CineSavant Column

Saturday September 29, 2018


This is a strange story …

Remember the 1976 King Kong remake? I personally saw the Dino DeLaurentiis/Carlo Rambaldi full-sized King Kong hand on an MGM stage in 1976 — Richard Yuricich sneaked a number of us over there after he filmed a 70mm front projection test for CE3K. But I missed out on a night where several friends went to MGM, to be extras for the filming of the giant robotic Kong, the towering robotic mannequin that Dino claimed deserved an Academy Award as a revolution in special effects. Not only did the robot fail to function in front of the crowd, it sprung an oil leak — down its leg — which brought gales of laughter from the crowd of extras given ‘Petrox’ flags to wave. It apparently was something like a recent day with another awkward mannequin at the United Nations.

Anyway, Gary Teetzel came across this Corroded Vault investigative item on what became of the giant Rambaldi Kong props: DeLaurentiis apparently rented them out for dubious live-action show presentations in Argentina. The article has plenty of documentation in the form of newsprint graphics but no title per se. For the purposes of a link, I’m calling it King-Kong “En Vivo”.  Be prepared, it’s a crazier rip-off than the movie ever was. I’m surprised Argentina didn’t declare war on Paramount Pictures. The page has been up for a year, so I hope this isn’t old news for too many people.

And are you ready for some real fun? Correspondent William T. Garver just posted an announcement by Shout Select, of an upcoming disc of the uncompromised, thoroughly appalling animated show about animals used for medical experiments, The Plague Dogs. Wow, the kiddies will LOVE this one — it’s like These are the Damned, only with innocent, suffering anthropomorphosed canines. The new date for Shout’s Blu-ray is January 14. Lovers of great animation should look up various reviews online for this previously MIA movie — it’s not about cute little puppies.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson