Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Horror Movie Darwin Awards #3: Carl Denham in King Kong

I was wracking my brain trying to find instances of dumbassery in older, classic flicks. Apparently horror characters didn’t become complete mental midgets until the 70’s. Then my buddy Cavepearl from reminded me of this little gem. Frankly, I’m kinda ashamed of myself for overlooking this one to begin with, as I absolutely love this movie.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Carl Denham, film director, entertainment mogul, overall huckster, and dimwit extrordinaire. While filming on location at Skull Island, His leading lady, Ann Darrow (portrayed by the incomparable Fay Wray) is taken captive by a native tribe to be sacrificed to a gigantic gorilla. Hollywood stars, you have no right to ever complain about on set security again. I’d take some paparazzi sneaking in over being kidnapped by the natives of Skull Island any day. Anyway, he and his crew eventually save Ann and manage to gas and subdue Kong. The logical thing to do would be to get the hell out of dodge before he wakes up. However, Denham thinks otherwise.

You see, when Denham looks at the 800 pound beast, all he sees are dollar signs. People back in civilization would pay a fortune to see this. Never mind that he’s already seen his prize attraction lay the smack down on some dinosaurs. That kind of destructive power can’t be a match for come chrome steel chains. Why, he’d be a fool NOT to drag this monster back to New York City with him, chain him up crucifix style onstage, and let the reporters pop flashbulbs in his face. What’s the worst that could happen? So, Mr. P.T. Barnum wannabe, how did that work out for you?

Apparently being chained up and displayed in a strange environment freaked him out and he went ape shit (come on, you knew I couldn’t resist that one.) Imagine that. Performances involving wild animals never go wrong, right? Apparently Carl hasn’t seen some of the youtube videos I’ve seen. Bringing this beast into the middle of a bustling metropolis was foolhardy at best, criminal negligence at worst. A regular size gorilla can tear you limb from limb with no problem. What do you think one the size of king Kong will do? I’ll tell you what he’ll do. First he’ll take Ann captive again. That’s twice man. Something tells me she’s not going to be signing on for your next picture. Then he’ll rampage through the city and destroy an el-train, killing a bunch of people and causing god knows how much property damage. Finally, he’ll take your leading lady to the top of the Empire State Building, where he’ll swat fighter planes out of the air like moths. You better be glad those planes finally took him down, or who knows what kind of mayhem would have ensued. Actually, it wasn’t the planes. Twas beauty killed the beast. You managed to get out of your little folly alive Carl, but you’ve got a lot of blood on your hands, a lot of lawsuits headed your way, and a whole hell of a lot of explaining to do. Congratulations Carl, you are today’s winner by virtue of your coming up with the most disastrously ill-conceived money making scheme since New Coke. Now, I will paraphrase Carl’s masterful directions to Ann during their doomed shoot…

Carl: “"Now you see it. You're amazed. You can't believe it. Your eyes open wider. It's idiotic, but you can't look away. There's no chance for you. No escape from the stupidity. You're helpless, helpless. There's just one chance, if you can scream. Throw your palm to your face and scream, scream for your life!"

Ann: “Way to go dumbass!”

1 comment:

Chris Hewson said...

The immediate (and fun) sequel Son of Kong actually showed the aftermath of what happened to Denham after the whole New York fiasco.

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