Kong: Skull Island – 2017 – preface

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Hey everyone, did you miss me?

While I’m not feeling so great, I couldn’t let this month go by without expressing my enthusiasm for a new Kong movie. I wasn’t blown away with PJs Kong…there were parts that I thought were exceptional (all the NY scenes) but also a lot I didn’t like about it, most notably the time spent on Skull Island itself.

While I don’t have the concentration to sit and write, I do want to do some commemorative posts about the Kong Movies, mostly in pics and info. I hope to see the new KONG film during it’s first week and possibly do a review, if I can get myself into a mental state that will allow that. As you must know from following PoH, I do love a full-blown Monster Movie!

For now, you can check out my next couple of posts (coming soon) ALL ABOUT KONG…

Crater Lake Monster (1977) – Movie review

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Crater Lake Monster (1977)

If it weren’t for my love of stop-motion animation, this film would be too difficult for me to watch. There is tons of goopy dialogue that offer exposition we don’t need and character development of people with no character. It takes nearly a half hour before this Monster sneaks up on an unsuspecting camper. This thing is 30ft long and several tons, don’t know how this thing would sneak up on anyone. Bad hair cuts (or lack of them) and 70s porn star Crater Lake Monster 1977 - postermustaches abound. We’re forced to follow the antics of two stooges who are not funny, (maybe if I was 6), and a Sheriff who is supposedly the smart one…supposedly.

The Monster is a Plesiosaur let loose from its underwater cave during a small earthquake. It eats a cow, it eats a chicken, it eats a camper and a guy that goes fishin’ – but nobody notices these people gone missing. The stop motion is outstandingly smooth and the plesiosaur model has great character (at least one character in this film does). The close up shots are terrible and consist of a large, stiff, fiberglass head that has no life in it. The soundtrack music consists of 70’s light fm and elevator music. Then, when the monster shows up it turns to 1950’s style sci-fi music used plenty of times in The Beast, the Deadly Mantis, and the Giant Behemoth.

 

David Allen:
If you like stop motion animation you have about ten minutes of great monster footage in this flick. The animation was done by David Allen. Allen was an active animator in film starting in his early career on the series, Davey and Goliath and the Gumby Show. He went on to animate sequences in Equinox and Flesh Gordon in the 70s. His work can be seen in Q, the Winged Serpent, Puppet Master, Caveman, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and Batteries Not Included. In the circles of effects people he is most praised for his animation of Kong in the VW commercial in 1972. Perhaps his most known work was animating The Pillsbury Dough Boy.

If you like the art of stop motion animation you will find some nice work in this film. For the rest of you, leave this in the crater it had crawled from.

Crater Lake Monster 1977 - pic 2

Fun Facts:
Stop Motion Animation is not necessarily claymation. In fact most films do not use clay for their stop motion effects. They use sophisticated puppets with metal skeletons inside called an armature, that enabled the animator to move it in small increments. The skeleton is covered with foam, rubber and latex, sculpted to simulate dinosaur skin and sometimes covered in fur (King Kong, Mighty Joe Young).

My Top 5 Dinosaur Movies, other than Jurassic Park.

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My Top 5 Dinosaur World Movies, other than Jurassic Park

In preparation for Jurassic World, you may want to catch up on the genre of Dinosaur films. For this list I am speaking of dinosaur worlds, not just single dinosaurs that have been awakened in modern times for the purpose of a film. Dinosaur worlds include; Islands, continents, planets, prehistoric times, underground caverns, etc. I’m also talking about real dinosaurs for the most part, animals that once roamed the earth, not fictional beasts created for sci-fi films.

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5) Planet of Dinosaurs (1977)
We got some beautifully crafted dinosaurs in this film. One of the final forays into stop-motion dinosaur extravaganzas, it is a cult favorite for dinosaur fans. The script and plot ain’t so great but the bevy of fantastic creatures make it worth a viewing.
Dinosaurs: Stegosaurus, Allosaurus, Rhedosaurus, Ceratopsian, Brontosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, Kentrosaurus, Allosaurus, and Struthiomimus

planet of dinosaurs dvd planet of dinosaurs pic 23

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4) The Land that Time Forgot (1978)

The dinosaurs in this film aren’t perfect but this film gets the nod for variety of species and prehistoric beasts. The dinos were scale rod-puppets which made interaction with humans minimal, the giant pterodactyl that carries off the caveman being the exception. A good story penned by Edgar Rice Burroughs lands this in the Top 5. Extra points for the awesome movie poster!
Dinosaurs: Mosasaurus, Plesiosaur, Diplodocus, Pterodactyl, two Allosaurus, two Styracosaurus, Ichthyostega,  Triceratops,  Ceratosaurus

the land that time forgot - poster the land that time forgot pic 19

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3) When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970)
With Victoria Vetri running around in a dino hide bikini, it would be hard to take notice of the dinosaurs. However, these dinos are noticed because of their fabulous renditions in stop-motion artistry. The stop-motion dinos were the work of Jim Danforth. There’s not a lot of dinos in the film but they are top notch-Danforth’s work in this film rivals the greats, Harryhausen and O’Brien.
Dinosaurs: Plesiosaur, Chasmosaurus, Rhamphorhynchus, A carnivorous dinosaur based on the Scelidosaurus, (and it’s baby). 

