of the Regina-Wilshire, quickly hired the unemployed actor to make nightly public appearances at the cinema.

Universal, which had rented the films to Umann at a flat rate, found itself missing out on the massive profits that the cinema was making. Quickly striking 500 new prints of Dracula and Frankenstein, the studio set a publicity campaign in motion and rented the newly struck prints to cinemas across the country, which all duplicated the success of the Regina-Wilshire under terms more beneficial to the studio. As the campaign gained momentum, Universal, who had taken credit for Emil Umann’s inspired idea, pulled their prints from the Regina-Wilshire after four weeks, leaving him out in the cold as the profits continued to roll in. Bela Lugosi headed off on a West Coast tour of personal appearances at cinemas to promote the Dracula and Frankenstein double-bill. On October 17th, Universal rushed Son of Frankenstein into production, heralding the beginning of the second cycle of Hollywood horror films and the end of Lugosi’s financial woes. Of his unexpected return to the spotlight, he told the press, “I owe it all to that little man at the Regina Theatre. I was dead, and he brought me back to life.”

Five thousand people queued outside the Victory in Salt Lake City to see the double-bill. Unable to meet the demand, the manager rented the Broadway Theatre across the street and the films played simultaneously through the night.

Un parachute dans les poumons,

J’me suis dis que si les animaux étaient au même niveau de vie que nous, qu’ils parlaient, vivaient dans des apparts & seraient nos voisins de palier ça serait super chaud. Genre un jour tu rentres chez toi & tu trouves un barage devant ta porte parce que ton voisin c’est un castor, du coup c’est de nature, le mec vient de s’embrouiller avec sa femme castor & il pète un boulon du coup BAM il construit un barage pour se défouler parce que c’est son truc. Bref, tu rentres, y’a un barage devant ta porte, chaud !

Puis ton autre voisin t’invite à prendre un verre, c’est un poisson, alors t’y va avec ta combi, tu sonnes, tu passes un sas pour aller direct dans son appart’quarium & vous buvez une bière à base de molécules d’airs.

Sans parler du gorille trop bruyant d’en face à qui t’ose trop rien dire parce que King Kong c’était son oncle & tu te sent pas trop de finir en haut de l’immeuble avec des hélicoptères.