Lumpy is a sailor aboard the Venture who began as a supporting character in the 1932 novelization of King Kong, but was cut from the final film. He was retained in many adaptations of the source material before making his onscreen debut in the 2005 remake from Universal Pictures. In the 2005 film, he served as the ship's cook, barber, physician, veterinarian, and dentist. While he was never specified as the cook in the novelization, he was replaced onscreen by the character Charlie, who was explicitly the cook, and was even erroneously credited as Lumpy in some news reports. He is oftentimes depicted alongside a monkey companion named Ignatz or "Iggy" for short, who made it into the 1933 film, but not its 2005 reimagining.
In the original novelization, based on the final or near-final official draft of the 1933 motion picture, Lumpy was a wizened old seaman with years of experience behind him, and an avuncular demeanor. He became fast friends with Ann Darrow, and was who she came to when fearful about the mysterious "Kong" after their first trip to the shores of Skull Island. Lumpy, having seen the type of ceremony she described many times in his life, did his best to assure her that the women would probably not come to harm, and that "Kong" was either an idol or a lie used by the native "witch doctor" to keep power over the people. This displays a very pragmatic view of the world, and could hint at a resignation to the deceptions and wrongdoings of mankind.
The 2005 film reimagined Lumpy as a gruff one-eyed Englishman, added a bit of mystery and intrigue to his past travels, and brought out more cynicism in his characterization. He and Ben Hayes are shown to have worked together before, and he is very close to a crewman named Choy, who was inspired by the Charlie character that took Lumpy's place in the source material, while Hayes took on the original Lumpy's ethnicity and role as a prominent secondary character. This type of dividing and rearranging character aspects in the adaptation process was done to a number of other characters as well, most notably Jack Driscoll and Bruce Baxter. Lumpy was played mainly for comedy, and his superstitions about Skull Island and abominable snowmen added to his depiction as a classical sailor archetype.
Stageagent.com describes Lumpy as he appears in the musical theater production King Kong: Alive on Broadway using the tags "Hardworking," "Moral," "Realist," "Bullied," "Long-Suffering," "Caring," "Father," and "Disfigured."
Lumpy was the resourceful cook aboard the Venture, and could make many dishes out of walnuts. One morning, he was able to use walnuts to create a combination porridge and shaving cream. However, when word came to him that the ship was headed for uncharted waters, Lumpy, Hayes, and Jimmy went to warn Denham and Preston. Seven years before, Lumpy and Hayes had been sailing aboard a Norwegian barge. They found a castaway who had been adrift for days after his ship wrecked on a mysterious island. He spoke of a hundred foot tall wall built to keep out a monstrous creature. The next morning, they found that the man had stuck a knife in his heart. Denham was unfazed by their warning. That night while Lumpy was smoking on deck, the ship entered thick fog and rough waves before striking a gigantic carving of a face in the water, challenging Lumpy's balance. When the ship became scuttled on rocks, Lumpy and the other sailors began working to lighten it by throwing everything overboard. The injured Jack Driscoll was laid on a table in the galley, but Lumpy was forced to remove it and everything in the kitchen except the potatoes. But when they learned that Ann Darrow had been kidnapped, Lumpy and the others went ashore to rescue her. Lumpy strode into the village, firing into the air to disperse the villagers, and made sure Choy followed him into the jungle with the rest of the rescue party, and pushed Bruce Baxter forward despite the actor's hesitation. After a Ferrucutus attack, Baxter was dumbfounded and asked if dinosaurs weren't supposed to be extinct, to which Lumpy joked that they were now. Continuing through the jungle, they found a boneyard of dismembered human skeletons. The group followed Kong's path of destruction into swampier territory, where Lumpy became so frustrated at the swarms of enormous Celocimex that he swatted one with his frying pan, and shot two out of the sky before being made to stop by Hayes. During a five-minute break in a narrow valley, Jack discovered what Lumpy was sure was the footprint of an abominable snowman. However, as a herd of Brontosaurus stampeded through the valley, Lumpy was forced to run for his life to avoid being trampled underfoot or eaten by hunting Venatosaurus. Lumpy managed to survive, unlike the four others he had counted as dead. He began to dress wounds with bits of his apron before gathering logs to float across a swampy river. However, after fending off attacking Scorpio-pedes, Choy's raft was destroyed by a Piranhadon and the sailor began to drown. Lumpy jumped in to save him, and later helped get other sailors ashore. As they continued through the jungle, Lumpy shot toward something approaching unseen in the brush. Briefly fearing he had shot Ann, the group went to examine the victim, but instead found a felled Brutornis. He put the creature out of its misery before continuing on. The group then began to cross a log bridging a deep chasm, and Hayes went ahead and was killed by Kong. The sailors began to shoot at the beast, and although Kong began to shake the log, Lumpy braced himself against a branch and was able to continue fighting. However, Choy was barely hanging onto the side and called for Lumpy's help. Lumpy threw down his weapon to help his friend, but he slipped from Lumpy's grasp as the ape shook the log again. Denham asked Lumpy to save his camera, but Lumpy spitefully kicked it off.
