Saturday, July 25, 2015

Son of Kong (1933)

1933's King Kong is a giant monster classic and is often considered one of the greatest films ever made. It had great effects, a spectacular hook, and a woman who could scream like no tomorrow. Yes, the world will never forget King Kong and its cinematic achievements. But do you know what people did forget? They forgot that it had a direct sequel that was released only a mere 9 months after King Kong. We're going to talk about that very sequel here today.

My favourite part is how everyone on the poster is wearing lipstick, including the giant ape.

We all know King Kong by now, right? It's a classic story of how one man's pursuit of success can ruin his life, half a city, and end in the death of an innocent animal who he took advantage of. It's a tragic tale where there really aren't any clear-cut villains or heroes, there are just characters dealing with the events they find themselves a part of. It's a truly fascinating film when you really look at it. In the aftermath of its story, there are a number of questions it did leave us with though. Whatever happened to the director, Carl Denham, who let himself become obsessed with using Kong as his ticket to legendary fame? Was Kong the only giant ape on Skull Island? Where did Charlie the cook go?

Did King Kong use Crest® 3D White Strips to maintain those pearly whites?
I guess the fact that there actually were some dangling questions might have lead to this movie being made. Of course, it could have also been due to the massive success of the first film, because we all know Hollywood has pretty much always been a bit of whore when it comes to turning a single film into a franchise. If there's profit to be made, you can bet Hollywood will be there to spread her legs open and tell you she's ready.

You can thank Ralph Bakshi for this extremely easy joke.
Picking up one month after the tragic death of King Kong in New York, we immediately see Carl Denham as he's trying desperately to avoid the public eye. He's got a number of lawsuits against him for all the destruction that bringing Kong to New York caused. As such, he's become a bit of a recluse. After a young female reporter sneaks in, he's decided that he's had enough of hiding, thus he prepares to head out. He gets immediately greeted by the guy who brings him his summons...and he has another one.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Denham. Jack Black is suing you for being a better portrayal of the character he played in the remake."
Rather than snapping the old man's neck, he decides to use him as a way to sneak off. He meets up with Captain Englehorn and they discuss the problems they now both face due to their involvement in the whole Kong affair. They're both relatively sure they're going to be facing jail time over it and the captain suggests that they skip that and go out to sea together. Carl agrees and they both go into business shipping cargo around the Orient, but it doesn't seem to be going too well. While chilling the Dutch port of Dakang, Denham watches a show that exists to introduce our leading lady.

"This next song is called Through the Fire and Flames. Please tip your waitresses."
Hilda here is a part of the monkey show because her father runs it, but the whole monkey thing is incidental as to why she ends up in this plot. That night, following the show, her father gets sauced with Norwegian captain named Nils Helstrom. As it turns out, this was a bad idea, and Helstrom ends up drunkenly murdering her father and setting their tent home on fire before bailing. Hilda tries to rush her father and the monkeys out, but discovers her father is already dead from a blow to the head. The next morning, Denham finds her trying to coax the monkeys from the tree. He listens to her woes before bidding her adieu, which prompts Helstrom to show up. She tells Helstrom she plans to let the authorities know he killed her father and he summarily shits himself faster than Merc McShitpants did when he was faced with a large monster problem.

He might also just smell bad because he's a dirty drunk captain with no ship though.
Helstrom then runs into Denham and Englehorn, where it's revealed he's an expert at ruining lives because he's the guy who gave Denham the map to Skull Island in the first place. They drink with him a bit and he asks if Carl managed to get the treasure off the island along with the giant ape. Because they need some excuse to go back there, the two men manage to buy this and they all end up setting out to visit once more the place that generally is quite inhospitable to outsiders. Let's ask Andy Serkis if he'd ever go back to Skull Island. Andy?

I'm just going to assume that's a "no".
And hey! Charlie the cook is back too! It's a regular reunion around here! Hilda asks to go with Carl, but he gives her some money and tells her she's better off catching a boat from there. So, surprising no one, it turns out that she stowed away on his boat because she digs him. Why wouldn't she? They wear the same shade of lipstick! Instant connection right there. But Helstrom is up to no good and ends up causing a mutiny among the crew, which also shouldn't surprise anyone because he's sketchier than a damn A-Ha music video. But it turns around on him as the crew decides they don't want him stinking things up with his poo pants.

"Quit laughing! It's a medical condition!! Stop it! I'll tell mother!!!"
Thus our heroes take the stinky asshole and they end up on Skull Island with only a dingy to get off on. The natives seem to remember them too, but aren't really happy since their village kinda got destroyed the last time the white guys dropped in. Helstrom shits himself again and they find a different place to land on the island where people aren't looking for an excuse to go all Cannibal holocaust on them. Although the idea of Helstrom with a pike jammed through his ass that comes out of his mouth is highly amusing to me.

