Wednesday, May 17, 2006

King Kong videogames

  • The film character was the inspiration for the 1981 video game Donkey Kong and subsequent spin-offs, in which the eponymous ape climbs a huge structure after kidnapping a woman, as in the film. Shigeru Miyamoto intended the name 'Donkey Kong' to mean "stubborn gorilla." MCA/Universal attempted to sue Nintendo for copyright infringement in Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Nintendo Co., Ltd.. However, they lost and ended up paying Nintendo $1.8 million in damages when it was discovered that King Kong was in fact in the public domain and that MCA knew it when they filed the lawsuit.
  • A King Kong game was produced by Tiger Games for the Atari 2600, sporting a blue casing. The game is somewhat rare.
  • The Rampage games by Atari/Midway also feature a King Kong spoof, named George, as well as a Godzilla spoof and other monsters.
  • King Kong 2: Ikari no Megaton Punch is a Famicom action/adventure games very loosely based on the 1986 movie King Kong Lives. This game was developed by Konami and it disregarded the human characters and other plot elements of the movie. King Kong was presented in a quest to save his female counterpart from the clutches of gigantic robots.
  • There is human counterpart game of Ikari no Megaton Punch for the MSX computer named King Kong 2, also by Konami.
  • King Kong makes a special appearance as a playable character in Konami Wai Wai World (also known as Konami World). Interestingly, King Kong does not appear in his usual giant size but rather as a 10 foot tall gorilla. The story of the game mentions King Kong being shrunk down in size after being captured by an army of robots, which directly relates to the game King Kong 2: Ikari no Megaton Punch
    Kong fighting a V-Rex in the 2005 video game.
    Kong fighting a V-Rex in the 2005 video game.
  • War of the Monsters is a 3D fighting game developed by Incognito Entertainment for Sony PlayStation 2 where the characters are various giant monsters inspired by films. One of the monsters is a giant ape named Congar, an obvious King Kong homage. It also features a Godzilla homage called Togera. A bonus mode will all also unlock a secret character named Metal Congar, an obvious reference to Mechani-Kong.
  • In Capcom's 1989 arcade classic Strider, a 'giant robot ape' confronts the game's hero, Strider Hiryu as a mini-boss; an obvious reference to both Kong and Mechani-Kong. He appears during the Siberian Wilderness Stage (Level 2).
  • The ending to the video game Viewtiful Joe shows parodies of famous movie posters. One is a King Kong parody, which includes Hulk Davidson (one of the game's bosses) on top of the Empire State Building.
  • A game for the Game Boy Advance was released based on Kong: The Animated Series.
  • Peter Jackson's King Kong is a multi-platform video game based on the 2005 film developed and published by Ubisoft.
  • There is a King Kong pinball game [5]

Friday, May 12, 2006

King Kong on books

A novelization of the original film was published in December 1932, as part of the film's advance marketing. The novel was credited to Edgar Wallace and Merian C. Cooper, although it was in fact written by Delos W. Lovelace. Apparently Cooper was the key creative influence. In an interview, comic book author Joe DeVito explains:

"From what I know, Edgar Wallace, a famous writer of the time, died very early in the process. Little if anything of his ever appeared in the final story, but his name was retained for its saleability ... King Kong was Cooper’s creation, a fantasy manifestation of his real life adventures. As many have mentioned before, Cooper was Carl Denham. His actual exploits rival anything Indiana Jones ever did in the movies." [1]

This conclusion about Wallace's contribution agrees with The Making of King Kong, by Orville Goldner and George E. Turner (1975). In a diary entry from 1932, Wallace wrote: "I am doing a super-horror story with Merian Cooper, but the truth is it is much more his story than mine ... I shall get much more credit out of the picture than I deserve if it is a success, but as I shall be blamed by the public if it's a failure, that seems fair" (p. 58). Wallace died of pneumonia complicated by diabetes on February 10, 1932, and Cooper later said, "Actually, Edgar Wallace didn't write any of Kong, not one bloody word... I'd promised him credit and so I gave it to him" (p. 59).

