Category Archives: King Kong

Great Moustaches & Beards in Horror History: 1976 (Again!)

Jeff Bridges and beard in King Kong

There was something in the water in 1976, and that something was clearly a liberal Hollywood toxin aimed at generating communist face hair (I imagine their plan to be executed much like Ra’s Al Ghul’s water vaporising scheme in Batman Begins). But one look at hippy dream-boat Jeff Bridges will have even the most staunch Republican melting into his white rhino-skin shoes. Gaze on in awe as Bridges produces a massive volume of beard and long flowing locks, the likes we wouldn’t see again until 1998s The Big Lebowski. It’s little wonder that young sexy starlet Jessica Lange fell deep into those longing blue eyes, like two lakes in a clearing of soft skin, surrounded by the beardy forrest of Bridgeville. Some say it was beauty killed the beast, others say that Kong threw himself off that building in shame; after realising that Jeff Bridges had better face hair than he. But that dear reader is a secret we will never know.

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Do You Remember When..,

.., Kong smiles as he blow-dries Jessica Lange in ‘King Kong’ (1976)?

Horny Kong strikes again! King Kong has a 80 year reputation for abducting and thoroughly molesting blonde starlets. But that’s just Hollywood for you. In 1976 Kong got very excited as he dipped a scantly-clad, hot as jalepenos, Jessica Lange under a waterfall. A kind of Skull Island wet t-shirt competition. Surveying Lange, in all her wet glory, Kong puffs out his huge inflatable cheeks to give her a little blow-dry and grins profusely from ear-to-ear as if he’d been up all night smoking dubes and watching Ren and Stimpy. He then goes on to poke and prod her like most men do to women when they try picking them up in bars. Good work Kong, good work.

Note: yes that is Rick Baker in that suit, and yes those are his sex offender eyes (disclaimer: Rick Baker is NOT a sex offender). For more on Rick Baker and his career with Kong check out this Deadly Movies article.

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Movies You’ve Probably Never Heard of #6

A*P*E (aka ‘Attack of the Giant Horny Gorilla’) 1976, Dir Paul Leder
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I came upon this little gem whilst researching cheap King Kong rip-offs (click here to have a look at a bunch of 1930’s Japanese examples). King Kong’s history seems to be riddled with quick cash-in’s, and here you have a US/Korean effort that was rushed out to gorge on the success of Dino De Laurentiis 1976 big money King Kong remake. Problem is Laurentiis’ film wasn’t successful and A*P*E faded into b-movie mythology. The film’s tagline was even ‘not to be confused with King Kong’, now that’s what I call marketing. Amazingly the guys behind this hysterically bad movie even had the gumption to go for 3D, which only adds to its mystique. The writers of A*P*E were either satirical geniuses who loaded the film with postmodern humour or completely incompetent.., It’s genuinely quite difficult to work out which.
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Rick’s Revenge

Deadly Movies Cameos | Rick Baker in King Kong (2005)

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Back in 1976 Italian producer kingpin Dino De Laurentiis decided to ditch stop-motion in favour of man-in-suit in order to realise his dream of an updated 70s King Kong. The man charged to build the suit, and therein, face and facial movement would also end up wearing the suit and playing the horny ape. That man was makeup legend Rick Baker.., and he hated it. 29 years later Peter

Jackson invited Baker to New Zealand to take part in some King Kong nostalgia and, importantly, to shave off his beard and, along with Jackson, suit up in flyboy gear to cameo as the biplane pilot who shoots Kong down during the films infamous finale. Needles to say Baker reveled in the chance to shoot his former tormentor. Meaning that Baker occupies a rather unique niche in movie history; the only man to both play and kill King Kong. Now that’s something to tell the grandkids. And just in case you hadn’t seen it, here’s Rick posing like Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli (Left) during the makeup process of King Kong back in 1976Nice pair of lofa’s too.

