|“||From thy wedding with the creature who touches heaven, lady, God preserve thee.||„|
|~ Jack Prescott.|
King Kong, or simply known as Kong, is the titular protagonist of the 1976 Paramount and De Laurentiis live-action remake adaptation of the same name and its 1986 sequel King Kong Lives.
This version of Kong was the result of living on an island (presumably a version of Skull Island) which had an unusually high oxygen rich atmosphere, allowing its inhabitants to grow to massive size. As with his other iterations, Kong is worshipped as a deity by the natives who live on his island, the same natives who presented women as sacrifice in which they lived alongside him as his "brides." Unfortunately, Kong's reign ended when the crew of the Petrox Explorer, a ship sent by a petrochemical corporation to Kong's home in search of hidden oil deposits, arrived in the 1970s and captured him before bringing Kong back to New York City as a publicity tool for the company leading him to break free and wreak havoc. He subsequently met his downfall on the World Trade Center only to be revived with a heart transplant and a transfusion of plasma from another massive female of his race, "Lady Kong", in a massive lab. Kong and Lady Kong eventually mated and had a child, though he didn't live long enough to become a father in the light of his sacrifice in protecting his family from the military. His efforts were paid off with Lady Kong and her newborn son's relocation to a large reserve in Borneo.
In the 1976 film, he was portrayed by Rick Baker and Will Shephard whilst in the 1986 sequel, he was portrayed by Peter Elliott. His vocal sound effects were also provided by Peter Cullen, who also played Optimus Prime in the Transformers franchise as well as the character in the live-action film series and the other one in the Transformers: Prime animated series.
Not much is known about Kong's past, but it's confirmed that he was a ginormous 50 foot tall ape who lives on a tropical land known as "The Beach of the Skull". Kong also worshipped as a god by natives who presented human sacrifices to him and lived in a village separated from the rest of the region by a massive wall. Scattered records by mariners who managed to reach the mysterious, fog-blanketed island and return made reference to Kong as far back as 1605.
In the 1970s, an expedition from the Petrox Oil Corporation arrived on the island. Fred Wilson, an executive for Petrox, had previously believed that this uncharted island contained valuable oil reserves and organized the expedition there. But instead, they found the natives who conducted a ceremonial rites. The natives' witch doctor became enraged by the newcomers' interruption, but upon noticing Dwan, a castaway that had been found and picked up by the expedition team's ship, he offers to purchase her so she can be used as a sacrifice to Kong. The group refuses and the party returns to the Explorer, scaring the natives off with their rifles. Determined to acquire the oil on the island, Wilson plans to return at a later time. That night, the natives kidnap and drug Dwan then bring her back to their village. Dwan is decorated in ceremonial jewels and tied to a pedestal outside the wall, where Kong emerged from the jungle and freed Dwan, before he then immediately carried her off into the jungle. When Dwan's kidnapping is discovered, the crew comes back ashore and storms the village, only to see that Kong has already carried off Dwan. Wilson sets up a base camp on the beach, while Jack Prescott, a primate paleontologist who had stowed away onto the expedition's ship earlier in the hope of witnessing Kong, and a group of men follow Kong into the jungle.
Meanwhile, Kong sets Dwan down in a clearing, where he starts chasing Dwan around, in an attempt to still have her as his prisoner. Believing Kong is going to kill and eat her, Dwan begs for her life. But to her surprise, Kong is amused and calmed by Dwan's monolouging skills, and she soon learns that he posed no threat to her. When Dwan accidentally falls in mud, Kong takes her to an oasis, where the great ape washes her underneath a waterfall, before drying her off by blowing her with his great breath. Dwan was surprised at how benevolent Kong actually is, making her no longer fear him. In the meantime, Jack and the others, while searching for Kong, reach a giant fallen log that acted as a bridge over a deep chasm. Kong soon arrived and confronted the men as they started to cross the log bridge. Believing the men came to capture Dwan, Kong grabbed the bridge, twisting it until all of the men except Jack and another named Boan fell to their doom. Jack decided to resume pursuing Kong on his own, and headed deeper into the jungle.
That night, Kong takes Dwan to his mountainous lair, where he gently starts stroking and petting her, but nearly undresses her by accident. However, Kong's peaceful moment with Dwan is interrupted when a gigantic boa constrictor appears and tries to devour Dwan. Kong sets Dwan down and fights the snake, but the reptile constricts itself around him intending to strangle and crush Kong. Jack arrives at Kong's lair and reunites with Dwan while Kong is distracted wrestling with the snake as the two watch. When Kong sees Jack with Dwan as the duo escape his lair, this gave him a second wind to grab the snake's jaws and tear them apart before chasing Dwan and Jack back to the village and smashes through the wall, only to fall into a pit filled with chloroform that Wilson and his crew had created, knocking him unconscious and causing the natives to surround their fallen god and bow. With no oil to bring back to New York City after the oil deposits on the island were found to be worthless, Wilson decided to bring Kong back instead and use him as a publicity stunt. Kong is loaded onto an oil tanker, where he is fed with fruit. Both Dwan and Jack are upset at Kong's treatment, while Kong himself grows increasingly frustrated throughout the voyage. One night, Kong began to have a mental breakdown and started to smash against the walls of the oil bay, but Dwan accidentally falls into the cargo hold, only for Kong to catch her. The captain orders the hold to be flooded after Dwan is rescued, but Kong becomes calm and allows Dwan to climb back out then falls asleep for the remainder of the voyage.
