News for Oct. 23, 2005

More Info on the King Kong Festival in LA

10/23/05, 1:36 pm EST - Xoanon

Keith Aiken, writer and editor for the Japanese fantasy film site Henshin! Online, writes: Over the past few years I've helped the American Cinematheque in Los Angleles on a pair of Godzilla film festivals (which included screenings of the two Toho King Kong films). Now I'm working with them, Warner Bros, and Every Picture Tells A Story on a film festival devoted to a certain Eighth Wonder of the World.

We’re celebrating both the upcoming release of Peter Jackson’s much-anticipated new version of KING KONG and Warner Bros’ DVD of the newly-restored original film with four days of giant ape movies, special guests, and displays of rare original props and production art. Everything kicks off at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica on December 3, followed by a weekend at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, December 16-18.

The schedule features SON OF KONG (1933), MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (1949), KONGA (1960), MIGHTY PEKING MAN (1977), the brand-spanking-new documentary I’M KING KONG - THE EXPLOITS OF MERIAN C. COOPER (2005), and, of course, the original KING KONG (1933). Warner Bros had pulled KONG from circulation nearly two years ago, but they’ve graciously agreed to make an exception and allow an exclusive screening of this classic at the Egyptian on December 17.

The festival guest list includes Joe DeVito (author/illustrator of the book KONG: KING OF SKULL ISLAND), Mark Cotta (author of LIVING DANGEROUSLY: THE ADVENTURES OF MERIAN C. COOPER), film historians Rudy Behlmer and Arnold Kunert, collector and historian Bob Burns (owner of original props from KING KONG), and actress Terry Moore (star of MIGHTY JOE YOUNG).

There will be displays of 1930's KING KONG production art by the legendary Willis O’Brien and Byron Crabbe, as well as new Kong art by Joe DeVito. Bob Burns will also be on hand with several original props from the films, including the large “O’Hara Safari Club” coin and the Joe Young armature animated by Ray Harryhausen in MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, and the only surviving Kong stop-motion armature (built by Marcel Delgado and animated by Willis O’Brien) from the original KING KONG.

I think this is going to be a major event that Kong fans won't want to miss., so please spread the word among visitors to your great website.

Henshin! Online



American Cinematheque

Warner Bros Home Video

Every Picture Tells A Story

Saturday, December 3

Every Picture Tells A Story, Santa Monica (across the street from the Aero)

5 PM:

The evening’s festivities begin at the Every Picture Tells A Story art gallery, which will host an exhibit of KING KONG production art by Willis O’Brien and Byron Crabbe, new Kong art by Joe DeVito, and a discussion panel with Kong experts Joe DeVito, Mark Cotta Vaz, Rudy Behlmer, and Arnold Kunert.

7:30 PM: Double feature at the Aero Theatre!

SON OF KONG (1933, Warner Bros., 70 min) Fast-talking promoter Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) is blamed for King Kong’s swath of death and destruction, and is virtually hounded out of New York City. Deciding to put together a cargo business in the East Indies with Captain Englehorn (Frank Reicher), the pair are sidetracked in Dakang by a stranded singer (Helen Mack) and a villain named Hellstrom (John Marston) who has a treasure map - for old Kong’s home, Skull Island! Once there, the cast find Kong’s lonely son, and an assortment of other giant wild beasts. KING KONG stop-motion wizard Willis O’Brien returns to animate this sweet-natured, whimsical adventure-fantasy.


MIGHTY PEKING MAN (1977, Miramax, 90 min) Explorer, Johnny Danny Lee of INFRA-MAN and THE KILLER) agrees to lead a Himalyan expedition for the giant beast known as the Peking Man. He not only finds the gargantuan creature, but also discovers the blonde, leopard skin bikini-clad Samantha (Evelyn Kraft), a female Tarzan (!) stranded in the jungle as a child after an airplane crash. When Johnny convinces Samantha to bring the Peking Man back to Hong Kong, all hell breaks loose. Bizarre, over-the-top, and violent…. THE MIGHTY PEKING MAN should not be missed!

December 16

Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood

7:30 PM: Double-feature!

SON OF KONG (1933, Warner Bros., 70 min)


I'M KING KONG - THE EXPLOITS OF MERIAN C. COOPER (2005, Turner Classic Movies, 57 min) This brand-new documentary from directors Kevin Brownlow and Christopher Bird covers the life of KING KONG’s creator from his life-or-death struggles as an aviator in World War I to the flying sequences that helped launch Cinerama in the 1950s. The film includes interviews with Ray Harryhausen, Fay Wray, and the voices of Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack.

Saturday, December 17

5:00 PM:

MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (1949, Warner Bros., 94 min) Ray Harryhausen got the chance to work with his hero Willis O’Brien - and KING KONG co-director Ernest B. Schoedsack - on this marvelous adventure/fantasy story about a beautiful young woman (Terry Moore) and her best friend, a giant, kindhearted gorilla named Joe! Academy Award Winner for Best Visual Effects. Following MIGHTY JOE YOUNG there will be a discussion with lead actress Terry Moore.

8:00 PM:

KING KONG (1933, Warner Bros., 100 min) 72 years after it first premiered, KING KONG remains one of the greatest fantasy films ever made. Fay Wray lights up the screen as the Beauty who drives the Beast to distraction, with support from Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot and the astounding visual effects work of Willis O’Brien. The Egyptian is proud to present an exclusive theatrical screening of the classic that started it all, a celebration of Warner Brothers’ hot-off-the-presses release of their collector’s DVD of the newly-restored film (on sale November 22). Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see KING KONG on the big screen, discuss the film with experts and reps from Warner Bros, and have an up-close look at original props from the film.

Sunday, December 18

6:00 PM: Double-feature!



KONGA (1960, MGM/UA, 90 min) Psychotic botanist Michael Gough (BATMAN) injects a gorilla with super-growth serum in an attempt to impress one of his female biology students and take over England. Wildly deranged monster-ape madness ensues, featuring one of the all-time great "I-hate-mankind-so-why-don’t-you-love-me?" performances from Gough. New 35mm Print!!