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The Summer of Kong: Part 4
A*P*E ( 1976 )
Nearly three months ago I came up with this idea of a marathon of every King Kong and King Kong inspired movie ever made ( or at least, the ones that were released on home video in the United States. ) What started it all was a very slight desire to see A*P*E, a King Kong rip-off made in the mid 70s that I had wanted to see as a kid, but never had the opportunity. And now nearly 40 years later, after discovering the movie was indeed released on DVD and available on a Amazon market penny sale, decided to see exactly what I had missed all those years ago. And then came this idea for a marathon, all to be watched in order of their respective release dates. So after four decades of waiting to see this movie, I end up waiting another few months, even though I have it sitting on my shelf all that time. Now finally, I get to see A*P*E!!! I was not expecting anything good. Maybe as a kid I was fooled into thinking a movie featuring a battle between King Kong and a shark was the greatest motion picture ever. But I had seen enough reviews to know that this would be bad. The verdict, not as bad as The Mighty Gorga, but not far from the bottom.
The movie opens on a ship where "the big boy" is being held captive and on his way to be exhibited at Disneyland. The ape is never mentioned by name, but referred to as "he", "him", "or "that ape" or "that monster". Occasionally a character will refer to him as King Kong, but using a sarcastic tone in their voice while saying it. It is a very rare film that does not give it's monster a name. But we all know that the ape is really King Kong. The producers thought they would be clever and not use it's name, so that in turn no one could prove that the character was actually Kong. In some other countries where copyright infringements are ignored, the film was indeed released with King Kong in the title, and the characters dubbed to call the ape Kong.
Kong is being kept unconscious from some sort of gas, but then just as one of the crew members says "I sure hope the gas that put him out lasts that long." he wakes up and destroys the ship, causing it to explode and disappear. And only three minutes into the movie, we arrive at the "King Kong vs Jaws" scene. Unlike the original Jaws that used a mechanical shark, A*P*E uses a real shark. Not a live shark, but a dead shark the director probably picked up at the local fish market. Kong picks up, tosses, and otherwise pretends to wrestle with the shark carcass, doing everything he can to pretend the shark is still alive. After nearly a minute of this nonsense, Kong ends the battle with his now patented break the jaw open move. ( or rather, the sharks jaws were pre-cut so that the actor in the gorilla suit could bend it open. )
Kong then swims to Korea and immediately destroys an industrial site along the shore, then heads off to the interior of the country. Here the movie can't make up it's mind whether or not Kong is suppose to be a villain. In one moment he is enjoying watching children in a playground, or himself having fun playing with a man in a hang glider. But the next moment he is purposely destroying a town, killing untold hundreds for no good reason. While all this is going on, the general in charge of the American armed forces stationed in Korea refuses to believe reports of a giant ape rampaging through the countryside. Meanwhile, Kong has stumbled onto a movie set and has fallen in love with actress Marilyn Baker ( played by tv mom Joanna Kerns in a role she would like to forget. ) Predictably, Kong grabs Marilyn and walks off with her. She is rescued by her boyfriend and spirited away to Seoul where she should be safe from Kong. But Kong shows up and begins ripping the roofs off every building until he finally finds Marilyn, and kidnaps her again. Deciding the reports of a giant ape are real, the Army finally tracks Kong down, and while the boyfriend re-rescues Marilyn again, Kong is shot and killed.
It should be pointed out that aside from capitalizing on the King Kong remake and Jaws, production company Worldwide Entertainment also tried to capitalize on the 3D movie fad by filming and releasing A*P*E in 3D. The strange thing was, there was no 3D fad in 1976. 3D movies were very popular in the 1950s, and there would be a second wave of popularity in the early 80s, but in 1976 3D movies were not in vogue. The end result is that A*P*E is full of 3D artifacts, such Kong hurling objects at the screen most of the time. Perhaps I would have appreciated this film more had I seen it in 3D.
