Archive for King Kong

The Demagogue Agog

Posted in FILM, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2016 by dcairns

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A FACE IN THE CROWD is a great monster movie.

My investigations into Elia Kazan stalled slightly but I need to get them moving again because there’s still so much good stuff to see. This one was so absurdly timely I knew I had to catch it before events overtook it entirely, which they practically have. The protagonist, “Lonesome” Rhodes (Andy Griffith) can stand comparison with Donald Trump in many ways, but rather than being a caricature he’s actually more restrained. He’s a more appealing figure in every way — he actually has charisma and talent, for one thing. Trump only ever had a big mouth and the mirage-like aura of success, which is apparently enough to command respect.

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As I say, it’s a great monster movie. Rhodes starts small, like the Ymir in 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH (released the same year) but expands to nation-threatening proportions thanks to the media. Patricia Neal, who had dealt with alien enigmas in THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL and STRANGER FROM VENUS, has the role of Frankenstein, raising the creature from its harmless microbial form and rendering it dangerously powerful.

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The real horrorshow imagery is at the climax, where the monster’s raging shadow is shown, elongating arms waving ape-like against the New York skyline, a vivid and unmistakable evocation of KONG. Both big sideshow acts meet their doom atop Manhattan skyscrapers. And as Griffith’s ballsy perf, which has always been BIG, runs amok in the final stages of ego meltdown, his twisting, empurpled lips resemble those of Fredric March’s Mr. Hyde, another hideous id unleashed upon an unprepared civilisation.

Like most of the best monster movies, this is a warning, and now seemingly a prophecy.

Eastern Western

Posted in FILM with tags , on August 11, 2016 by dcairns

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Kaiju are just too big, aren’t they? Fay Wray could fit in Kong’s hand, meaning there could be meaningful monster-human interaction, but at 300ft tall or whatever he’s meant to be, Godzilla is just too enormous to be aware of humans as anything more than moving microdots. He didn’t even notice when Raymond Burr was slotted into his movie. And if you can overlook Raymond Burr, you have a size problem.

Mind you, I’m not saying this list of cowboy movies starring giant Japanese monsters would solve the problem.

JOHNNY GHIDORA

VARAN FROM LARAMIE

A FISTFUL OF DORATS

SHE WORE A YELLOW RODAN

TWO RODAN TOGETHER

LITTLE BIG MANDA

MATANGO NOTORIOUS

THE ASSASSINATION OF JET JAGUAR BY THE COWARD RAINBOW MOTHRA

MCCABE AND MRS MINILLA

DESTOROYAH RIDES AGAIN

GIGAN AT THE O.K. CORRAL

PAINT YOUR BARAGON

GODZILLA FORGIVES… I DON’T!

Uncensored

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2016 by dcairns

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Staying with the pre-code theme, Limerwrecks has been focussing on the years 1930-1934.

I weigh in on DISHONORED here, LADIES THEY TALK ABOUT here, THE SCARLET EMPRESS here, something fairly non-specific here but we’ve gone with RED DUST, and KING KONG again here. And there’s more where that came from!