KingKong.com: Eighth Wonder of the Web
The Politics of Spoilers and a Disclaimer: What you are about to read was written a week before Peter Jackson's Kong hit theaters in the December of 2005. As such, it doesn't talk about what's in the movie, because I haven't seen it at the time of writing this. Anything resembling a "spoiler" is just me repeating what's been posted on Universal's KingKong.com official movie website. Repeating might not be the best word for it. "Pointing out the totally retarded crap that Universal paid someone to write" is probably more apt. All images are screen captures from the official site, used here for review and mockery purposes (particularly Universal's decision to place "Giant Butt Spiders" in the Kong universe). That said, let's get to the pain.
Reviewing another website isn't anything new. There are sites upon sites that do nothing but rate people's web pages based off their images, speed, interactivity and popularity (commonly known as e-penis). Webcomics, artistic sites, informational sites....all these kind of sites are reviewed with a certain regularity. There is, however, another class of site that doesn't get that much critique in its time. A site, while professionally made, is only meant to be looked upon for a short time before fading away into the abyss. Of course, I'm talking about "official movie sites." This isn't the first time I've thought of reviewing such a site, or at least sharing the random crap that you'll find there that defies all logic. You see, sometimes, a movie will end up being named something that already exists as a ".com" and the studio won't be able to buy it.
The best example of this is, of course, the movie "Fear dot Com." You see, Warner Brothers couldn't purchase the rights to Fear.com (a psychiatric website) but they thought they would. As such all the actors in the film refer to the "website that kills you" (instead of a videotape like in the original Japanese Ringu) as "Fear.com" instead of the actual site the studio got to use: Feardotcom.com. Fear dot com dot com? How retarded is that? Talk about uncreative domain names. Then again, maybe they're on to something. Now my new site will be HeadInjuryTheaterdotcomdotcom.com. Catchy, right? Let's move on, because I vaguely recall using that joke before.
www.KingKong.com. Last week I went there because it occurred to me that I knew nothing about the new film. Sweet Jesus, it wasn't what I was expecting. Sure, it had links to the new video game and a place where you can download the various trailers for the film, but it also had a few things that, well, melt the brain if you think about it too much. Now, official sites exist to both promote the movie and its merchandise as well as feed the geeks who need to know more information about the movie. They rarely contain spoilers, since it's generally stupid for a film to spoil itself, at least "officially." The site lists the cast (thereby confirming the fact that Jack Black has been cast as the "greedy comic relief" character that exists in EVERY remake of King Kong) and gives a brief synopsis of the movie. There's nothing unusual in the "main" parts of the site except that you can download an AIM icon of Kong doing the "chicken dance", though I think it's supposed to be him beating his chest. It's when you start to explore the "special features" of KingKong.com that the mind starts to wonder what the HELL is going on or, at the very least, what the hell Peter Jackson's King Kong is really going to be about. There are two sections that, in particular, wound and/or confuse me beyond words. There's also a section about the history of the people who live on "Skull Island" but since that's mostly about how the primitive tribes people build scaffoldings to fish and sacrifice virgins to a giant gorilla, it's nothing new. The other sections, well, they're different.
Before we get into that, let's establish what's already well known and still freaks me out. Naomi Watts (from Children of the Corn 4 and Tank Girl) plays an almost middle-aged out of work actress in New York (who turns on giant Gorillas, apparently) while Jack Black (from The Never Ending Story 3...seriously) plays the required quirky/greedy character and Adrien Brody (from The Boy Who Cried Bitch) is cast as the sexy manly man (or something...we'll see). By the way, I don't want to be mean by calling Naomi Watts "middle-aged"...but here in Europe they list the age of an actor after their name whenever they appear in the news. So it's hilarious to find out that so many of the "sexiest men alive" are well over forty and those men in question are almost all dating women in their early twenties. Gah. Oh and King Kong is played (yes, there's an actor involved somehow) by Andy Serkis...the same guy who played Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. That's both a very cool and a terrible idea. How could it be bad? Besides implying that King Kong might actually be a talking gorilla or something (which is actually implied in a few places on the official website), it sets up a joke before you even see the film. When King Kong picks up the woman (as is his "trademark" move, right after falling in love with the first white girl he sees), imagine how many people in the audience are going to do a terrible Gollum impression and hiss "My preciousssssss. We wants it. Kong needs our precioussssss." Then again, maybe that's just me. Oh, and Andy Serkis also plays "Lumpy the Cook." Lumpy. The Cook. That's his picture there on the left. Enough rambling. There are two sections on KingKong.com that need to poked severely. Let's do this.
