The original "King Kong" is almost certainly not intended to be a comedy (despite the abundance of intentional humor that is to be found in the film), but some time just before the movie hits the 90 minute mark, a full fledged comedy is exactly what it briefly becomes. I hate to knock such a great movie, but the moment when Kong breaks through that giant gate in his exhibition of stalker mentality to bring Ann Darrow back into his life by force commences a long sequence in the movie that cannot be enjoyed in any way except to view it as comedy.
Which is all the more strange since this is exactly the sequence that the filmmakers launch what they had to have considered the most frightening part of the film.
Not that "King Kong" is the only movie in which the parts intended to scare audiences the most upon release have transformed through the evolution of audience sophistication into examples of unintended humor. Of course, there is a difference between laughing at Bela Lugosi's version of "Dracula" instead of experiencing fear and some of the reasons why we laugh at Kong's unleashing of the full extent of his vengeful pursuit of the only blonde chick on the island. And that reason has to do with color, needless to say. But even minus the 1930s mainstream version of racism on screen, "King Kong" gets funny right about there.
For instance, the vision of one of Skull Island's natives inside the mouth of that life-sized head of Kong as he chews the poor soul to death is funny because of how ridiculous it looks. Kind of like how the dinosaur chase sequence in Peter Jackson's remake is funny because the special effects are cheesier than Ed Wood's flying saucers. And the scene where a native inexplicably chooses to defenestrate from his hut on stilts right in front of Kong rather than taking the chance that Kong won't destroy his house is funny because the stop motion figure of the native is just cheesy enough.
When a second person is involuntarily defenestrated, the scene cuts to a live actor in the mud which is then stomped on by a life-sized leg. This may be the only moment left in this roughly four minute long sequence in which modern audiences can even come close to experiencing the horror that original moviegoers felt. It is in that second stomping, directly on the head, which transmits the real terror that was intended rather than the humor that likely was not intended. Only in that almost vicious insult to injury does Kong seem to fully inhabit the fearful symmetry with which he was originally endowed.
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