Thursday, September 16, 2010
KING KONG THE HISTORY OF A MOVIE ICON FROM FAY WRAY TO PETER JACKSON
KING KONG: THE HISTORY OF A MOVIE ICON FROM FAY WRAY TO PETER JACKSON. Ray Morton. Applause Books; 2005.
Even though this is a trade paperback, it's still a heavy tome as it has over 300 pages on thick paper stock -- but more importantly contains just about everything you would ever want to know about the making of the original King Kong, the sequel Son of Kong, the 1976 remake [which Morton examines fairly, revealing that it really wasn't the mega-bomb people seem to think it was -- although most agree it can't compare with the original], the sequel King Kong Lives, and the Japanese Kong films King Kong vs. Godzilla and King Kong Escapes. Morton has not only packed the book with loads of illustrations, but all sorts of details about shooting schedules, behind-the-scenes conflicts, legal disagreements, and incisive notes about each film's special effects -- often scene by scene and shot by shot. Morton is enthusiastic enough to make me want to take another look at the 1976 King Kong, which I've always pretty much hated. There is also a chapter regarding the pre-production of Peter Jackson's King Kong, as well as chapters on King Kong films that were never made, and imitations and rip-offs of the Big Ape Movie. This book is a real labor of love. Note: You can read more about these films and other monster movies in Creature Features.
Verdict: For the Kong fanatic and others interested in fascinating cinema. ***1/2.