Several differences exist in the novel from the completed film, as it reflects an earlier draft of the script that became the final shooting script. The novelization includes scenes from the screenplay that were cut from the completed movie, or were never shot altogether. These include the spider pit sequence, as well as a Styracosaurus attack, and Kong battling three Triceratops.

The original publisher was Grosset & Dunlap. Paperback editions by Bantam (U.S.) and Corgi (U.K.) came out in the 1960s, and it has since been republished by Penguin and Random House.

In 1933, Mystery Magazine published a King Kong serial under the named of Walter F. Ripperger. This is unrelated to the 1932 novel.

Kong: King of Skull Island, an illustrated novel labeled as an authorized sequel to King Kong (1933), was published in 2004 by DH Press, a subsidiary of Dark Horse Comics. A large-paperback edition was released in 2005. Authorized by the family and estate of Merian C. Cooper, the book was created & illustrated by Joe DeVito, written by Brad Strickland with John Michlig, and includes an introduction by Ray Harryhausen. The novel's story ignores the existence of Son of Kong (1933) and continues the story of Skull Island with Carl Denham and Jack Driscoll in the late 1950's, through the novel's central character, Vincent Denham. (Ann Darrow is not included, but mentioned several times.) The novel also becomes a prequel that reveals the story of the early history of Kong, of Skull Island, and of the natives of the island.

Over the decades, there have been numerous comic book adaptations of the 1933 King Kong by various comic-book publishers, and a current one of the 2005-remake by Dark Horse Comics.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

What movies did King Kong stared in???

  • King Kong (1933). The original, classic film, is remembered for its pioneering special effects using stop-motion models, animatronics and evocative story. Considered by some to be the greatest motion picture of all time.
  • Son of Kong (1933). A sequel released the same year, it concerns a return expedition to Skull Island that discovers Kong's son.
  • King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962). A film produced by Toho Studios in Japan. It brought the titular characters to life (the first time for both characters to be in a film in color) via the process of suitmation. The Toho Kong actually has no relation to the original American monster. In the Toho version he is at least five times the size of the one in King Kong, and he can shoot electricity from his fingers.
  • King Kong Escapes (1967). Another Toho film in which Kong faces both a mechanical double, dubbed Mechani-Kong, and a giant theropod dinosaur known as Gorosaurus (who would appear in Toho's Destroy All Monsters the following year).
  • King Kong (1976) A remake by film producer Dino De Laurentiis, released by Paramount Pictures, and director John Guillermin. Jessica Lange and Jeff Bridges starred. The film was generally panned by critics at the time, but its reputation has improved with time, and it was eventually a commercial success. Even at the time of release, however, several prominent and well-respected critics such as Pauline Kael and Roger Ebert applauded the de Laurentiis version. It also won an Oscar for special effects.
  • King Kong Lives (1986). Released by De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (DEG). Starring Linda Hamilton, a sequel by the same producer and director as the 1976 film which involves Kong surviving his fall from the sky and requiring a coronary operation. It includes a female Kong, who was now pregnant.
  • Kongfrontation (1990 Attraction) - A ride at Universal Orlando Resort, it opened in 1990 and closed in 2002, replaced by the Revenge of the Mummy attraction. The ride featured a queue which represented a New York City subway station. The ride itself took place in a Roosevelt Island cable car, where you and other civilians made an attempt to escape the wrath of Kong. Guests traveled through the streets of New York, had two encounters with the beast, and arrived safely at their destination.
  • King Kong (Universal Backlot) continually attacks tram tours of the backlot at Universal Studios Hollywood.
  • Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005). A Universal Pictures remake of the original by Academy award-winning New Zealand director Peter Jackson, best known for directing the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The most recent incarnation of Kong is also the longest, running three hours and eight minutes. Winner of three Academy Awards for visual effects, sound mixing, and sound editing.

