Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Son of Kong (1933)

Promoter Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) discovers that being responsible for a giant ape going on a rampage in New York City raises some legal issues. Jeeze, it's been a month! Aren't they over that by now? He and his former captain decide to high-tail it out of Dodge to make their living on the high seas. At their first port of call they meet young hottie Hilda whose father was just murdered and wants to get away, as well as neer-do-well former captain Helstrom who also wants to get away because he just murdered someone. He convinces Denham to return to Kong Island with the old "But what about the treasure?" ruse. It totally works.

Fearing a repeat of their last visit, the crew abandons the above four people along with the Asian cook stereotype on the island. There they meet hostile natives (also not keen to repeat what happened last time) and prehistoric creatures (who have no opinion on the party, but were just hungry). Soon they discover that Kong had a son who was good-natured, twelve feet tall, and white. Read into that what you will. They rescue Sonny Kong from quicksand and in return he fights each stop-motion monster that comes their way. Denham and hottie continue looking for the treasure because they aren't too quick on the uptake.

Upon success of King Kong, the studio rushed the sequel into production. It was given half the budget (all of which went into the stop-motion effect) and hit the theaters by Christmas that
same year. While the special effects weren't a step back from the original, it most certainly was played for laughs. You totally get an Island of Misfit Toys vibe here.

Young Hottie Helen Mack continued to play the young hottie for as long as she was either one or the other. Asian cook stereotype Victor Wong made a career playing Asian stereotypes. Armstrong and Reicher both had long, productive careers but would only be remembered for their previous film.

Short, concise, and amusing. In many way not a worthy follow-up to the legendary original, and by no means a must-see, but you have to respect it for it's brevity (65-70 minutes). Tight in scope, it's the after dinner mint to the Kong banquet. Expect nothing more. AMRU 3.

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