Son of Kong (1933)
How do you follow up one most monumental pieces of entertainment in human history?
You make a quickie seventy minute sequel and release it nine months later.
Son of Kong has been forgotten to the sands of time. Its a footnote, slapped with a “It’s kind of fun” sticker, and stored up on the dusty shelf. It’s got the same going-to-the island plot, the same forty minute wind up (with a much smaller pay-off) and the same basic monster mash structure to wrap it up.
I’m not going to jump on my podium to defend it. I agree with most of the critical consensus. I like the fact that it focuses on the consequences of the rampage from the first one. It’s got fun characters in the returning Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong), the strong female lead Hilda (Helan Mack) and the Son of Kong himself.
Look at his dumb face. Look at it.
Brought to life by Willis O’Brien, Son is much friendlier than his old man and is much smaller in scale. No dinosaur fights. How about a bear one instead?
Kong and the cast hang out on the same set for most of the film. Stuff happens. It’s a pleasant enough B-picture adventure that ticks all the requisite boxes and tries to do nothing more.
That is until the end – which is one of the most out of nowhere tragic endings in movie history. I won’t spoil it here. See it on a lazy Sunday afternoon and feel the sadness.
Son of Kong. A distracting trifle that was meant to be programmed for a little box office success and then be forgotten. No aspiration to make something important or entertain beyond a nominal level.
Fun monsters, though.