KING KONG ( 1976 )
So how does this King Kong remake compare to the original? Lets start with it's best attribute. The ape costume here is incredible. Unlike those in the past with the stiff faces and the zipper showing, this Kong's face is able to show emotions. It was even able to puff it's cheeks like Dizzy Gillespie when it wanted to blow a wet Jessica Lange dry. After watching five movies utilizing some of the worst gorilla costumes ever, it is nice to see that De Laurentiis was smart enough to spend most of the film's budget on getting the costume right. But that is as far as getting it right goes.
This may have been one of the most expensive films ever made at the time of it's release, but the 1933 King Kong felt much bigger. A big disappointment was Skull Island. In the original it was a nightmare world inhabited by monsters and dinosaurs. In this version there is only one monster, a giant snake, which unlike the ape costume, seems to have come from the Ed Wood school of cheap special effects. During this one monster battle the movie constantly cuts away so that the director can further wrap the snake around Kong. Other than the rubber snake, Skull island seems to be uninhabited by any other creature, with vast grasslands dotted with a few forest areas rather than an endless jungle, and with no skull shaped mountain at all.
De Laurentiis must have been thinking about the budget when he commissioned the script. Obviously he could not afford to replicate the Skull Island from the original movie. But the shortcuts do not end there. In the original, Kong crashes through the gate and spends about five minutes destroying the native village. In this version no village is visible. When Kong smashes through the gate, he immediately falls into a pit filled with chloroform, one the crew of the ship had dug right in front of the gate. Even the final battle with the helicopters on top of the Twin Towers seems much smaller than the original Kong's battle with biplanes on the top of the Empire State Building. Of course, it did not help that the poster for this movie showed Kong straddling both towers with one foot on each. In the movie, Kong is nowhere large enough to do that, and it takes great effort for him to leap across from one tower to the other. That poster also shows jet fighters as part of the battle, and a rocket ship that Kong has somehow managed to snatch from the sky.
Aside from making a cheaper version of Kong, the script also makes a number of regrettable changes from the original. This time around it is an evil oil company looking to find fuel on the island that captures Kong and bring him back to New York for exhibition. Exactly how that translate into selling gas is beyond me, but seemed to make a lot of sense to the oil company that though Kong would be a great promotional tool. It would have made a lot more sense if they brought back a dinosaur, seeing how we think of gasoline and oil as their remains. But alas, Skull Island had no dinosaurs. The characters Carl Denham, Ann Darrow and first mate Jack Driscoll were important to the original, but for some reason were all done away with in the remake. Showman Carl Denham, who went to the island to capture the legendary Kong on film, then decided he could bring the ape back alive, is replaced by oil executive Fred S Wilson ( Charles Grodin ) who only brings Kong back to cover up the fact he had not found any fuel on the island and had already wired his company that he was bringing back the big one. Movie star Ann Darrow is replaced with ditzy starlet Dwan ( Jessica Lange ) who has no reason to be on an oil expedition, and is only there because the yacht she was on exploded. Jack Driscoll is replaced by stow away hippie Jack Prescott ( Jeff Bridges ) who is also a paleontologist. Jack has known about the island for years, as well as the legend of it having a giant ape dating back to at least the 1600s. But for whatever reason, has never been able to afford to chart his own vessel, so instead spent years waiting for another ship to explore the island, and snuck aboard when no one was looking. After being caught he is implausibly hired as the expeditions photographer, which explains why he is on the island. Lets face it. The original movie made a lot more sense.
King Kong 1976 is not a bad movie. In fact, it is much more enjoyable than the previous five ape movies, and possibly the best giant primate film since the original King Kong. I do remember liking it a lot when I originally saw it in theaters back in 1976. But that was probably because I saw it on the big screen where even the dinkiest film seems important. King Kong '76 is a blown opportunity that seems empty compared with the original. But entertaining enough if you can pretend the original never existed.
QUEEN KONG ( 1976 )
Wow, this was bad! Maybe it was because the week before I had seen one of the good giant ape films, but this movie seemed like the worse I had seen so far this summer. A parody of the 1976 version of King Kong, that was really a parody of the plot from the 1933 version due to the fact that the 1976 version had not yet been released, which seemed more like a parody of a bad porn film. In this movie, the male King Kong is replaced with the female Queen Kong, and an all female ships crew and a female film director bring a male actor named "Ray Fay" to her island. Even the tribe that worships this Kong is all female. I suppose the film makers expected that reversing the gender of all the characters from King Kong would make a funny movie, and would keep them from being sued for copyright infringement. They failed in both cases.