Deadly Movies Investigates the Strange Case of the Three Japanese King Kong Kounterfits

Wasei Kingu Kongu (aka Japanese King Kong 1933), Edo ni Arawareta Kingu Kongu (aka King Kong Appears in Edu 1934) and Kingu Kongu Zenkouhen (1938)

Case Date 1933: Here’s an intriguing revelation that’s only known to Mole People, Richard Nixon, and 45 year-old men who work at Forbidden Planet. During the 1930s it would appear that various Japanese studios turned out knock-off King Kong (or Kingu Kongu in Japanese-English) films that were only ever given domestic release due to the incredibly blatant copyright infringement. You’ve got to admire the balls of steel approach by these on-the-fly filmmakers, cashing in on the popularity of Hollywood releases. These were, in effect, 1930s versions of today’s direct to DVD movies.., Outrageousu! (click the poster image to enlarge)

What adds to their mystique is that all three copies are lost to time. The most likely cause of this loss? The US atomic bombings in 1945. Whatever the cause, the image to the left would seem to be the only surviving still from any of these three films, most likely from 1933’s Wasei Kingu Kongu (aka Japanese King Kong 1933)

According to multiple online sources Japanese studio Sochikuh (which still exists in one way or another in Kyoto Japan) produced a quick replica of 1933s King Kong in the same year. Wasei Kingu Kongu or literally ‘Japanese King Kong’ was apparently as good as a literal remake or straight copy. Then there is King Kong Appears in Edu which appears to be some kind of bizarre period drama. Edu being the name for Tokyo prior to 1868. This film was produced by the Zensho Kinema studio which ceased making films in 1940. This, rumour has it, featured Kong fighting giant insects and bashing up old-school Japanese architecture.

As for King Kong Zenkouhen.., No-one seems to know what the hell this is about, or if it really existed in the first place. Indeed it may be the case that King Kong Zenkouhen is in fact King Kong Appears in Edu, but we may never know as all prints are lost. Many state King Kong Appears in Edu as being released in 1934, however records have the production studio, Zensho Kinema, only existing between 1938 and 1940 giving extra weight to the theory that the these two films are indeed one and the same.

Whatever the truth behind these obscure films consider this; It would appear that these Kong rip offs pre-date the man-in-rubber-suit films made famous by Toho’s Godzilla by some 16 years or so. In which case, for better or worse, they deserve their rightful recognition in Monster Movie history.

For more Deadly Movies information on King Kong adsurdities take a look at these gems

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Did You Ever Catch A Monkey?

Deadly Movies Reviews  | ‘The Son of Kong’ (1933)

Whipped out almost before the credits for King Kong (1933) had finished this same year sequel is a calorie and sugar free version of its predecessor; it feels lighter, light on content, cast, atmosphere, tone, and a lot lighter on monkey. It’s a diet movie if you will. Diet movies are common amongst the monster community, with high profile suffers like Jaws 2 (1978), Halloween 2 (1981), and Jurassic Park: The Lost World (1997). They feel the same, they look the same, they sound the same, but they’re just not as satisfying as those full fat originals. Continue reading

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Do You Remember When..,

.., King Kong looked like absolute crap in ‘King Kong vs Godzilla’ (1962)

Back in the early 1960s producer John Beck sold the rights to make a new King Kong film to Japanese Godzilla outfit Toho. The ‘man in suit’ brigade then set about putting a plot together whereby their new acquisition could face their stable money maker Godzilla. Aside from the film being a total balls up and making Kong look like an ass clown in a rubber suit (rather than stop motion, a feat of stupidity matched again by Dino De Laurentiis in 1975), it also got one massive Kong factor wrong, his height. For a moment here let’s get our geek on. In the 1933 movie Kong was either 18 feet or 24 feet tall, let’s go with 24 to give the big guy a break. In the 1954 original Japanese film the radioactive lizard is 164 feet tall. So at best Kong is lacking some 140 feet. You’d need to drink a lot of Saki to make that error in calculation. Oh yeah –  and he looks like a monkey with severe brain trauma and alopecia who can’t stop smiling the whole time…, that’d be the Saki.

Like Kong looking like a stupid moron? Also see: King Kong Strikes Again (1967), King Kong (1976), and King Kong Lives (1986)

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