When the expedition returned to New York, Kong is prepared to be put on display. Wilson tries to convince Jack and Dwan to be present at Kong's exhibition, but Jack refuses and states he will start a fund to return Kong to his home. Wilson has Kong tied up in chrome steel chains, imprisons him in a giant metal cage to prevent Kong from escaping, and placed a large crown on his head to signify him being a king. When the exhibition begins, Kong is put on display in front of a huge crowd at Shea Stadium. Everything seems fine at first until at the end of the show, a horde of reporters try to take photographs of Dwan. Kong, mistakenly thinking Dwan is being provoked, becomes enraged and breaks free from his chains before tearing through the metal cage that is imprisoning him. With fleeing people getting trampled and stepped on by Kong as he searches for Dwan, Wilson tried to run away, but he slips before being crushed by Kong. Kong rampaged through New York, destroying cars and stomping on fleeing citizens, even derailing and smashing a train as he continues looking for Dwan. At the same time, Jack and Dwan cross the Queensboro Bridge to escape from Kong, expecting that he would not be able to swim across the East River. However, Kong simply walks across the water and approaches Manhattan, desperately searching for Dwan. Dwan and Jack hide in an abandoned bar, where Jack sees the World Trade Center, realizing it bears a remarkable resemblance to Kong's lair on the island. Jack calls the Mayor's office, telling them to allow Kong to climb to the top of the World Trade Center, hoping he can be safely captured and taken back to his home. While Prescott makes the call, Kong finds the bar and, upon sensing Dwan's presence inside the building, he grabs her and makes his way to the World Trade Center as he reminded the building of his lair back on his island.
With the National Guard pursuing him, Kong climbs the South Tower with Dwan. By the time the ape reaches the top, he is confronted by soldiers wielding flamethrowers. Kong managed to jump to the North Tower, where he throws a gasoline tank at the soldiers, killing them in a fiery explosion. However, the military sends helicopters armed with machine guns to take Kong down, much to Jack's horror as he realizes it was a lie all along. Realizing the incoming threat, Kong sets Dwan down and holds her back so he can deal with his attackers. Dwan begs for Kong to pick her back up, hoping the military will not fire if he is holding her, but Kong just smiles at Dwan and turns away, facing the helicopters head-on. The helicopters open fire, riddling Kong with machine gun fire. Despite his grievous injuries, Kong managed to destroy two of the choppers. Eventually, the machine gun fire is too much, and Kong falls over, bleeding. Crying, a devastated Dwan approaches Kong to comfort him, only for Kong to roll off the roof of the North Tower and plummets onto the plaza below. Minutes later, reporters and onlookers have surrounded Kong, while Dwan approaches him. Kong tearfully gets to look at his love one last time before succumbing to his injuries as his heart stops beating. Dwan is then bombarded by a sea of photographers. Because the crowd is so big, Dwan can't even get close to Jack and reunite with him. She helplessly and tearfully stands still as she is interviewed relentlessly by reporters while Kong lies dead in broken concrete.
However, it is revealed Kong was not actually killed, but was placed into a coma. He was taken to the Atlantic Institute and kept alive, but comatose for a decade. Dr. Amy Franklin, the surgeon in charge of Kong, found a way to fully revive Kong by giving him an artificial heart. However, Kong had lost so much blood that he required a blood transfusion for the procedure to work. Thankfully, a female version of Kong dubbed "Lady Kong" was discovered in Borneo by Hank Mitchell and brought back to the Atlantic Institute to provide blood for Kong. The transplant was a success, and Kong was revived. However, Kong and Lady Kong mated while in captivity at the Institute, and escaped together. The United States army relentlessly pursued both apes, and tracked them down in the wilderness. Kong fell from a cliff and presumably died in the resulting battle, and Lady Kong was captured and taken to a military base. At the base, it was discovered that Lady Kong was pregnant with Kong's newborn child.
Meanwhile, Kong, having survived the fall, rampaged through the countryside in search of Lady Kong, although his artificial heart was slowly failing. As Lady Kong went into labor, Kong arrived near the military base and was attacked by the military. Kong was gruesomely wounded, but managed to destroy the military's forces and kill the insane army colonel who tried to kill him and his mate. The wounded Kong entered the base and collapsed in front of Lady Kong, who had just given birth to their son, Baby Kong. Gravely injured and with his heart about to shut down, Kong smiled as he looked at his newborn child for the first time before finally dying peacefully. Following Kong's death, Lady Kong and Baby Kong were transported back to Borneo to live in peace.
As with his other iterations, Kong is basicallydepicted as a 50-foot tall gorilla towering over humans.