Perhaps it was the expectation. For years this film had a cult following, specifically because it was banned from release, and for years was only seen in a few foreign markets. Banned films not in circulation tend to generate legendary status. But this movie was not worth it's cult status. Its just awful. If there is one kind of motion picture I hate the most, it would be the failed comedy. It is the equivalent of an action movie where all the characters are sitting behind desks for the entire film. If a gag is not funny, then it has no business being in a script, let alone filmed. Mad Monster Party? (1967 ), Date Movie ( 2006 ) and to a lesser extent, Son of Kong ( 1933 ) were all failed comedies. But at least in those cases, you had proper ( and often stolen ) gags that failed only because of poor execution. It is just so obvious when a scripted gag is not funny at all. The problem is many film makers simply acknowledge that something fits the formula of a screen gag, and film it anyway with the expectation that the talents of the cast will make the gag work. And it is not as if the cast of Queen Kong was not talented. But not even they could save this film. The jokes here are so bad, that they are painful to watch. You only feel embarrassed for the actors as they attempt to pull them off. I am pretty sure they were all glad when De Laurentiis and Paramount had this film buried before it's release, and were aghast to learn a few years ago that those legal entanglements were addressed, and the movie would get a DVD release.
THE MIGHTY PEKING MAN ( a.k.a. GOLIATHON ) ( 1977 )
Well, anything would be an improvement after last week's movie. This time we have a movie from China's top studio. I was already a fan of Shaw Brothers who during the 70s and early 80s released a number of big budget martial arts movies that have since become classics of the genre. This was Shaw Brothers one and only attempt to enter the giant monster market, this time with a giant orangutan film that was a cross between the plots of King Kong and Mighty Joe Young. An explorer from Hong Kong discovers a wild jungle girl in an unexplored region of India. She was the lone survivor of a plane crash that killed both her parents, and ended up being raised by a legendary giant ape called Utam. The explorer and the jungle girl fall in love, and when it is time for the explorer to return to Hong Kong, convinces the jungle girl to return with him. She brings along Utam so he can be exhibited to the public. Predictably, Utam ends up going on a rampage and soon he and the jungle girl are on the run from the army. It is a familiar story, but with a shocking ending. Utam and the jungle girl end up on the roof of Hong Kong's tallest building. Not caring about the safety of the girl, the army attacks Utam, killing both him and the girl, and leaving the explorer wounded. Aside from a cheesy montage where the explorer and jungle girl frolic in the jungle to an equally cheesy pop music ballad, Mighty Peeking Man is a well made giant monster film. And not just the best of the King Kong rip-off films, but so far the only good King Kong rip-off film.
KING KONG LIVES ( 1986 )
I am not sure why the De Laurentiis Kong films get such a bad rap. The '76 remake of King Kong may have been underwhelming compared to the original, but was still a good movie. It's direct sequel, King Kong Lives, has been universally panned as one of the worst movies ever, but is in fact a very decent giant ape film. I would even rank it above the Toho and Shaw Brother movies. To be fair, I had seen Konga, The Mighty Gorga, A*P*E, and the worst, Queen Kong, before I watched this movie. So perhaps by comparison this movie seemed more like a gem than it would have if I had seen it during it's original release.
It has a very simple plot. Kong has been in a coma since he fell off the Twin Towers in the previous film. Scientists have built him a giant artificial heart which should revive him, but can not operate because he would need a blood transfusion from another giant gorilla. Meanwhile in Borneo an explorer finds and captures a giant female gorilla. She is brought to America and used for the transfusion. Now with a brand new heart, Kong wakes up. Sensing the female nearby, Kong breaks out of captivity, and then rescues the female gorilla from her captivity. They spend a romantic night in the mountains, but are separated the next day when the Army shows up, recaptures the female, and apparently causes Kong to drown in a river. After months in hiding, Kong shows up again, rescues the now pregnant female, and brings her to a barn where she gives birth to Kong's son. The Army shows up again, and Kong sacrifices himself fighting them off. Held blameless for Kong's rampage, the female and Kong's son are allowed to retire to a preserve in Borneo.
