King Kong and its sequel, Son of Kong, came out in the same year.
Keep that in mind when you hear people complaining about Hollywood’s current bout of “sequelitis”. As it turns out, this problem has been going on for at least 78 years, if not longer.
Following King Kong’s initial success in March of 1933, RKO pictures immediately got the ball rolling on a sequel to come out in December of the same year. The film Son of Kong was written, produced, and released in time span of just 9 months. To do this, producer Ernest Schoedsack and special effects supervisor Willis O’Brien reused many of the same stop-motion models, music, and even some of the sound effects (including Fay Wray’s famous scream). The film features King Kong’s much smaller, friendlier, albino son, as well as the return of Robert Armstrong as the overly-ambitious, unlucky filmmaker Carl Denham (the character played by Jack Black in the Peter Jackson remake). The film plays out more like a comedy than a horror movie, as its creators had no intentions of surpassing the original. According to scriptwriter Ruth Rose, “If you can’t make it bigger, make it funnier”. The film did nowhere near as well in the box office as its predecessor.
Read more about Son of Kong at Turner Classic Movies.
13 Surprising Facts about Famous Movie Monsters
King Kong and its sequel, Son of Kong, came out in the same year.
Donkey Kong got his name because its creator thought Donkey meant stupid in English.
Nintendo wanted to use the Popeye comics to make a game, but weren’t able to get the license for him. Because they couldn’t use Popeye, they decided to make new characters and Donkey Kong was born. Having done some development work on a Popeye game, they decided to create a love triangle between an ape, carpenter, and girlfriend, that looked sort of like the love triangle between Popeye, Bluto, and Olive Oyl.
The game creator, Miyamoto, also used the Beauty and the Beast and King Kong as influences for his work with Donkey Kong. He came up with the name Donkey Kong because, not a fluent speaker of English, he thought that Donkey meant stupid.
His intention was that English speakers would see the title Donkey Kong and see Stupid Ape, but he messed up. In Nintendo of America, Miyamoto was the butt of many jokes, but nevertheless the name stayed the same.
The character Donkey Kong shows up in as Mario’s Enemy in his first game. He has also shown up in Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. Donkey Kong is one of Nintendo’s most well-known characters. After being reformed sometime in the 90s, he's now counted amongst Nintendo's heroes.
The velociraptors from Jurassic Park were actually much smaller and resembled birds!
Remember those horse-sized, reptilian raptors that chase the park director’s grandchildren around the kitchen? Yeah, those aren’t quite accurate. In reality, velociraptors were about the size of a turkey and were covered in fluffy feathers! Fossilized raptor skeletons contain bumps on their forearms that are thought to have held secondary feathers similar to those found on the wings of modern bird species. Raptors were too bulky for these wings to have allowed them to fly, but they may have been leftover from ancestral species that were able to take to the air.
Compsognathus (nicknamed "Compy\" for short) lived during the late Jurassic period, about 155 to 145 million years ago. This small carnivore fed on other small animals such as insects and lizards. Its two long, thin legs in conjunction with its large tail as a counterbalance allowed it to be a very swift predator. (Check out this Compsognathus fact sheet!)
Some scientists have hypothesized that the Compsognathus sported feathers (like a chicken!) however there is not fossil evidence of this being the case. More Compsognathus info.
You may have seen our friend the "Compy" dramaticized in the 1997 blockbuster The Lost World: Jurassic Park! A bunch of them eat that one guy from Fargo. The guy that puts Steve Buscemi in a wood chipper. What do you mean we watch too many movies?
Cloverfield and Lost may be in direct continuity!
The screenwriter of Cloverfield, Drew Goddard, is also a writer for the show Lost. A DHARMA logo flashes on the screen during the opening credits of Cloverfield and also does on Lost.
When asked if there was a connection between the two films and DHARMA, Goddard replied eagerly, “Maybe.” In the same line of questioning, Goddard said that 'anything in the movie was deliberately placed there.' He was referring to one of the final scenes in the movie where something large splashes in the water. The splash created large debates over what it was and what it meant. A sequel to Cloverfield is rumored to be under development.
There are more Godzilla movies (28) than James Bond movies (22)!
These are also two of the longest movie series ever. The first James Bond film came out in 1962, making the series nearly 50 years old! The first Godzilla film came out in 1954, so they’ve been making Godzilla movies for almost 60 years! Neither series is over yet either. In fact, new installments in both the Godzilla and James Bond series are slated for 2012 releases. The Godzilla film will be in 3-D!
