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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Information Exchange  |  Reader Comments  |  King Kong (1976) « previous next »
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Author Topic: King Kong (1976)  (Read 14314 times)
Andrew
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« on: June 26, 2007, 10:18:07 PM »

Reader review by Kooshmeister.  This is the 1976 remake featuring Rick Baker in the suit and the giant gorilla climbing the World Trade Center.  It also includes Kong gazing luridly at the lovely Jessica Lange.

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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2007, 03:16:44 AM »

Well, OK, the log-rolling scene does make it look like this movie's a bit hokey. I don't see why anyone would hate it, though. I mean, there's a kind of humor in repetition, and this certainly had some humor to it that way, intentional or otherwise.

King Kong: Grrr!

Guy falling off log: Aaaaaaaaah!

King Kong: Grrr!

Guy falling off log: Aaaaaaaaah!

King Kong: Grrr!

Guy falling off log: Aaaaaaaaah!
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Greenhornet
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2007, 08:13:01 AM »

I was in the air force when I saw this one. Everybody LAUGHED at the "tragic" ending! BounceGiggle
Why did they bother to have a cast? That jerk hippie did almost EVRYTHING as the origonal cast!
In the theaters, hippie-boy cheered when the chopper hit the building. In the TV version, this was eith cut out or they have him cheering when the guys with the flame-throwers got crushed. BUT since the torch-men were on the roof of the tower hippie-boy was on, he couldn't possible see that happen!

De Laurentiis, BITE ME! TongueOut
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2007, 09:17:08 AM »

Thanks for the great review, Koosh.  Thumbup

You brought back a childhood memory for me: I was nine when I saw this and I remember bawling my eyes out when Kong bit the pavement.

I agree, this film was unfairly panned: IMO, it was better than the original and miles better than the sequel.
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2007, 12:21:37 PM »

A rather enjoyable outing, though I remember it dragging a bit--I was just 14 at the time.  I am not the only one, however, that thought Peter Jackson's remake  was         s     l    o    w.  I give a well-deserved nod to Rick Baker's ape-up, but I still prefer Willis O'Brien's stop-motion monkey shenanigans.
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2007, 09:10:24 PM »

Jessica Lange was quite the babe back in the day. She looks even better in the remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice (though you have to put up with Nicholson in the buff as well in that).

The 1976 version has its quirky charms at times, I'll give it that, but overall it just doesn't do anyting for me.

and I also didn't have any problems with the Peter Jackson version. 
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2007, 06:49:58 AM »

I loved the Peter Jackson version.  The first section which everyone complains about as being "too slow" is important for the character development of all the major players except Kong, and the movie isn't just about him.  But then I do have a real soft spot for movies set during the Depression, don't ask me why.

I also loved the 1976 version though, and I thought the original was goofy.  Not just for the special effects, which were pretty standard for the time, the original just never resonated with me.
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2007, 05:59:51 PM »

Sorry, I absolutely despise this and the horrendous sequel, King Kong Lives.  I was under the impression only Dino thought highly of his wretched version of a monster classic. It's just utterly putrid. The effects are awful, the modernisation of the film is diabolical, it's just bad,bad, BAD!
In fact the nicest thing I can say about it is that it is better than KKLives but to be fair, a film of a dog turd being rolled around a tumble dryer would be more entertaining. It's not good bad, it's just garbage.

 hot
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Happenstance
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2007, 05:53:18 AM »

"White sailors die, token black sailor lives."

Oh, for... Given that in 90% of horror/monster movies the token black guy dies horribly (occasionally just tossing his life away to save the white stars, as in the end of Leviathan), this isn't something even the most race-obsessed insecure little white boy should get his panties bunched up over.

Beautiful John Barry score. (Like there's any other kind of John Barry score?)
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2007, 11:26:47 AM »

When I got on the site and read it, I honestly thought Andrew wrote it (just with a lack of humor).

I was raised on those giant monster movies, and this one held itself as one of my favorites.
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akiratubo
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2007, 03:00:20 PM »

This movie has some bright spots -- that is, the two or three spots in the movie where something actually happens.  In the '33 original, there was stuff happening from the time Kong showed up to the time he fell off the Empire State Building.  In this one, nothing happens for a while.  Kong shows up.  Nothing happens for a while.  Kong knocks some guys off a log.  Nothing happens for a while.  Kong pretends to wrestle a rubber snake he keeps around to impress the ladies.  Nothing happens for a while.  Kong stands around and gets pasted by choppers.  The end.  (I don't count Kong casually strolling into a hole full of dry ice vapor as something happening.)