One problem I have with many horror movie sequels is their tendency to spend the entire first two acts bringing the monster who was killed in the first movie back to life, usually in a really convoluted plot. By the time the monster is fully revived, there is only about ten minutes left in the film. What King Kong Lives gets right is reducing this to the first act only. It takes just a half hour to get to the point where Kong rescues the female gorilla, leaving most of the rest of the film for what we really want to see; Kong battling the Army. If there is anything that did not work in this film then it would be the scenes where Kong is romancing the female ape. But thankfully that scene ( which coincides with the two human leads romancing each other ) does not last long, and we are back to the main action.
THE MIGHTY KONG ( 1998 )
Warner Bros. animation division, which produced the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons, was at one time Disney's biggest rival. But in the 1960s as more and more theaters stopped booking shorts, Warner Bros. closed their cartoon division for good. Disney Studios had also ceased making cartoon shorts for the same reason, and had drastically cut back on producing cartoon feature films in favor of live action features. Beginning with The Little Mermaid in 1989, Disney had a string of box office hits with their animated cartoons, which also included Beauty and the Beast ( 1991 ), Aladdin ( 1992 ), The Lion King ( 1994 ) and Pocahontas ( 1995 ). Other studios noticed, and began producing their own cartoons. Warner Bros. revived it's animation studio, initially to produce Saturday Morning cartoons such as Batman: The Animated Series, but with bigger plans to begin producing their own Disneyesque animated musical features.
Looking through fairytales and novels to base their animated feature on, they came across the public domain King Kong novel. And with Disney working on a remake of Mighty Joe Young, Warner Bros. must have thought "Why not?" It seems like there was an initial attempt to produce a Disney quality animated musical. Vocal actress Jodi Benson, who was previously Princess Ariel in Disney's The Little Mermaid, was cast as Ann Darrow, while Dudley Moore was cast as the voice of Carl Denham. Songwriters Richard and Robert Sherman who had scored many classic musicals including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins were hired to write the songs. But soon after Warner Bros. decided their King Kong musical would be a direct to video production, and cut the budget. The animation is sub par. For example, while Ann and Jack Driscoll sing a love ballad, we get about a minute of a shot of the ocean with just their barely moving reflection in the waves, which you could tell was a 5 second animated clip looped over and over again. As for the few songs in the movie, they are all forgettable. Certainly the Shermans were capable of a lot better. Despite being based on the public domain novel, it does borrow a few scenes from past King Kong films, such as the waterfall scene from King Kong 76. For the kids, the movie adds two new characters. A cabin boy and his mischievous pet monkey. It is also the only one of the American Kong films where Kong lives at the end. After plummeting off the Empire State Building, Kong regains consciousness just before the ending credits. Overall, The Mighty Kong is a lame production which takes a classic horror story and attempts to pull of a musical kid friendly version. Instead it only guts the story of it's drama. And with the weak animation, this movie never had any chance.
MIGHTY JOE YOUNG ( 1998 )
As I said before, I was never a fan of the original Mighty Joe Young. It was too much of a sappy tear jerker kids film that had very little adventure and no real villain. I did not have much hope for the remake because it was a Disney production, the studio that perfected the sappy tear jerker kids film. But Disney is also the studio that almost always has a strong villain in their adventure movies. And this time around Mighty Joe Young has a villain. The evil poacher who killed both Joe's mother, and the mother of the girl who raises Joe. It was not bad enough that years earlier he killed most of Joe's family and some of the researchers trying to protect the gorilla clan, but years later wants to go after Joe for a second time. Joe had bitten off his thumb in an attempt to escape, and now years later the poacher wants revenge.
