Monday, December 15, 2008

Son of Kong (1933)

Sequels always seem to be more of a modern way for cinema to cash in on the success of a hit movie, so it's hard to believe that Son of Kong was actually released the same year as King Kong, and directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack co-director of King Kong who later directed Dr Cyclops and Mighty Joe Young.
With a running time of only 69 mins, Son of Kong picks up the story around a month after the end of the first movie. Carl Denham has various lawsuits against him after the destruction caused by Kong in New York. He skips the City on board the Venture with Captain Englehorn. They head to the orient where on one island they bump into the bloke, Nils Helstrom, who sold Denham the map of Skull Island. Helstrom tells them there is treasure on Skull Island. Denham and Englehorn who's finances are running low decide to head to the island. Hilda has stowed away on the ship, she was with a travelling show on the island with her father, a father who has been murdered by Helstrom. They arrive at Skull Island with a less than pleasent reception from the natives so they travel down the coast before the leave their ship. Here they find an albino 'Little Kong' they name Kiko.

Now I've always had a soft spot for this fun and lightweight sequel, I first seen it on TV as a kid.The film relies more on humour with the scenes of Kiko. The Stop-Motion animation again by Willis O'Brien is top notch for it's time. Fay Wray and Bruce Cabot from King Kong don't make an appearance in this sequel, the main character this time is Robert Armstrong as Carl Denham. Armstrong reportedly preferred Son of Kong because his character got more to do than in the first film. Helen Mack as Hilda is a much stronger female lead than Fay Wray in my opinion, who had a good set of lungs but didn't really do much else in King Kong. The Styracosaurus seen in Son of Kong was originally built for King Kong, Peter Jackson now owns the original model and a replica was made for his recreation of the Spider Pit sequence that I posted here in September.
If you haven't seen Son of Kong then it is a good fun way to kill a bit of time especially if you're a fan of Stop-Motion Animation.


Jim said...

Great post!

I. N. J. Culbard said...

Excellent post.

Son of Kong is a great film and I love Mighty Joe Young. What I think is great is basically the ape to human scale, the fact that he's only twice the size of a human rather than impossibly huge. Also, Son of Kong (Kiko) looks friendly. The real monster of these movies is Carl Denham. I mean, rue the day Denham ever landed on the shores of Skull Island. Poor inhabitants - minding their own business when suddenly Hollywood shows up and ruins everything!!

Moonwatcher said...

It's been ages since I've seen Son of Kong, but I remember liking it, there's a bit I remember where he fights a bear that was fun. :)