Kongtoberfest: An encore! (The Fictocast #006/007)

Kongtoberfest has come to an end, and we thank you all for your readership and kind words of encouragement!

As Kongtoberfest comes to a close, we at The Fictosphere would like to leave you–our kind readers–with a Kong-sized special multi-media post finale. Comprised of podcast audio clips, videos, text (obviously), and pictures, this post is designed to act as both a celebration of those things Kong that we didn’t cover in article form during this month and as an encore conversation of those Kong movies, lost films, and unmade projects that we did cover. Please note that all of the audio was recorded in one sitting, and we were working without a script–so natural (and unnatural) divergences happen. We are just four friends who got together to talk about all things Kong.

So, with that overture… well, over, on with the show! You can start following along here.

Part 1: Introductions and Personal Stories (PT1: 0:00:00-0:25:44)

The back cover of the Crestwood House monster books, with the 1933 Kong puppet front and center.
Turner Classic Movies commercial, circa 1994. SOURCE: Kommershul Klassics

Part 2: King Kong (1933) Discussion (PT1: 0:25:45-0:42:13)

King Kong trailer from the 1938 re-release.
The Most Dangerous Game (1932) poster. This was the film that used the same sets as Kong ’33.
Opening of The Big Chuck & Lil John Show, WJKW days. SOURCE: Hoolihanbigchuck
Opening of The Big Chuck & Lil John Show, WJW days. SOURCE: Hoolihanbigchuck

Part 3: King Kong’s Adventures in the Heavenly Palace (1959) Discussion (PT1: 0:42:13-0:45:50)

RANDALL MALUS: All right, so the above audio is likely filled with inaccuracies. I had first read about King Kong’s Adventures in the Heavenly Palace on some list site, which listed the top ten most bizarre Kong films and this film made the list. The article stated that the film was Chinese, made in the 1930s, and was just an adaptation of the Monkey King/Son Goku myth–but according to Australian site Qagoma and the Australian Cinematheque, the film is from Hong Kong, was released in 1959, and seemingly isn’t about the Monkey King at all:

“King Kong escapes to earth from the celestial zoo and goes on a rampage in human form (with the shape-changing assistance of a divine charm). As Kong leaves death and destruction in his wake, Qing official Cheung Chungkai pleads with the gods to deal with him — but to no avail, until finally the Goddess of Mercy steps in to sort out the beast, and then the neglectful immortals.”

My mistake, folks. This is what happens when you don’t do your research.

Part 4: Son of Kong (1933) Discussion (PT1: 0:45:50-0:59:26)

Son of Kong trailer

Part 5: Wasei Kingu Kongu (1933) and King Kong Appears in Edo (1938) Discussion (PT1: 0:59:26-1:12:02

Part 6: Mighty Joe Young (1949) and Mighty Joe Young (1998) Discussion (PT1: 1:12:02-1:19:28)

Mighty Joe Young (1949) trailer
Mighty Joe Young (1998) trailer

Part 7: King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962), The 8th Wonder of the World (1950s), and Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster (1966) Discussion (PT1: 01:19:28-01:35:39)

King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1962) trailer
Godzilla Vs. the Sea Monster trailer

Part 8: The Legend of King Kong (1975) and King Kong (1976) Discussion (PT1: 01:35:39-01:49:35)

King Kong (1976) trailer
Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) poster.

Now you can start following along here.

Part 9: King Kong Escapes (1967) Discussion (PT2 0:00:00-0:06:38)

Part 10: Hammer’s King Kong (1960s/1970s) Discussion, featuring Tom Clancy, El Santo, and Asylum Films (PT2 0:06:38-0:31:37)

Gorgo (1961) trailer
One Million Years B.C. (1966) trailer

Part 11: King Kong Lives (1986) Discussion (PT2 0:31:37-0:48:20)

King Kong Lives trailer

It should be noted here that in Japan, a video game based on King Kong Lives called King Kong 2 (the title of the film in Japan) was released for the Famicom (Japanese Nintendo Entertainment System) by Konami. It was a top down adventure game, not unlike The Legend of Zelda (1986), and the ultimate goal was to save Lady Kong. A playthrough of the game from nenriki86 is below.

Part 12: John Landis’s King Kong (1980s) and King Kong (1996) Discussion (PT2 0:48:20-1:18:30)

The King Kong Encounter ride at Universal Studios, Hollywood. SOURCE: Christopher Lord
The Kongfrontation ride at Universal Studios, Orlando. SOURCE: Dennis Smith

RANDALL MALUS: There’s an inaccuracy in the podcast as it relates to the unmade John Landis Kong film. The artwork showing Kong atop the Sears Tower is not from either of the rides, but rather from the Data East King Kong pinball machine (the backboard of which is pictured below).

Part 13: The Mighty Kong (1998) and King Kong (2005) Discussion (PT2 01:18:30-01:55:07)

The Mighty Kong trailer.
King Kong trailer.

Though we touched upon the subject of the King Kong 2005 video game in the podcast, this is an appropriate to go into slightly more depth. The game is a first person shooter for several levels/areas, placing you in the shoes of Jack Driscoll as he tries to stay alive on Skull Island and later rescue Ann from Kong. Every so often, though, the game changes into a third person brawler of sorts and puts the player into the fur of Kong. As Kong, the player is tasked with fighting and killing the V-Rexes threatening Ann’s safety as well rampaging through New York during the climax. In the best ending, Kong lives.

Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie Gamer’s Edition full playthrough by Sergey P.

Part 14: Banglar King Kong (2010) and Kong: Skull Island (2017) (PT2 01:55:07-2:44:09)

Banglar King Kong trailer.
Kong: Skull Island trailer

Part 15: Epilogue and additional items

At this point in the podcast, we attempted to talk at length about the various animated Kong series and video games, but quickly discovered that none of us had very much experience with any of those. The lack of first-hand experience, combined with some increasing technical difficulties, forced us to end the podcast soon after.

While the subject of video games has been touched upon earlier in this post, we did not yet mention the Atari 2600 King Kong game. This is because it’s really just a Donkey Kong clone, and so there’s not much to say about it beyond that. You can watch a video playthrough by World of Longplays below if you’re so inclined.

For those who wanted to see the alternate ending to Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (the one inspired by the 1996 Kong script), Monotrematic Studios provides that in the video below.

As for the various animated shows based on the King of Skull Island, we’ve included below the openings for the 1966 Rankin Bass King Kong, the 2000 American-Canadian co-produced Kong: The Animated Series, and the 2016 Netflix original Kong: King of the Apes.

SOURCE: SkullyTheHypnoSkull
SOURCE: Kong – The Animated Series – Official Channel
SOURCE: Netflix Futures

Finally, did you know that the story of Kong became a Broadway show? Neither did we. Here’s a scene of Kong fighting a giant cobra, which showcases the impressive puppetry on display. Apparently there’s also singing or something.

SOURCE: Broadwaygirl918

Additional Sources

Don’t let us be the last word on your expedition through Skull Island! The Kong franchise is rich with untold tales, unmade movies, lost media, and the like. If you’d like to explore more of the world of the 8th Wonder, please take a look at the books, links, and channels below–some of which were used as references for this event!

BigJackFilms – King Kong Reviews Playlist

The Cinemassacre Kongathon

The Classic Horror Film Board – Kong: 8th Wonder of the World Subsection

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