You can probably tell, the original story was gutted and replaced. The only thing both movies have in common is that a girl raises a gorilla as a pet, and as an adult can sort of control him. And the other thing they have in common is an explorer convinces the girl to bring Joe back to Los Angeles. In the original it was a showman who wanted to exhibit Joe. In the remake, it is a conservationist who wants Joe put in a zoo where he will be protected against the poachers who are out to get him. There are several scenes which parallel the original, but are quite different. And there is that killer poacher who travels all the way to Los Angeles to take revenge against Joe. With the King Kong remakes, you always had the same exact story. The Mighty Joe Young remake was so different that you can't really call it a remake, but an entirely original movie.
Most of the visual effects are achieve using CGI, which was still pretty new in 1998. The CGI here is very impressive. The only problem is that the scenes are not very ambitious. In the 1949 version, Cooper wanted his film to showcase the most advance stop motion animation effects sequences ever shot. Joe wrecks a night club, swinging through the rafters, sending patrons running, and eventually releasing and fighting the clubs lions. The equivalent sequence in the 1998 version has Joe rampaging through a party in a tent, knocking over folding chairs, and tossing a few patrons into the buffet table. In 1949 Joe and his friends climbs onto a burning building to help rescue several children. In the 1998 version the base of a Ferris wheel catches fire, and Joe climbs to the top to save a single child. Perhaps the film makers did not want to risk shooting complicated effects scenes out of fear the CGI could not be completed by the release date. Or perhaps less complicated was seen as less expensive. But as good as the CGI Joe looks, he is not given the standout showcase scenes that the previous Joe was given.
That's not to say that there are not good set pieces in this version. A nice chase scene where they attempt to capture Joe using jeeps and chains is found in the first act of he film. And even without ambitious set pieces, this version of Mighty Joe Young is an entertaining family film that will make you tear up at times. But I still prefer my giant ape movies to be about destructive, city wrecking monsters.
KING OF THE LOST WORLD ( 2005 )
According to the box, this movie was based on Conan Doyle's The Lost World, a novel which is currently in the public domain. Actually, it seems to be more of an unauthorized remake of the pilot episode of Lost. Nothing from the plot of Doyle's novel remains in this adaptation. Characters names from the novel are used, but given to completely different characters. For example, Professor Challenger from the novel becomes Lt Challenger of the air force in this movie. An airliner crashes on a mysterious island. The section with the survivors lands next to a beach. Half of them decide to go on an expedition into the middle of the island to find the fuselage section so they could radio for help. Instead of running into polar bears, as the cast of Lost did, the cast here runs into giant spiders and man eating vines. They are eventually captured by a native tribe who want to use them as sacrifices for giant flying lizards. The flying lizards in turn attract a nameless giant gorilla who begins fighting them. Not really much more to explain here, except that it turns out the island somehow causes planes to crash. The jungle is full of the remains of crashed planes, and we later learn from Challenger that the United States government knew about the island, and even sent him there on a secret mission to find a crashed air force plane carrying a nuke. King of the Lost World is another one of those low budget effects films made to sell to SyFy and for direct to video release. It is so low budget that they do not even bother to hide the fog machines pumping mist into the jungles. No doubt the giant ape was included to coincide with the release of Peter Jackson's King Kong. But he is barely in this film. He is on screen longer than what you would call a cameo, but not long enough to justify the films deceptive title, nor to feature a giant ape on the box. Also a mystery, why they would shoot a film in wide screen, but release a cropped full screen version on DVD. The only good thing I can say about this film is that it did not exactly get boring. But it came very close.
SEPTEMBER 5 LABOR DAY WEEKEND
KING KONG ( 2005 )
This marathon has lasted for 18 weeks, and now it finally comes to an end. I began the marathon with King Kong, and now I am ending it with King Kong. The only question is, how good was Peter Jackson's remake?