There would probably be more shit than blood.
Denham and Hilda head out to explore a bit and end up finding a large albino ape trapped in some quicksand. The two agree to help it out, with Denham saying he's doing because of the guilt he feels over what happened with King Kong. He dubs the large critter Little Kong and figures it from the offspring of the larger ape. They rescue Little Kong and then continue on their way. Denham tells the captain about it, who tells him not to mention it to Helstrom, because the man already is more poop than person at this point. The captain takes Helstrom and Charlie to go hunting while Denham and Hilda go along on their own. Back with the others, a Styracosaurus happens along and decides it dislikes the smells of poo pants, so it gives chase and they end up pinned in a small crevasse.

You think I'm joking but that is definitely the face of a man who has shat himself numerous times.
We leave them to return to our budding young couple, because they're the important ones. I'm sure the others will be fine. Charlie was putting up a good fight. And besides, their monster has a head that is too big to get at them. Carl and Hilda manage to find something much worse: the missing bear from Grizzly II. Luckily, Little Kong hears them in trouble and rushes to their aid, beating the bear up first with his hands and then with a large piece of wood. He gets a cut on his finger during the fight though and Carl bandages it, helping to cement the bond they now have between them. After Little Kong helps them get some coconuts, they make a fire and rest beneath the stars and the next day they find the treasure, even though they learn right afterward that Helstrom made that bit up.

Yep.
But before that useless character gets back into the story, another dinosaur (a Nothosaur) shows up and Little Kong has to take care of business once again. the other show up just in time to not be eaten by a giant dinosaur and they learn about the treasure, leading to Helstrom admitting he made it all up. He then notices they have giant ape friend and tortures his mistreated pants some more by once again dropping a load in them.

I don't know why he's so scared. Little Kong is adorable. It's not like he's an abomination like Minilla.
But yes, freak out he does, and he runs off to go steal the only boat they've got. Upon arriving there, another much scarier monster, called a Cetiosaurus, pops up and decides it doesn't mind poo pants, so it eats him. The others rush to the boat as the entire island seems to be falling apart in wake of the film's jackass dying, but Denham is still back with Little Kong in the temple. the two make it out of a hole in the upper area of the cave temple, but the island is going bye-bye quite fast and things aren't getting any better for our heroes. Little Kong's foot gets stuck as the island sinks and Denham can't get it loose. But Kong won't let his little friend die, picking him up to hold him above the water until the others can get to him in the boat, sacrificing his last bits of strength to save the man who saved him.

Little Kong was too good for this world.
But, having not much in the way of resources and still stuck in the middle of the ocean with a rowboat, things don't look too good. They lost the treasure too, which really is just salt in the wounds. Well, not all of the treasure, as Carl reveals the large bauble he found earlier is still with him, meaning they have something. But you can't eat or drink diamonds. I mean, you can try, but it really hurts. It's a good thing a ship runs across them, saving them from a rather awful death. The four agree to split the money from the single treasure they found, but Hilda says it should be a three-way split, as she wants to stick with Denham. D'awwwww. Thus ends our story of the heroic giant ape and the director who ran away from the law so he wouldn't serve jail time.

Yeah, I'm not sure what he's gonna do about that when they get to wherever they're going.
This movie wasn't bad at all, which surprised me, because I figured it must be since no one ever talks about it. Even Rotten Tomatoes has it with 33%, which really is a bit shocking to me. Well, piss on that, this was a fun (albeit short) little movie about a young giant ape who made some friends and kept saving their asses right up until the end. Little Kong gave his all and I can't hate on this because I feel like it would be treating him the same way Helstrom treated his pants.

I just simply refuse to shit on such an adorable giant monster who murders other giant monsters so well.
In all seriousness, I can understand why some people don't like this movie. It's short, for one thing, and it's following up a film that many people love with something that is often more comedic than it is dramatic. But it's still well made, featuring effects that still look cool and heroic characters I actually cared about. I even liked the idea of building on the character of Carl Denham, giving him a chance to show remorse for all that transpired in the former film. I feel like it makes it all the more tragic when you see this man regrets what he did to poor King Kong and it's mirrored in how he behaves with Little Kong, with him desperately trying to free his foot even at the cost of his own life. I dug this and I think it deserves a second look, because it really is the best sequel to King Kong out there. I really do believe that. So, until the Cetiosaurus gets exposed to chemicals while digesting Helstrom which cause it to turn into a giant shit monster, I'll be here hoping I don't get a 'cease & desist' letter for mentioning Grizzly II. Later days, bleeders.

"Let's hug it out."

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