As with other iterations of the character, Kong is violent as much as sympathetic and affectionate because of his isolated life and limited interaction from the tribe who worship him. While Kong's difficulties in comprehending the fact that his intended human brides being too inadequate to be compatible mates for him since neither of them are the same species as him, but that didn't stop him from caring to their well-being. His protecticeness towards Dwan and later, his new true family in form of Lady Kong and their child, reached to the extent where he behaves hostile towards other humans, which is understandable since majorities of them feared him and declared war on him for his rampages which ironically the result of circumstances beyond his control.
Powers and Abilities
- Enhanced Strength: Kong is massively strong and powerful due to his ginormous size and stature, picking up and throwing a log the Petrox Explorer crew is trying to cross into a chasm with ease and is able to smash through the wall of the native village. During his battle with a giant boa constrictor, he is strong enough to literally rip the snake's jaws apart in rage when he sees Jack Prescott escaping with Dwan. In New York City, he uses his brute strength to break through the supposedly unbreakable restraints holding him before causing significant damage to the city, even derailing an elevated train during his search for Dwan. During his last stand atop the World Trade Center, he was able to grab a metal object from the roof of the North Tower and throw it at the soldiers firing at him from the South Tower with tremendous accuracy while also smashing a UH-1 Iroquois out of the sky with both fists. Kong shows that he is also strong enough to lift and tear apart full-sized military tanks.
- Enhanced Mobility: Kong is surprisingly fast and incredibly agile, able to scale the mountainous terrain of his island with ease, making his home in a high mountaintop lair. After recapturing Dwan in New York City, he was able to climb the South Tower of the World Trade Center after remembering the structural similarity between the skyscrapers and his lair. When confronted by flamethrower-wielding soldiers on the roof, he was capable of making an astounding leap over to the top of the North Tower. Even while riddled with machine gun fire, Kong is still able to reach and smash one of the helicopters attacking him out of the sky.
- Enhanced Durability: Kong's size also endowed him bodily tissues that more resistant to damage than those of ordinary apes, but he is by no means invulnerable. He was capable of withstanding the crushing constriction of a giant boa constrictor and manages to kill the reptile before getting back up on his feet without suffering any ill effects and later withstands sustained machine gun fire from UH-1 Iroquois helicopters which tears through his skin and causes him to bleed. Though mortally wounded, he was still able to continue standing and fighting, even managing to destroy one of the choppers attacking him before finally plummeting from the top of the North Tower and onto the ground below, as he only seems to succumb to his injuries once his heart stops pounding. Remarkably, this failed to kill Kong, and he was kept alive for ten years in a medical facility, albeit unconscious. After having an artificial heart transplanted into him, Kong regains all of his vitality that he had before his near-death experience. Even as his artificial heart begins to fail, Kong demonstrates the same raw strength and stamina he had before. In a final battle to defend his mate Lady Kong as she gave birth to their son, Kong faced off against an military batallion which included tanks. While his wounds sustained in this battle would prove fatal, Kong not only triumphed, but in his mortally wounded state managed to see his newborn son for the first time and bid farewell to his mate before dying peacefully.
- Enhanced Stamina: Kong demonstrates a greater amount of stamina and resilience than those of ordinary apes, which attributed to how he able to perform taxing activities for extended amount of time.
- Enhanced Senses: Kong's senses are more acute than those of ordinary apes, which makes him aware of his surroundings and to sense danger when it's near. He was able to hear the natives' tribal music as well as able to sense the presence of Dwan in an abandoned bar.
- Enhanced Dexterity: Like all apes, Kong has five fully opposable digits on each of his hands and feet, allowing him to grab objects and opponents firmly with ease. These also provide advantages in climbing.
- High Intelligence/Expert Tactician: Kong possesses incredible feats of intelligence as he is capable of displaying the ability to learn and strategize.
- Skilled Combatant: Kong's time in surviving his home habitat's harsh environment saw him honing his capabilities as a formidable combatant as shown when he was able to fight against a large boa constrictor while protecting Dwan at the same time, despite the serpent being much bigger, vicious and stronger than him.
- Climbing Skills: Kong is a skilled climber like ordinary apes, capable of climbing to surfaces in order to scale them with relative ease, which helped by his size and remarkable grip of both his hands and feet. He is also shown to be able to climb buildings in New York City, most notably the World Trade Center.
- Survival Skills: Kong has remarkable survival skills, having spent majorities of his life surviving and taming the wilderness, learning where to find food or water as well as overcoming dangerous situations.
- Artificial Heart: After his near-death during the final battle at World Trace Center, Kong was revived with an artificial heart provided by Atlantic Institute which designed to prolong his life so long it remains in function.
- Unlike his other incarnations, Kong is shown to be carnivorous as he was shown eating several crocodiles and even a hunter who taunted him, though gorillas in real life are actually herbivores since their usual diet is likely consisted of vegetation and fruits.
- The sound of Kong's fading heartbeat at the end of the 1976 film was later used for the sound effect of Godzilla's dorsal fins flashing in Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
- Rick Baker, who both designed and portrayed Kong in the 1976 film, makes a cameo in Peter Jackson's 2005 remake as one of the biplane gunners who brings down Kong on the Empire State Building.