Lumpy gripped Choy's dead hand for a moment before allowing it to slip out of his grasp. Lumpy then began to notice the Carnictis awakening around him, and in his rage he began to strike at them with his fists until a Weta-rex sprang onto his back, and he began to flail desperately as he attempted to get it off. Jack was able to transfer the bug onto himself, and Lumpy began to attack the worm-like Carnictis with a machete. However, when one of them swallowed his arm, he was unable to reach it with his blade, and was unable to prevent another from consuming his head. He continued to flail his weapon and scream as the creatures overpowered him.
- Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (2005) - Nintendo GameCube and DS, PC, Sony PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable, Microsoft Xbox and Xbox 360
- King Kong (1932)
- King Kong (1983) - Step-Up Adventures adaptation
- Anthony Browne's King Kong (1994)
- King Kong: The Island of the Skull (2005)
- King Kong (2005)
Lumpy was originally an elderly Black man with a pet monkey named Ignatz who sailed aboard the Wanderer. He and Ann Darrow became fast friends, and Ignatz took an immediate liking to her, a relationship which Carl Denham joked was like "Beauty and the Beast". After their first encounter with the natives of Skull Island, Ann came to talk with Lumpy about what the alleged Kong they referred to might be, as Denham supposed it might be a gigantic monster. Lumpy scoffed and assured her that Kong was likely just a wood or mud idol somewhere in the jungle, and that the sacrificed girls went to the witch doctor's harem beyond the wall, citing past experience with tribal cultures. Ann then shifted, and made Ignatz run off. Lumpy was forced to chase him down, and while doing so, he discovered a native bracelet on deck. He showed it to Captain Englehorn, and they deduced that Ann had been kidnapped. Due to his frailty, Lumpy was one of the sailors that waited in the village for the search party to return. Eventually, Denham returned with news that the entire party save for himself and Jack Driscoll had perished in the jungle, and he asked for more volunteers. Englehorn forced the new party to wait until it was light to head out. Lumpy heard the men talking of a great beast beyond the wall, which Lumpy did not believe, but it still made him a bit on edge. When strolling to the gate to peek through, he saw Ann and Driscoll walking over the great Plateau toward them. However, after a brief celebration, the great beast found them, and began to terrorize the village in search of Ann. Luckily, there were a few gas bombs left in the camp, and Lumpy accompanied Denham as he threw them to incapacitate the beast.
One year before the events of the 2005 film, Lumpy sailed to Baffin Island area with Denham and Englehorn in search of a mythical gigantic Orca named Killer. At one point, the rough waters forced the stew he was making to fall, and his cursing could be heard up on deck, leading Denham and Englehorn to suspect that their dinner would consist of canned beans and yesterday's biscuits. However, things quickly went bad, and they were forced to go to Halifax to treat Denham's wounded cameraman. When he was well enough, they sailed back to New York.
