Man at His Best

We track down vintage King Kong films

A walk down gorilla lane.

BY editors | Mar 11, 2017 | Film & TV

The original King Kong received universal acclaim and is ranked by Rotten Tomatoes as one of the best reviewed horror movies of all time. 

Son of Kong was rushed out nine months later and panned, while two commercially successful remakes were released to mixed reviews -- a 1976 version starring Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange and a 2005 CGI-fest by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson.

Then there were the spin-offs -- the Japanese-American cult hit King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)

the less popular King Kong Escapes (1967)

and critical and box office flop King Kong Lives (1986)

But monster movies haven't made a definitive comeback yet, says Shawn Robbins, a senior analyst at

“Kong's appeal this time around seems to be driven by fan interest in a more action-driven, light-hearted adventure film than past iterations."

Filmed in Hawaii, Vietnam and Australia's Gold Coast, Kong: Skull Island casts Kong as a 100-foot (30-meter) biped who strides his territory like a colossal human, in contrast with the more realistic but less fun knuckle-walking, 25-foot monster of the 2005 movie.

The movie originally was supposed to be a Universal feature but in 2015 the studio announced it was letting the Legendary Pictures production move to Warner Bros. as the two companies were already planning Godzilla vs. Kong for release in 2020. (Yes, why not.)

Source: AFP/Frankie TAGGART