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Overall Rating

Awesome: 18.18%
Worth A Look30.91%
Average: 20%
Pretty Bad: 25.45%
Total Crap: 5.45%

2 reviews, 43 user ratings

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King Kong (1976)
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by Scott Weinberg

"You'll believe a man can...dress like a giant ape."
2 stars

This is one biblically awful piece of cinema, yet it gets two stars because it's just so damn funny.

Ever wondered what a truly ‘bad’ movie looks like? Heck, you’ve probably already seen it! The great-granddad of wholly unwelcome (to say nothing of awful) remakes of classics, Dino de Laurentiis’ King Kong is a stunningly extensive melange of truly wretched components. You name an area of filmmaking and it’s poorly represented here. Bottom line: when people use the term ‘so bad it’s good’, this one is precisely the kind of sludge they’re talking about.

Where to begin? I suppose Jessica Lange is a silly enough place to start; she’s so bad here that I’m stunned she somehow survived to become one of America’s best actresses. Movies as bad as this one have sunk more than one starlet’s career. Faring just as goofily are Jeff Bridges (as our hippie anthropologist hero) and Charles Grodin (as our requisite capitalist bastard), though both offer performances perfectly in tune with a movie this keeningly campy.

Special effects? Oh please. The only thing more side-splittingly hilarious than the monkey effects in this movie is the fact that they somehow earned an Academy Award! (And it’s not just a cause of outdated technology; these effects truly are bad.) Try not to catapult popcorn out of your nostrils as Kong attempts to give Lange (stupidly named “Dwan” here) an industrial-strength blow dry, and be sure to keep an eye out for the chintziest-looking giant snake this side of Anaconda.

The dialogue borders on arcane farce, the ‘modernizations’ to the source movie are specious at best, plain old stupid at worst, the editing is scattershot and static, the musical score is bombastic and repititve, and the cinematography... well, actually that’s not that awful. More’s the pity that DP Richard Kline’s camerawork is mired in such a goofball flick.

The word ‘goofball’ is why I can unmercifully trash a movie like this, yet still like it in a perverse sort of way. To say this one doesn’t measure up to the original film goes without saying, but if you get a kick out of Ed Wood flicks and the sort of movies usually seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000, odds are you’ll have a ball laughing at this massive turkey.

Moment of clarity: Lange’s nips are clearly visible during her monkey-hand waterfall shower, and their presence may rouse you from your incredulous laughter.

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originally posted: 01/15/03 12:52:34
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User Comments

7/14/13 Max Quibbish Pretty bad movie. "Special effects" ? Hah !! 2 stars
12/05/09 art THIS TURKEY SURE SOLD alot OF MERCHANDISE,trading card's,bubble gum,candy bar's,a straw! 3 stars
11/01/09 Cubby Except for a few good moments it's marred by terrible effects and dialogue. It's lackluster 2 stars
5/24/09 art GOOD FOR LAUGH"S! 3 stars
1/30/09 Vousvous Pivv tribal beauty....finnesse 3 stars
12/14/07 David Cohen Worth seeing only for a few laughs 2 stars
9/03/07 Mobo Your review sucks! The movie rules! 5 stars
8/10/07 Vip Ebriega A guilty pleasure to say the least. 3/5. 3 stars
6/14/07 Vincent Ebriega Average remake. Fun and simple, but lost the magic. 3/5. 3 stars
3/10/07 swamprat Perfect choice for "Bad Movie Night" 2 stars
3/09/07 CHAS Might have better reviews if they just colorized the origional. 3 stars
12/29/06 David Pollastrini not as good as the original or the second remake 3 stars
11/13/06 alex 1994 original googd, new one great 1976 god awful 1 stars
8/09/06 Dragon The Artist Guy in a gorilla suit,New York miniatures, vomit-inducing sexual tension between ape&woman 1 stars
4/21/06 Dk The weaker than the original and Jacksons recent hit, the film does still retain some charm 3 stars
4/05/06 Heckle This film beats all other versions of King Kong HANDS DOWN. It is a CLASSIC film 5 stars
4/01/06 Kammy Jones Not as good as the new King Kong 3 stars
1/04/06 John a little slow at times but not at all as bad as you may have heard 4 stars
1/02/06 Adrian Burns Your not missing anything. Don't waste your time! 1 stars
12/24/05 Agentgary7 It's obviously just a guy in a gorilla suit. Nuff said. 2 stars
12/22/05 Old Dirty Best Kong movie of them all.Jessica Lange was HOT!!! 5 stars
12/19/05 David Fowler Certainly flawed, but fascinating, and compelling. Great John Barry score. 4 stars
11/23/05 Jeff Anderson A braindead & stupid remake to a great classic. John Barry's score is film's saving grace! 2 stars
11/07/05 LP Quagmire The all-time monster classic! Improves on the one-dimensional original in every respect. 5 stars
8/02/05 Stewart Did'nt anyone notice the awesome scenery? I also thought Barry's score was one of his best. 4 stars
5/07/05 Kristina Williams Jessica Lange used to be THAT hot?! Damn. 4 stars
9/29/04 nate crap 2 stars
9/03/04 Marisa Monroe The KING of all monster movies. 5 stars
7/31/04 Harry HEY Scott Weinberg!! In 1976 special effects sucked, we got ur point. 4 stars
12/30/03 George Kearley I liked the movie very much and Jessica Lange's work was excellent 5 stars
12/21/03 john it's flawed but a lot of fun - 4 stars
11/08/03 Someone this movie had soul. special fx was ok for that time. and there's Jessica 5 stars
10/25/03 Al Baston This film is hysterical and so is Scott Weinberg this guy is fucking FUNNY! 5 stars
9/23/03 Dude It rocked 5 stars
5/20/03 Ryan F. Oh God kill me now...are those jessicas boobs?...Oh God kill me now 2 stars
1/21/03 Deanna Giant ape wants to sleep with Jessica Lange understandable but creepy. 4 stars
10/15/02 Charles Tatum Kong should have squeezed Lange's head until it popped 3 stars
3/08/02 Mo Anand The movie, in my opinion, is better than the original...and a great effort 4 stars
9/17/01 LP Quagmire Best monster movie ever has alot of heart , great special effects, and Jessica Lange. 5 stars
6/27/01 R.W. Welch Flat and uninspired compared to the original. 3 stars
4/03/01 Andrew Carden EXtremly well done, better then the original. 4 stars
11/27/00 The Evil Penguin More realistic than the original, but a little dull in the dialogue 4 stars
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  02-Dec-1976 (PG)
  DVD: 22-Nov-2005



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