While sailing aboard the Venture, Lumpy acted as the cook, barber, dentist, veterinarian, and chief medical officer, which put him in charge of examining new passengers like Ann Darrow, who had come aboard as an actress with filmmaker Carl Denham. The next morning, Lumpy served porridge and shaved a sailor named Judah simultaneously as he kept the food hot for the later-rising film crew. From then on, he completed his duties, and was revered for his wisdom by his friend and fellow sailor, Choy. While overlooking Denham's filming out on the top deck, Lumpy wondered about the process, and thought that, now that he was seeing how movies were made, they didn't really seem as impressive, and that it looked a lot like just playing around. He also reflected on Choy, and how he seemed happy to do anything. Lumpy guessed that it was his upbringing in the warring Northern China, and the fact that he had survived the horrors he had witnessed made everything else seem wonderful by comparison. However, he and Hayes grew suspicious of Denham, and headed him off in the mess hall, where they told him of a man they had found while on a ship seven years before. He was deranged and spoke of a fog-covered island with a wall built to keep out "Kong". Denham was unfazed, and the sailors' warnings were not heeded. However, when Lumpy learned that Denham was being left in Rangoon, he teased Jack and Ann about him choosing to finish his film there and how difficult it was to find safe passage out of. Later in a dense fog, Lumpy went to the top deck to scrub his dodgiest looking vegetables to prevent other sailors from seeing them and putting off vegetables forever. However, on hearing Jimmy from the crow's nest call out that he saw a wall, Lumpy laughed at the notion of a wall being in the middle of the Indian Ocean. However, after hitting some rocks, it was all the crew could do to keep the vessel afloat, but in the morning, Denham took his crew ashore. After he angered the natives, the Captain ordered all ballast overboard, forcing Lumpy to personally toss over his electric mixer. However, when it was revealed that Darrow had been kidnapped, Lumpy and Choy joined the part of the crew going ashore to rescue her. He and Choy arrived with Hayes on the second boat, full of ammunition and other supplies, and was one of the sailors who went into the jungle to search for her. In the hot jungle, Lumpy and Choy walked near the front with Hayes and Driscoll, with the strange sounds from all sides wearing on their nerves. Eventually, a roar from the jungle caused the crew to fire wildly into the bush, they found they had killed a dinosaur. When asked by Preston whether dinosaurs were extinct, Lumpy proclaimed that they were now. On discovering a boneyard of human sacrifices, Lumpy no longer suspected that Ann was alive, but he, Hayes and the others moved on with hope. Lumpy however, quickly lost this as he fumbled through the jungle, and at some point shot at an enormous bug, only to be told to conserve his ammunition. And through all this, his smoker's lungs did not aid him on the hike. After entering a narrow valley, the crew gathered around an enormous footprint, which Lumpy asserted could only have been left by an Abominable Snowman, against which they stood no chance. However, they had little time to reflect on this, as they were soon running from a stampede of Brontosaurus. Lumpy managed to survive, but was absolutely fed up with the situation. Sure that Darrow was dead, along with the four others they lost Lumpy demanded that the group return to the ship, with Bruce Baxter quickly joining his cause along with several other sailors. However, on seeing that Choy was not leaving, Lumpy found himself unable to leave without him, and so the short-lived coup ended. As they floated across the swamp, they were attacked by a Piranhadon. Denham attempted to shoot it and destroyed he and Lumpy's raft in the process. Lumpy dove in to save the quickly drowning Choy, and managed to save his friend's life. On reaching the shore, Denham started testing his camera, and filmed a sailor being suddenly taken by the sea beast, to Lumpy's dark amusement. As they walked through the forest, Jimmy became offended by Hayes' lack of faith in him. Lumpy then approached Jimmy, and encouraged him to not give up on Hayes, as he gave Jimmy something that he had never had growing up; a father who cared. As they continued through the jungle, they heard noises, and Lumpy once again shot at whatever was just out of sight, despite Jack's fears that it might be Ann. When they finally stopped, they saw that he had killed a large flightless bird, now in complete agony, which Lumpy mended with a quick shot to the head. As they continued, they found themselves on a log bridging a deep chasm. The giant ape Kong appeared from the darkness on the other side and threw Hayes down the pit before starting to shake the log. Denham begged Lumpy to save his camera, which the chef swiftly booted into the pit. Lumpy was then forced to watch Choy struggle for a handhold before being shaken into the abyss just before Kong threw the log in. Lumpy and Jack landed in thick mud and survived mostly unharmed. Choy however, had not been as lucky. He fell into shallow mud at the edge of the pool and his insides were completely destroyed. Choy smiled at Lumpy as he lay dying, boasting of how his Charlie Atlas training had saved his life. Lumpy congratulated him on proving him wrong about the training, and turned around to wipe his tears, but when he turned back, Choy was dead. Lumpy cradled his body as gigantic bugs began encroaching from all sides, and eventually consumed them both.
Lumpy sailed with the Venture to Skull Island, where Ann Darrow was kidnapped by natives. Lumpy was one of the men that stormed the island to search for her. Englehorn gave then twenty-four hours before they would haul anchor. While examining one of Kong's footprints, Lumpy came to the conclusion that an Abominable Snowman had taken Darrow, and proclaimed that they stood no chance of defeating it. However, a Brontosaurus stampede kept his ravings from being considered. Later, while crossing a fallen tree over a chasm, Kong, who turned out to be a gigantic gorilla, shook the sailors off. Before falling, Lumpy kicked off Carl Denham's camera, and claimed that he had killed them all by bringing them to the island. At the bottom of the pit, Lumpy fought to stay alive with a kitchen knife, but was eaten alive by the encroaching Carnictis.
- While Lumpy does not appear in The Mighty Kong, a boy with a monkey, named Chips rather than Ignatz, is a major character.
- Despite Lumpy not appearing in early drafts of King Kong until after Edgar Wallace's passing, even in the earliest known drafts of the script there was a monkey aboard Englehorn's ship with intentional parallels to Kong himself.
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