Son of Kong (1933)

If “King Kong” was the main feature, than “Son of Kong” is the less than stellar epilogue. After King Kong died in the middle of Manhattan, Carl Denham is suffering a large amount of scrutiny and possible jail time for what he brought on to New York. He now hides out in an apartment away from the press, all of whom are anxious to interview him and roast him about the part he played. “Son of Kong” is not the most action packed film. At barely seventy minutes in length, it’s mostly an adventure comedy about Carl Denham trying to save his reputation, and falling in love with a lonely female performer who follows him to Kong Island.

There’s a lot of interesting reflection on what the original film held, including a scene where Denham is watching a foursome of monkeys perform for bored Asian sailors. After Denham finds himself in financial ruin and as an eternal pariah, he’s talked in to going back to Kong Island because–surprise, surprise—Kong had a son. “Son of Kong” is a very child oriented movie that puts the menace and terror of the original film in the back burner in favor of more comedy and adventure. The movie clocks in at an hour and ten minutes and Little Kong doesn’t appear until forty seven minutes in. Despite the ace stop motion animation, Little Kong is kind of like the Lou Costello of monsters, bumbling in to certain fights.

The director even makes a point of giving close ups on Kong every time he falls down, prompting his eyes to roll around comically as he rubs his head in confusion. There isn’t a lot of depth to Little Kong, nor is there much intellect either. He’s simply an overgrown ape who is forced in to doing things by a very cruel Denham, and then pretty much dies in the end thanks to Denham’s repeated greed and inability to care for animals. “Son of Kong” isn’t majestic as the original, and presents a very truncated incredibly simplistic tale with Denham taking part in the death of yet another in the Kong lineage. It’s an epilogue best ignored, unless you’re a hardcore stop motion animation, or “King Kong” buff.