Lost Cities: The Story of what happens to Skull Island after Kong dies (really).
Please enjoy the story of Skull Island (the prehistoric-type island where Kong is found). It apparently narrates events that happen AFTER the movie, or the movie's about something altogether different. Yes, it tells us that King Kong dies after he gets to New York and that Jack Black's character lives to return to Skull Island. Since I'm pretty sure that Kong's not dead before the movie begins, I can only conclude that this text is creative "filler" for geeks like me. Oh, and I don't think the whole "King Kong dies" is really a spoiler, because that's what happens in almost every single remake of the original. And hell, when a film's over 70-years old, you can't really pretend people haven't had a chance to see it. The reason the "Lost Cities" section of the site is a bit weird is that it tells about all these exciting adventures that are had by people that most likely won't be showing up in this movie. Then again, when you read sentences about how, three years after Kong's death, Jack Black gets financed to explore Skull Island and discovers that the island is geographically unstable and a huge earthquake kills five members of his expedition, you have to wonder if there's a sequel being plotted here or something. That's a hell of a lot of detail. Then again, maybe someone was paid by how much they type. Stranger things have happened.
The Beastiary: Where Dungeons and Dragons fans run wild (sadly).
The Beastiary is obviously the reason why I had to write this article. It's got a weird mix of cool, geeky, and totally gay going for it. So what is it? If you go to the site right now (while it's still up), you can look at extensive bios of the other monsters that live on Skull Island with King Kong. Since the island's "prehistoric" or, um, something like that, that means dinosaurs, giant crabs, and crickets the size of buses. It's kind of neat...but when you really start reading it you can't help but start feeling either uncomfortable, pity for whoever had to write this thing, or complete dread that anything in this section may have something even remotely to do with Peter Jackson's film. Basically, this section contains concept art for the movie (and the Kong video game I hope...because these monsters are RETARDED and only fit for a place on the shelf next to Mario's evil mushrooms). They're all excerpts from some book called "The World of Kong" which, if this section is any indication, is about as interesting as reading a Dungeons and Dragons book about how to kill "Slothfinger Ninja-hounds" with your +12 Claymore of Vengeful Smite. That's not really a joke, but you'll have to see what I'm talking about to understand.
First off, not all the content of the Beastiary section makes me want to kill myself. There are a handful of very good dinosaur paintings. By the way, that's not a T-rex, it's a V-rex. Since dinosaurs didn't go extinct on this island, good ol' Mr. T kept evolving and now he's called "Ravenger Lizard King." I'm not sure what ravenge means, but if it's a combination of revenge and ravage, that's pretty cool. If it's just a typo, that's not quite as cool. Anyway, the "these are not T.Rexes" dinosaur pictures are cool, and you can read all about their behaviour on Skull Island. From there, however, it all goes downhill.
Say hello to "Terapusmordax" a.k.a. "The Giant shit-covered bat that lives on Kong's Island." The Shit-Bat isn't actually a bat, according to it's biography, but actually a NAKED MOLE RAT that's evolved wings that covers itself with it's toxic acrid poop to defend itself from predators. Holy crap (literally), that's retardedly bizarre. So someone, instead of just saying "yes, it's a bat" decided to take one of the earth's most disgusting animals:
....and give it wings, a thirst for blood, and a deep love for covering itself its own feces? (Not to mention so many GOD DAMN nipples, if the above picture from Cornell University is any indication). Universal Studios, please tell me that all the information you've given us about the "giant naked mole bats" isn't important to the film. The fact that there's like three paragraphs about the mating habits of the retarded things bugs me, but not as much as the fact that someone had to include the idea that male-shit bats eat their own children so that the females need to have sex again. This level of detail reminds me of all those old Roleplaying guides, where you could read about the scrotal growth patterns of Orcs and the springtime migratory habits of Golden Dragons in estrus. Too much information about an animal that doesn't exist and that never existed bugs me sometimes. Not that I hate fantasy, it just seems so ridiculous to create so many facts when the fiction of a thing is it's magic. Gah. Nevermind. I don't want to imply that there's a "magic" to giant poop-covered bats. I'm sure that every bit of information we're finding in the Beastiary has something to do with the film. I mean, why else would it be put on the site? :looks at next monster on his list: Strike that. I'm PRAYING that this bad boy's biological history does NOT make an appearance in Peter Jackson's movie:
Lord Ravenfist: "Man, I can't come up with a cool name for this giant spider with claws."
