Once they reach the island, they encounter hostile natives and bizarre giant creatures including but not limited to Kong, a giant gorilla who has a soft spot for Dwan.
He forms an expedition which includes a number of sailors and strapping hippie paleontologist Jack Prescott (Jeff Bridges).
During their voyage, they come across shipwrecked aspiring actress Dwan played by Jessica Lange, ironically in her feature film debut.
As for Kong, this is a creature who is heartbreakingly misunderstood.
He doesn’t want to hurt anyone and he certainly doesn’t want to cause a rampage in a heavily populated area.
This was Hollywood’s era of the blockbuster and Kong sort of wedged itself in there, trying to cash in on the sensationalistic hoopla.
It didn’t leave an everlasting mark on the memory of cinema history but it did provide for a rousing time at the theater.
Kong ’76 is one such film and while it may drip with cheese and feature seemingly silly robotic effects, it is a really amusing film and times, rather fun to watch.
Obviously, it doesn’t hold a candle to the 1933 classic but it is a 134-minute romp, mindless fun and old school adventure.
With Kong ’76 released in a time during porn and independent film grit, Nitehawk Cinema chose this film for two reasons: first for the World Trade Center tribute and second for its existence during Times Square’s famous “The Deuce”, a strip of trashy movie theaters which lined 42 avenues).
In the mid-1970s, this was considered the place where cinema came to die or in what many cinephiles today feel where cinema came to live.
The promotional poster art featured Kong prominently placed with one foot on each tower, grasping Dwan in one hand and squeezing a fighter jet in the other, an overly dramatic image for sure though a powerful image nonetheless.