Entertainment Earth


King Kong Movies, Ranked from Worst to Best

Two Fridays ago, saw the release of the latest King Kong movie, Kong: Skull Island. The movie ties into the Monster Universe that began with the last American Godzilla movie. It opened up to killer numbers. But, it is only the latest entry of one of the oldest monster franchises in cinema. Kong was very important to me  growing. Like Godzilla, he and his movies were essential to me growing up as a horror and monster fan. The following list ranks all of the official King Kong movies (IE no Kong rip-offs here), from the very worst to the best. So sit back an enjoy the giant monkey monster action!


8. King Kong Lives- This sequel to the '76 remake is, quite frankly, one of the worst giant monster movies ever made. It is brain numbingly stupid and lame.
If you have ever wanted to see romance between two giant apes, this is the monkey turd for you!

After, falling off the World Trade Center, Kong somehow fucking survived. He has been in a coma for a decade. Linda Hamilton plays the doc who gives him a giant robot heart. He also gets a transfusion from the blood of a lady Kong, who he falls in love with. And, the evil and very stupid military want him dead.
 King Kong gets bloody and fucked up, in this one.
If that sounds bad, well it is. And, just wait till we find out that Lady Kong is knocked up! Featuring awful scenes where he romances her and uneven FX, it's the fucking pits. It does have a hilarious scene where Kong graphically rips an evil hilly-billy in two and swallows another one, though. That's worth something right?
Humans, especially evil ones, are yummy and nutritious!

1/2 a MONKEY

7. King Kong Vs. Godzilla- A return to the monster mashes of Universal Pictures of yore like, Frankenstein Meets the Wolf-Man, this is a decent enough flick, even if does not deliver as much of the goods as you may want it to.
Kong tries to get the King of the Monsters to eat his veggies.
The first color appearance of both beasts, the Big-G plays the baddie, with Kong as the hero. He's made much bigger here, to be able to battle Godzilla. They meet once earlier in the film, but the real battle is at the film's climax. And, it is pretty damn awesome! Too bad the rest of it somewhat of a snooze and the Kong suit is kinda lame.

Still, this is a right of passage for any monster lover. I do think the intended American remake could easily improve on it. If they don't fuck it up, of course.


6. King Kong (1976)- The '76 version is sometimes unjustly maligned. Honestly, it's pretty decent. It is just wholly uneven. Some of the FX are terrible, others are awesome. The acting ranges from crap to good. One wishes Kong would fight more monsters, but he does have a rousing and bloody fight with a giant snake. Speaking of bloody, Kong's demise is righteously gory and actually emotional.

Man, that giant snake gets fucked up!
Probably the bloodiest of all the Kong deaths.

Jessica Lange is, arguably, the most beautiful of all of Kong's love interests. Sadly, this is her worst performance, ever. I don't know if this is really on the bright side, but she got kicked out of another boat cause she wouldn't watch Deep Throat with them. Maybe she wasn't a Linda Lovelace fan? Speaking of sexual stuff, she shows off more skin than any of the other Kong babes and is overall, a more sexual flicks than the other ones. That just adds to the humor and fun, I feel. And, the overall weird/ WTF feel to it all.
 Kong has excellent tastes in ladies!


5. King Kong Escapes- The second and last Toho Kong flick, has him battling Mechani-Kong, his evil robot double. Thanks to a better pace than the King Kong Vs. Godzilla, I find this one more enjoyable. It is sometimes over looked. But, with a decent Universal Blu-ray release from a few years ago. It really shouldn't be.

Kong does look awful in this movie, though. As in, he looks cheap and really silly. But, hey he also fights Gorosaurus who would go on to appear in the fan favorite Destroy All Monsters!


4. Son of Kong- Unlike the darker and more serious original, this one is pretty far from being a horror movie. It ain't great as that classic, but there is a certain charm to it. 

Monster always had Son of movies (Dracula, Frankenstein, the Blob, Gozilla), so why not Kong? A much better go around than the next time he would have offspring (see, or wait, DON'T see King Kong Lives), this one is sometimes forgotten. But, honestly it is very much worth your time. I can also see some of you ranking this one much higher, and I would be very understanding, if that is the case.



3. King Kong (2005)- From a technical standpoint, Peter Jackson's take on Kong is superior than the movies up and until this point, on the list. Well, expect for some of the CGI, as it some is great (the battle with the T-Rexes is wild!), others not so much (that brontosaurs stampede sucks!).

The cast is pretty good, especially memorable is the beautiful Naomi Watts. Her relationship with Kong is touching. It is also clear that Jackson loves the original. Dead Alive fans will love the monkey reference in this movie. But... it is waaaaaay too long (the fact that there is a longer cut is insane!). And, some of the movie hasn't aged that well. I never feel like revisting this one, as it is never as great as it was on that first viewing in the movies.

3 MONKEYS (4 if you see it for the first time, in the movies)

2. Kong: Skull Island- Is this technically a better movie than Jackson's flick? No. But, it is more fun, and I can see myself watching this one a lot when I get it on Blu-ray. It's also more fun than the last American Godzilla flick (which I did like, BTW). The only real problem I have is that human characters suck. They are not very interesting. But, you will wanna see the bad ones die. 
Thankfully the pacing is fast and the FX are great. The monsters battles are violent and push the PG-13 rating, something that should be done more often. Shit, there is even an violent homage Cannibal Holocaust! My fellow, horror fans, let me know if you caught it! It should be noted that this is the first time that Kong does not fall in love. Even, though Brie Larson is a babe, he ain't interested in her that way. Maybe, when he battles Godzilla, next time, he will find his new blonde love?
Even if Kong doesn't love her in that way, I do!

1. King Kong (1933)- Well, you knew this one would top the list. It is a fucking given, as this one of the greatest movies ever made. The FX still hold up. Rotten Tomatoes has it ranked as the greatest horror movie of all time.

It is really the only one in the franchise that is a true horror movie. The B&W cinematography adds a starkness and creepy feel to the exciting and scary dinosaur and monster attacks battles. Included among the scarier images is Kong eating and trampling natives, something that was cut from some releases many, many years ago. And, the beautiful Fay Wray is the greatest of all of Kong's love interests. All hail her, for she is horror's first scream queen!! Long story short the original King Kong is a perfect, masterpiece!

4 MONKEYS! (of course!)

Your rankings may well be different than mine. Let me know in the comments below, if they are! Or let me know if you totally agree with me. 


Giovanni Deldio said...

My revised thoughts and rating for "King Kong" _76 /, which today I would probably rate as the second, or more than likely third best, King Kong movie:
My ★★★½ review of King Kong on Letterboxd https://boxd.it/1VSIBT