R0x0r the Barbarian: "Damn, that is a hard thing to name. Have you thought about a scientific name?"
Lord Ravenfist: "Bah! Scientific names are the gay. I want something cool...something that inspires terror."
R0x0r the Barbarian: "How about....Arachno....Claw? I'd quest for treasure to run into one of those."
Lord Ravenfist: "Arachno...because it's a spider. Hmm. And Claw because it's got claws.....it's GENIUS."
-why people who live in their mother's basement when they're 42 should NOT be naming monsters for Universal Studios.
Besides having a name that sounds like it was thought up by a 5-year-old, the Arachno-Claw is notable for something else. While they don't bother to come up with much text explaining the diet and migratory patterns of the :sigh: "Arachno-Claws", they do go into far too much detail about how they bear their young. Apparently they lay their eggs in carrion that gets eaten by other animals. A few of the eggs hatch inside the other animal where the baby "thing" (I'm so sick of typing "Arachno-Claw") lives until it crawls OUT OF THE ANIMAL'S RECTUM. Yes. If you go to KingKong.com, you can read all about giant butt spiders that are born out of the ass of other animals. Thank you Universal Studios. And again, I can only pray that some concept artist gave a blowjob to the right person so he could get this crap published....because that way I'd know in my heart of hearts that Peter Jackson did not create a subplot about giant butt spiders in the new Kong film. :shudder:
The final highlight from animals that are supposed to be in the new Kong movie is Carnictus: the "Vile Meat-Weasel." Again with the terrible name. Meat-Weasel? So many jokes could be made, but to be fair...it's too easy. What needs to be stated here is what we're really talking about. Sure, there's a picture of a giant worm eating a T-rex...I mean a V-rex (since T-rexes are cliche these days), but what the hell? By reading the text and taking a closer look, you can really appreciate the balls someone must've had to include GIANT FREE-ROAMING TAPEWORMS in the list of animals that live on Kong's island. I've no clue if these guys actually appear in the movie, but I will say that I'm amused as hell at the author's attempt to explain the development of these creatures. Actually, the author spits out some bizarre crap whenever he tries to be "innovative"...like how descriptive he was about the giant butt spiders. So yeah, when you watch Kong, keep an eye out for giant tapeworms. Or something.
There are other goofy things in the Beastiary, like giant crabs, crickets the size of minivans, and the creatively named "Vultursaurs." It's all pretty silly, but it does make me think one thing. Universal really went out of its way to describe the animals that most likely don't appear in the King Kong movie as well as describe what happens on the island after Kong dies. It makes me think that they're either planning on making sequels to this, or that they're going to pitch some sort of role-playing game that's all about "exploring Skull Island" as well as "avoiding the dread fanny spiders." Either that, or all the crap I've been looking at really is only so that when you play the videogame version of Kong there are things to shoot at besides Kong and T-rexes. It makes sense, in a way.
Of course, this film might be the best God-Damn movie ever, featuring butt spiders and flying bats covered in shit. So please excuse me if I say something phenomenally moronic, and try to remember that I haven't seen the movie yet. All I know about it is what its website tells me. And its website tells me to watch for killer tapeworms and fecal-encrusted rodents with wings in the movie. I don't think I've ever looked so forward to a film and yet still been filled with morbid dread as I am now. Awesome.
See for yourself: The Official King Kong Website!
-jared, December 12th, 2005.
Copyright 2005, Jared von Hindman, except for the images which, excluding the Naked Mole Rat photo, are the property of Universal Studios and can be seen on King Kong's official page. They are used here for review purpose via fair use. If your name is Universal Studios and you've got a problem, please let me know. I don't want you to sic your shit-bats and ass spiders on me in retaliation. Seriously.