May 3, 2009

Kong! Kong! Kong!

Friday night, I had a nostalgically powerful moment. I caught a few moments of the 1976 remake of King Kong on television; specifically a scene that had a powerful effect on me when I saw it as a child. The Dude, Mrs. Sam Shepherd, the poor man's Andy Rooney, and Clayton Endicott III happen upon the natives of Skull Island performing a pre-sacrifice ceremony. The tribe's leader does an oddly sexual dance while wearing a creepy ape mask. When the chief spots the white people, specifically the shapely blond, he offers seven of "his" women in exchange for her. I think that did some weird things to me in regards to gender relations.

But I realized: Despite a mild lifelong fascination with apes (this and this come to mind), I've never seen the original, 1933 King Kong. Truly bizarre; it has been moved to the top of my Netflix queue. And here's an interesting exercise that's further whetted my appetite: Someone made a modern-style film trailer out of the original footage:

Not far behind on the queue is the 2005 remake, which I heard is self-indulgent, but I think it's worth a try; some time ago, I found myself transfixed by a muted TV showing a scene from it (Adrien Brody blasting giant bugs) while waiting on line at a Best Buy.

This, though, I can skip. Not entirely sure what's happening here…