Late in 2005, the BBC and Hollywood trade papers reported that a 3-D stereoscopic version of the 2005 film was being created from the animation files, and live actors digitally enhanced for 3D display. This may be just an elaborate 3D short for Universal Studios Theme Park, or a digital 3D version for general release in 2006.

Friday, May 05, 2006


Yes, this exists in the twisted mind of someone, nope it's not me. Check out the summary, and the link at the end of the post.

¿Can you imagine Grace Kelly, Jacques Cousteau and zoologist Dian Fossey trying to rescue some documents from the sunken Titanic, with the help of King Kong?

In a suitcase in the basement of his house, Philip Davis finds some documents concerning his grandfather, which make mention of an invention which could revolutionize the industrialized world. The plans for its fabrication had been personally taken by his grandfather from England to New York in 1912, aboard the transatlantic liner the Titanic, but the sinking of the great ship caused the irrevocable loss of these extremely valuable papers.

Many years later, in 1972, Philip decides to undertake the unlikely adventure of rescuing those documents, which he thinks are safely hidden in one of the strong boxes of the sunken ship. After unsuccessfully trying to obtain collaboration from

various official points, he becomes friendly with a woman of an inquisitive nature named Dian Fossey, apparently a renouned zoologist expert in mountain gorillas.

They both become enthused about the invention, and she lets him know that the only way to rescue the papers is by bringing the ship to the surface, but that in order to do this, they need the help of a gigantic gorilla that lives hidden away in a remote island of the Bahamas.

Subsequently an expert sea captain named Jaques Cousteau, world renouned for his studies of submarine life, becomes involved in the heroic project. Cousteau has at his disposal the ship Calipso, an old mine dredger duly refurbished as a vessel for the submarine investigation. A computer expert charged with the task of communicating with the great gorilla by means of a sophisticated voice-recognition device, joins the others, followed by a photographer who in turn is a specialist in ship motors.

Before making the trip to the Bahamas, they stop off in the Principality of Monaco, where they obtain the valuable help of Princess Grace Kelly and her husband Rainiero, as both are great friends of Cousteau and Fossey.

The trip by sea to that tiny island is complicated due to the strong marine currents which put the Calipso to the test; but the worst part of the trip is the encounter with a band of ruthless modern pirates who try to kill them and take over the ship. Our friends also have to brave other no less serious trials, such as the attack by the 'flying birds' described by Christopher Columbus on his trip to the Americas, as well as the challenge of facing the Sea of the Sargazos, which proved a mortal trap for the boat.

When they arrive on the island several days later, they are totally amazed by the sight of that gigantic gorilla, which they must then communicate with in order to ask for his help. But this would not be the most serious problem for them to resolve, since taking the Titanic from the sea bottom and finally rescuing the precious documents, would put the courage and strength of our protagonists to the test.

Interested? Click here to go to the Main Website (check out those neat special effects!)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Batman, King Kong, BSG Top Saturns

Batman Begins and King Kong topped the winners at the 32nd annual Saturn Awards, taking home three statuettes each in ceremonies in Universal City, Calif., on May 2. Among the television nominees, SCI FI Channel's original series Battlestar Galactica dominated the winners, with three awards. The Saturns were given by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films.

The Batman prequel took home awards for best fantasy film, best actor (Christian Bale) and best writing (director Christopher Nola and David S. Goyer).

King Kong won for best actress (Naomi Watts), best director (Peter Jackson) and best special effects (Joe Letteri, Richard Taylor, Christian Rivers, Brian Van't Hul). Star Wars: Episode III, Sin City and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe each got two Saturns.

Galactica took home prizes for best syndicated/cable TV series, best supporting actor on TV (James Callis) and best supporting actress (Katee Sackhoff).

ABC's Lost won two Saturns, for best network television series and best actor (Matthew Fox).

Legendary F/X maven Ray Harryhausen was presented with the George Pal Memorial Award. Director Jon Favreau presented the award.

Shane Black won the Filmmakers Showcase Award.