We’ve only counted “official” releases for these series. Technically, there are 29 Godzilla movies if you wanted to count the American movie directed by Roland Emmerich (I\'d rather not). There’s also 24 James Bond films if you count the 1967 James Bond parody film Casino Royale with comedian Peter Sellers as Bond and if you count Never Say Never Again, an unofficial James Bond film starring Sean Connery.
In reality, Frankenstein is the surname of the doctor who created the monster in Mary Shelley's novel - Dr. Victor Frankenstein. The proper term for the beast is "Frankenstein's monster" (yes, how creative). The confusion is likely due to movie adaptations of the tale, in which far more emphasis is placed on the monster as the main character.
Here\'s a scene from a classic movie, Young Frankenstein
Who comes to a show with that many vegetables anyway?
The monsters from I Am Legend were originally supposed to be animatronic and MUCH creepier!
Special effects artist Steve Johnson recently uploaded this video on YouTube. It really makes you wonder if this flick could’ve actually been halfway SCARY if director Francis Lawrence hadn’t poo-pooed the animatronics and opted for CGI zombies, which I feel are far inferior. Regardless, ANYTHING\'s better than the powder-faced \"zombies\" from the original film, which starred Charlton Heston.
Decide for yourself in the video below:
The Alien costume included real vertebrae; Rolls Royce auto-parts, latex and K-Y jelly!
It's hard to imagine a more iconic space monster than the so-called Xenomorph from Ridley Scott's 1979 Alien. The design of the creature was made specifically to evoke feelings of horror and sexuality. In fact, Fox was hesitant to let the designer, surrealist artist H.R. Giger, work on the movie because they thought his designs would be too disturbing for audiences.
The costume was built using some rather strange materials. They used plasticine, parts from a Rolls-Royce motor, real vertebrae from dead snakes. Ironically, they also used latex and K-Y jelly, which ties nicely with the sex undercurrent that runs throughout the Alien franchise. The K-Y jelly was used not just to make the costume seem slimy, but also for the creature's saliva.
Still, despite the horror that the design inspired, there was still a man underneath. A casting director saw a Nigerian design student named Bolaji Badejo while he was out for a drink in a bar. Badejo was 7'2", which was perfect for the dimensions they wanted the alien to be. They made a full plaster of his body and created the costume around it. He also attended t'ai chi and mime classes to create better movements for the alien.
There's a cartoon called "Bambi Meets Godzilla," considered one of the best cartoons of all time.
It's less than 2 minutes long, but it was voted #38 in the book "The 50 greatest cartoons." It was created by Marv Newland, then a film student who went on to become a big animation director.
The cartoon was a student project that he did once his live action film wasn't completed in time. The synopsis of the film is "Bambi is contentedly nibbling the grass, seemingly unaware of his impending encounter with Godzilla. What will happen when the two finally meet?" We won't spoil it, we've included the film at the bottom for you to see.
The short film was included in the beginning of a 1985 Godzilla movie. Another fun fact is that Marv Newland was living in an apartment that was rented out by the voice of Snow White in the Disney movie!
Godzilla's roar is an iconic sound effect that has been used in a lot of other media. The sound effect has appeared on The Simpsons, South Park, Pokemon, Chappelle's Show, Malcolm in the Middle, and in songs from Green Day and Sir Mix-A-Lot. Strangely, the American Godzilla movie wasn't able to secure the rights for the roar, and they had to record a different one.
(Sources: 1, 2)
Godzilla’s name came from the Japanese words for ‘gorilla’ and ‘whale’!
Due to his strength and watery origin, the filmmakers originally described the monster as a cross between gorira (“gorilla”) and kujira (\"whale\"), coming up with the hybridized word “Gojira”. Of course, when this name became Americanized, we butchered this word even further, replacing the ‘j’ with a ‘dzi’ sound and the ‘r’ with a double ‘l’. It is not surprising that they chose to model their gigantic movie monster after a gorilla considering the success of America’s King Kong 20 years prior. Kong and Godzilla would actually do battle 8 years after the original Gojira film’s release in 1962’s King Kong vs. Godzilla. This basically served as the 1960s’ equivalent to Rocky IV with Japan in place of the Soviet Union. We know who wins the battle, but we’ll let you watch the movie yourself so we don’t ruin the surprise...