when-dinosaurs-ruled-the-earth-movie-poster-1970 When Dinosaurs ruled the earth pic 6

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2) King Kong (1933)
This is the first mega dinosaur-land presented to the public at a time when most people didn’t have a clear picture of what dinosaurs looked like and were just discovering these creatures. The T. Rex is a fast moving, active beast as described by Charles R. Knight, not the slow sluggish reptiles other scientists were in favor of portraying. The film made Willis O’Brien the father of stop-motion special effects and giant monsters, influencing future directors and filmmakers, Ray Harryhausen, Ishiro Honda, Peter Jackson, Steven Speilberg, and Tim Burton, to name a few. Marcel Delgado built O’Brien’s models and was largely responsible for capturing the look O’Brien wanted for the dinos (and Kong).
Dinosaurs: Pteranodon, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus, Styracosaurus (edited out), Elasmosaurus and although he’s not a dino, King Kong

King Kong posterkong

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1) One Million Years BC (1966)
Although given moderate praise through the years, this film contains some of Ray Harryhausen’s most impressive dinosaurs. I think the special effects were overshadowed by Raquel Welch and her fur bikini – (the original furkini, accept no substitutes!). But take a look at the beautiful renditions of the Triceratops and Brontosaurus and you’ll see some master craftsmanship. I’d like to mention that the models were sculpted by Arthur G. Hayward with direction from Ray and designed from Ray’s artwork.
Dinosaurs: Archelon, Brontosaurus, Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Triceratops, Pteranodon, Rhamphorhynchus

one-million-years-bc_thumb one million years BC pic 12

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Honorable Mentions:
Valley of Gwangi (1969)
Once again Harryhausen applies his talents to prehistoric beasts with great success.

Valley of Gwangi poster Valley-Of-Gwangi

 

Dinosaurs (2000)
Despite being a Disney film with talking dinos, it has some great scenes and dino imagery.

dinosaur 2000 poster dinosaur 2000 pic 1

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OK, want to see some more dino pics? Here ya’ go!

Because this post is about Dinosaurs, I’m going to refrain from posting yet another pic of Raquel in her fur bikini. But if you really want to see one look here!

one million years BC pic 3 b

King Kong vs T. Rex (1933) model kit – kit bash

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King Kong vs T. Rex

Kit Bash (n) – when a kit builder takes parts of two or more unrelated model kits to create a completely different subject, theme, and model kit diorama.

Long story short. I only recently saw the Mountain Gorilla kit from Revell. As soon as I saw a pic on a web-site I got the idea to use it in a King Kong diorama. I found the Airfix Tyrannosaurus to be the perfect size to simulate the big battle scene from King Kong (1933). Although both of these models are discontinued, I was able to find them on eBay at decent prices.

I built and compiled items for the base myself. I asked fellow kit builder, Murray Wakeman to make the long leaf palm tree (on the left hand side of the diorama). I had seen the tree in one of his creations and knew it would fit well with the scene. (Thanks Murray).

Revell Endangered Animals - Gorilla Airfix - T. Rex

model kits and items:

Revell – Endangered Animals -Mountain Gorilla (1974)

Airfix – Tyrannosaurus Rex – (1977)

Murray’s Long Leaf Palm Tree (2015)

Ann Darrow self- sculpted (and the tree where she sits)

Scene-it trees and plants

Custom base – self made

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Coming soon, Building a Custom Base – check it out at: Mike K’s Youtube channel (Mike K. is me)

Dinosaur and Giant Monsters in TV commercials – part 3

Even more of my favorite dinosaur and giant monsters in TV advertisements and commercials.  These are a lot of fun and some are hilarious! 😀

BTW, Let me know your favorite advert from this page 🙂

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Godzilla 1998 – New Years Eve Promo – this promo was only aired once on New Years Eve at 2 minutes to midnight creating havoc and confusion.

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Kaiju & Coco Coquette in Venco Commercial

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Denver Museum

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Caveman Fed Ex advert

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Dino PUB-SNCF Commercial

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Chewits 3 1980s

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King Kong in Paris, going to the department store La Samaritaine

Dinosaur and Giant Monsters in TV commercials – part 2

More of my favorite dinosaur and giant monsters in TV advertisements and commercials.  These are a lot of fun and some are hilarious! 😀

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Chewits 2 1980s

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Drink Milk Canada

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Godzilla like teenage creature in Thialand Gasoline commercial

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Bembos hamburger commercial

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Nike commercial w/ Charles Barkley

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King Kong Vespa

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Dinosaur and Giant Monsters in TV commercials – part 1

Check out my favorite dinosaur and giant monsters in TV advertisements and commercials. I have more so I decided to break this into a few (or at least two) posts. These are a lot of fun and some are hilarious! 😀

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Dairylea Dunkeys Dino commercial – production overseen by Ray Harryhausen

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King Kong Volkswagon commercial – animated by David Allen

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Godzilla Snickers Commercial

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Godzilla Fiat Commercial

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Chewits 1 1950’s Sci-Fi style – created by John Clive and Ian Whapshot

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King Kong Twizzlers ad