When Jackson decided to do a remake of his favorite film, he had three directions he could have gone. Like with Disney's Mighty Joe Young, he could have reimagined the story. Or like De Laurentiis could have updated the story, changing characters and motives for a more current story. The third direction would be not to change a thing, but try to improve on the original film. Jackson eventually chose the later. It seems like the main motive behind Jackson's remake was to address the plot holes found in the original. Instead of a Kong who falls madly in love with Ann Darrow ( Naomi Watts ), it is a Kong who was intending to Kill her just as he had killed all the human sacrifices in the past. But Ann gradually wins him over, becoming more like his favorite pet rather than a potential lover. Ann falls for Kong as well, realizing that he is her only protector in a place as dangerous as Skull Island, and eventually becoming a close friend. Much like the De Laurentiis version, Ann tries to protect Kong at the end of the movie, and cries for him when he is inevitably killed.
Better motivation is given to Carl Denham's character ( played by Jack Black ), with a better explanation as to why he desperately needs to shoot a movie on Skull Island. Jack Driscoll ( Adrien Brody ) is changed from ships first mate to a screen writer, while new characters are introduced as crew members. New characters are also introduced as Denham's film crew. A couple of the new characters seem to have been inspired by characters created for the 1998 cartoon musical. Perhaps the oddest new character added was Bruce Baxter ( Kyle Chandler ) a famous 1930's B movie actor who is the leading man in the film Denham is shooting. Jackson used him to fill another plot hole from the original movie. In the 1933 version, the reason given for bringing Ann along to the island is because the movie needed a love interest. And yet no other actors were being brought along, so who was Ann suppose to be falling in love with? Adding the Baxter character and having both he and Ann shooting scenes during the voyage made more sense.
While once again Skull island is missing it's signature skull shaped mountain, Jackson did recreate the nightmare world originally presented in the 1933 version. In fact, he comes close to overdoing it. The tribe that ultimately sacrifices Ann to Kong is portrayed as a group of insane people. Their village is decorated with dead bodies hanging from pikes, and skulls littering the ground. Sacrificing women to their gorilla god is the least crazy thing this tribe does. In the original Kong movie, the nightmare world of Skull Island was beyond the wall. In this movie it is on both sides of the wall. Even it's shoreline is a maze of ship smashing stones that nearly sink the Venture, and leaves it temporarily stranded.
Cooper had imagined the interior of Skull Island as the equivalent of The Lost World, a vast jungle inhabited by dinosaurs and monsters. At least half of Ann's rescue party is eaten by various island inhabitants, while most of the other half is killed in an encounter with Kong. In the 1976 remake, De Laurentiis chose to create a less threatening Skull Island with no dinosaurs, no giant man eating insects, and only a single giant snake for Kong to battle. Jackson returned to the original version of the island, making it once again a nightmare world. A long lost scene edited out of the original film took place after Kong shook most of the crew off a log and into a bottomless canyon. We assume the crew fell to their death. But in the deleted scene, most of them survived, only to be eaten alive by the monster insects that live at the bottom of the canyon. Not only did Jackson reinstate the "monster pit" scene, but this time had both Denham and Driscoll fall into the pit as well, and coming close to being eaten along with the rest of the crew.
While Jackson reinstated the monster pit scene, he did end up omitting another scene from the original. The scene in New York where Kong destroys an elevated railway, causing a subway train to wreck, which he then proceeds to smash. It became such an iconic scene that it was copied in nearly every subsequent giant monster film. Godzilla, for example, wrecks a commuter train minutes after arriving in Tokyo. Even the 1976 version had a scene where Kong wrecks an elevated subway train. In Jackson's film, that scene is replaced with another where Kong and Ann end up in Central Park playing on a frozen pond. Unlike the original, Kong does not re-capture Ann. She is not even present at the theater where Kong is being exhibited. Instead, when she hears that Kong has escaped from the theater, she purposely shows up on the street he is rampaging on and allows herself to be picked up. In the original, Kong was a monster. Denham may have felt guilty for bringing him back to civilization in the sequel, but never the less, Kong was an unredeemable killer who murdered humans on impulse. Both De Laurentiis and Jackson saw Kong as redeemable. In the realm of giant monster movies, redeemability is not earned until the sequels, where the monster that destroyed the city in the first film, ends up protecting the same city from monsters in subsequently films.
