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Old 10-27-2011, 04:00 AM
Past Tense - KK Part II

Rant (continued).

What I would like to see made, perhaps as a cable TV movie or mini-series is the 1996 unproduced screenplay by Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson. It's a different feature than the one filmed. It starts off in 1917, above France.

An excerpt...

Jack Driscoll and his buddy, Matt Hamon are flying two of the Camels at the rear of the formation. An uptight Brit - McKecknie, is flying along side them. He's as jumpy as hell, scanning the skies for enemy planes.

Matt looks around furtively. None of the other pilots are looking in their direction. With practiced skill, Matt reaches down for something in his tiny cockpit ... He stands up, wedging the control column between his knees and turns back towards Jack's Camel ... a baseball in his hand!! With equal proficiency, Jack jams his control column between his knees and stands, brandishing a baseball bat! Both pranksters have to fight against the fierce slipstream as Matt throws the ball across fifty feet of sky towards Jack! He prepares to swing, but the ball falls short, getting minced in Jack's propeller! A quick look around to make sure no one is looking, and Matt reaches down again, grabbing another baseball out of the bag of balls he carries in his cockpit!

Matt pitches it back towards Jack ... he swings and smashes the ball into the side of McKecknie's plane! He leaps with fright, his Camel wobbling in the sky as he frantically spins around, thinking he's been hit by enemy fire!

Jack and Matt sit in their cockpits, innocently looking the other way!

The film then moves to 1933, a Sumatra archaelogical dig. The discovery of a long forgotten Hindu alter. As well as many bronze artifacts with bone accessories. A nice mystery setting the mood.

- - -

Another excerpt...

Englehorn downs another scotch.

Seven years ago I picked up a castaway - the skipper of a Norwegian barque.

The group listen to Englehorn in silence.

Englehorn (CONT'D)
I have never seen a man so mentally ravaged. He had gone blind, not through any injury - but because his mind could no longer deal with the terrible sights he had witnessed. I sat with him during his last night on earth, listening to his fevered whisperings. He spoke of sailing into a thick fog and of running aground on an uncharted island. He spoke of a huge wall, built by a long forgotten civilization and of a creature - neither man nor beast - that lived behind that wall. Of the thirty crewmen who made it ashore, he was the only one who looked into the eyes of the Beast and survived.
Reminds me of "Call Of Cthulhu", the stars must have aligned.

Man, them Norwegians sure can't catch a break.

- - -

You might be saying to yourself, this talk isn't an about exclusives. Yeah, you're right.

Let me correct that. *wink*

On November 22nd, 2005 Best Buy had an exclusive for the "The King Kong Collection", the keepsake tin box edition; five additional movie one-sheet postcards. This sold for $33.99.

I wanted the tin set, the original film, but by accident I picked up the 'Collection'. I remember being at the register and confused as hell as to why this cost more than I expected. But there was a big line behind me; peer pressure - I bought what I had. Only at home did I discover what I had done. A very happy accident.

Picture above are the five additional bonus postcards. I'm presenting them separately, but my set is still connected; I haven't ripped them apart (perforated).

- - -

Rant X 2.

I'm disappointed. "Mighty Joe Young" (1949) received special treatment; a commentary, featurette and an interview. But the main part; the sequel, "Son Of Kong" is nearly bare bones - just the trailer. There is a huge story here.

Stop-motion master Willis O'Brien would later disown his work on "Son". He would rarely talk about it. During the production his estranged wife murdered their two sons then turned the gun on herself - a failed suicide attempt. In fact there is speculation that much of the animation in the film was not done by O'Brien, but by his assistant, Buzz Gibson. Plus I would have liked to have seen a featurette on the lost "King Kong" prequel (of sorts), "New Adventures Of King Kong". Huh?

Some years after "Kong", co-creator Merian C. Cooper wanted to revisit their monkey for one more tale, but his co-writer, Ernest B. Schoedsack convinced him to drop it. The story dealt with the journey from Skull Island to New York. The missing account. Having to interrupt their voyage home for supplies, the Venture anchors near another island. Gathering food, the surviving crew is attacked by another massive creature. In order to save themselves, Denham gets the idea of releasing Kong. Have the ape fight the giant critter and later recapture him.

As far as I know it only got as far as a scriptment stage and some water color artwork.

- - -


Amazon had initially listed the tin (1933 film set only) with a documentary not included with the two discer; "Hollywood The Golden Years: The RKO Story - Birth Of A Titan", 1987 BBC documentary. Maybe it was planned, but got pulled.

There is a direct sequel to "King Kong" in book form from author, Russell Blackford. Published in 2005 (by Ibooks, Inc.) was "Kong Reborn". The tale involves cloning the giant ape from blood samples found by high-steel worker in 1999. The new creature is returned to Skull Island where general mayhem ensues.

And lastly, the November 2008 issue of Empire magazine (British), published the results of a world-wide poll of the "500 Greatest Movies Of All Time"; Jackson's "King Kong" ranked 450.

There you go. Have a safe and entertaining Halloween!

- - -

January 13th, 2015 Update...

Looking about on Amazon, I found something.

Released on February 12th, 2013 for $12.97 was the "Kong Collection" which brings the original classic and its sequel in a two disc set. For folks not interested in special features, this is for them. Don't know if the first disc is from the deluxe edition. Kong has been released 'official' on DVD several times including a basic single disc version in 2006.

Just thought you might want to know.

Last edited by JohnIan; 01-13-2015 at 11:45 PM..
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