You know, I hate Jack Prescott.  Kong killing soldiers and smashing a helicopter I can deal with; he's just an animal defending himself.  However, there are several reasons Jack Prescott should not be cheering when Kong does it!

Kong himself is kind of cool.  I know the reason he walks upright is because they couldn't make it look convincing for Rick Baker to walk on all fours but I like to imagine Kong is supposed to be some kind of giant hominid in this version.
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2007, 03:02:55 PM »

I think the main reason this movie got such lousy reviews was people wanted to hate it even before it was released. Up to then, KK was considered one of the untouchable classics (think: Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind, etc) that couldn't and shouldn't be remade. I remember De Laurentiis started taking flak when he began the project, and it didn't let up until after it hit the theaters. It would've had to be the best movie ever to overcome that kind of pre-judgement, but unfortunately it wasn't. I also remember they even did a skit about the situation on SNL, with John Belushi as De Laurentiis, protesting "Hey, when-a Jaws die, nobody-a cry. When-a my Kong dies, EVERYBODY-a cry!" (sorry, I couldn't find a clip of that online; it's a lot funnier than it sounds in writing.)
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« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2007, 02:35:09 PM »

There's a multitude of reasons this film fails, many more than I want to go into here, but I'll go over a couple.

Kong in this film isn't a "King!"  In this film Kong doesn't do anything to demonstrate why he should be as worshipped as he is (yes, he's huge, but that's not enough).  When Kong fought dinosaurs in the original, it showed that not only was the island a dangerous place, but that Kong had to be the best to survive; he earned the title of king.  In the '76 version, his title is really based on people's memory of the original.  It doesn't stand on its own.

Something completely absent in this review is the mention of the awful full-size Kong puppet used in about 5 seconds of screen time, when he's presented in the arena in a cage.  That moment pretty much summed up the entire film to me, a big hollow spectacle that fails to impress.
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Kooshmeister
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« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2007, 04:04:56 AM »

"White sailors die, token black sailor lives."

Oh, for... Given that in 90% of horror/monster movies the token black guy dies horribly (occasionally just tossing his life away to save the white stars, as in the end of Leviathan), this isn't something even the most race-obsessed insecure little white boy should get his panties bunched up over.

Now where did I mention that Boan (the black sailor) surviving was a bad thing? Why does my mentioning it offhand in the "Stuff to watch for" section automatically make you assume I have something against it? Sheesh. The very fact the black guy almost always dies while the white guys live is why I mentioned it in the first place. Besides, no one else does, amazingly. Given how often it goes the other way, you'd think the black guy living while all the white guys swan-dive off the log would get some more attention but I've seen exactly one other review for this movie mention it.


Something completely absent in this review is the mention of the awful full-size Kong puppet used in about 5 seconds of screen time, when he's presented in the arena in a cage.  That moment pretty much summed up the entire film to me, a big hollow spectacle that fails to impress.

You yourself said it's only in there for about five seconds anyway, so I don't see the point in focusing on something that you'll miss if you blink, good or bad, in a review that covers only the basics. I will admit I probably should've at least mentioned it under the "Stuff to watch for" section, but I just generally don't focus much on special effects type stuff, especially if, as you say, it's barely there at all.

EDIT: Having said that, I do have a much longer review for the movie posted somewhere and I think I do mention the robot Kong prop in it. If I don't, feel free to pelt me with sno cones (and no, I don't know why I said "sno cones" XD).
« Last Edit: July 10, 2007, 04:25:43 AM by Kooshmeister » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2007, 04:48:31 PM »

I remember being 9ish in the late 80s and catching bits of the latter half of this while playing at a friend's house. Even then, that snake made me think almost out loud: "boy I hope this isn't the only other monster here"...but I was struck by the comparatively more realistic monster blood.

This contributes nothing to the subject of the conversation, but I wanted an excuse to say that the author of king kong also wrote that he didn't think of aboriginal africans as people. Regardless the original and latest say nothing about human on human colonialism and everything about human on wildlife/nature colonialism.

I look forward to the day when more black movie-makers seek to make non-'black culture'-targeting movies, and more white movie producers fund them, and we all watch the monster rather than the ethnicity of who he kills. 

In Peter Jackson's version the friendship between the black sailor and the white street urchin was totally plastic and unnecessary, but I saw his move to kill kong up close portray him as the toughest guy on the boat...and I still cried at the end no matter who kong killed.
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