Despite taking the monster out of Kong, and having scenes like Kong ice skating in Central Park, Peter Jackson's King Kong is a wonderful film. I still consider the original better. But this Kong comes in at a close second. In fact, here is how I would rank all the films seen during the marathon...
#1 King Kong ( 1933 ) [ **** ]
#2 King Kong ( 2005 ) [ **** ]
#3 Mighty Joe Young ( 1998 ) [ ***½ ]
#4 King Kong ( 1976 ) [ ***½ ]
#5 The Mighty Peeking Man ( 1977 ) [ *** ]
#6 King Kong Lives ( 1986 ) [ *** ]
#7 King Kong Escapes ( 1967 ) [ *** ]
#8 Son of Kong ( 1933 ) [ **½ ]
#9 King Kong vs. Godzilla ( 1962 ) [ **½ ]
#10 Mighty Joe Young ( 1949 ) [ **½ ]
#11 Mad Monster Party? ( 1967 ) [ ** ]
#12 The Mighty Kong ( 1998 ) [ *½ ]
#13 A*P*E ( 1976 ) [ *½ ]
#14 The Mighty Gorga ( 1969 ) [ * ]
#15 Konga ( 1961 ) [ * ]
#16 King of the Lost World ( 2005 ) [ * ]
#17 Queen Kong ( 1976 ) [ no stars ]
And here is how I would rank the odds and end movies seen outside of the marathon...
#1 The Lost World ( 1925 ) [ **** ]
#2 The Most Dangerous Game ( 1933 ) [ **** ]
#3 Yellow Submarine ( 1968 ) [ **** ]
#4 King of Kong: A Fist Full of Quarters ( 2007 ) [ ***½ ]
#5 Bye Bye Monkey ( 1978 ) [ ***½ ]
#6 Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer ( 1964 ) [ ***½ ]
#7 Kong: Returnt to the Jungle ( 2007 ) [ **½ ]
#8 Kong: King of Atlantis ( 2005 ) [ ** ]
#9 Kong Island ( 1968 ) [ *½ ]
#10 Mad Mad Mad Monsters ( 1972 ) [ * ]
#11 King Kung Fu ( 1976/1987 ) [ * ]
#12 Date Movie ( 2006 ) [ * ]
And how I would rank everything as a whole......
#1 King Kong ( 1933 ) [ **** ]
#2 King Kong ( 2005 ) [ **** ]
#3 The Lost World ( 1925 ) [ **** ]
#4 The Most Dangerous Game ( 1933 ) [ **** ]
#5 Yellow Submarine ( 1968 ) [ **** ]
#6 Mighty Joe Young ( 1998 ) [ ***½ ]
#7 Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer ( 1964 ) [ ***½ ]
#8 King Kong ( 1976 ) [ ***½ ]
#9 King of Kong: A Fist Full of Quarters ( 2007 ) [ ***½ ]
#10 Bye Bye Monkey ( 1978 ) [ ***½ ]
#11 The Mighty Peeking Man ( 1977 ) [ *** ]
#12 King Kong Lives ( 1986 ) [ *** ]
#13 King Kong Escapes ( 1967 ) [ *** ]
#14 Son of Kong ( 1933 ) [ **½ ]
#16 King Kong vs. Godzilla ( 1962 ) [ **½ ]
#17 Mighty Joe Young ( 1949 ) [ **½ ]
#18 Kong: Returnt to the Jungle ( 2007 ) [ **½ ]
#19 Mad Monster Party? ( 1967 ) [ ** ]
#20 Kong: King of Atlantis ( 2005 ) [ ** ]
#21 Kong Island ( 1968 ) [ *½ ]
#22 The Mighty Kong ( 1998 ) [ *½ ]
#23 A*P*E ( 1976 ) [ *½ ]
#24 The Mighty Gorga ( 1969 ) [ * ]
#25 Konga ( 1961 ) *
#26 Mad Mad Mad Monsters ( 1972 ) [ * ]
#27 King of the Lost World ( 2005 ) [ * ]
#28 King Kung Fu ( 1976/1987 ) [ * ]
#29 Date Movie ( 2006 ) [ * ]
#30 Queen Kong ( 1976 ) [ no stars ]