The Story of King Kong (Kid Stuff Records)
The Story of King Kong, stylized as The Story of... King Kong is an LP phonograph record released by Kid Stuff Records in 1978. It contains a dramatized retelling of the King Kong story, which spans both its A and B sides. It is roughly 20 minutes long and performed by uncredited actors, presumably from the Kid Stuff Repertory Company. Its catalogue number for remote purchase is KS 153.
A sailor recounts the story of how one night, forty years ago, during a storm in the Pacific Ocean, his ship's radio had gone dead. The crew opted to weather the storm, and awoke in calm waters, well off of their charts, and in a magnetic field that rendered their equipment inoperable. They soon discovered a mysterious fog bank and set sail toward it, and when they approached they heard the roar of some giant animal. The man tried to reverse the engines, but the controls were unresponsive, as the ship was being lifted out of the water by a prehistoric monster with blazing eyes. It destroyed the ship with its mighty jaws, and the man awoke later as the sole survivor, adrift on a piece of the hull. He reveals that he never spoke of what happened to him until now. A man named Jack, who had been listening to his tale, asks him if he could find the island again if he tried, and despite his protestation, the promise of $15,000 proves too enticing. In two months, the man had procured a ship and a crew to set sail for the lost island.
On a Saturday at the end of July, the sailor meets with Jack and his photographer Ann Darrow at New York harbor, where he is hesitant to sail with a woman aboard. He knows Jack will not be swayed, but as they leave the port, he is unable to shake the feeling that trying to find the lost island is a mistake, and that the woman aboard will mean trouble for them. They sail for three weeks until Jack informs the sailor that his compass is pulling to the southeast, leading him to believe the island is close. The captain of the vessel soon finds himself unable to steer the ship, and it heads right into a violent storm. Jack encourages the captain to keep sailing through it, and all the instruments stop working as he, the sailor, and Darrow cling to the railings and hope to survive. They soon find a break in the storm, and emerge on calm waters with a fog bank in their view. They drop anchor and row a boat through the fog and onto the green, flowered shore of the lost island. High atop a mountain, the sailor spies a pile of logs, which Darrow identifies as a wall. The party opts to investigate and after an hour of climbing they stop to rest at the photographer's insistence. One sailor named John insists on scouting ahead, and they soon hear him crying for help. They find him tangled in a flesh-eating plant covered in beautiful flowers, and are able to rescue him. In a few hours, the party reaches the mountaintop and examines the giant wall. Jack suspects it was constructed to keep something out, and Ann then notices a group of chanting islanders in a nearby valley. They chant the word "Kong" in unison and begin to pass a restrained woman through a great door in the wall, and the sailors move closer. They hear gigantic footsteps approaching, and from out of the jungle comes King Kong, a gargantuan gorilla. He picks up the girl, and returns to where he came from. Jack is eager to speak with the natives about Kong, and dismisses the sailor's concerns about their friendliness by planning to face any opposition with guns. He proceeds to get their attention by firing his rifle three times in the air. He declares himself a friend, and the rest of the party follow suit. When Ann stands up to do so, the natives are in awe of her beauty and their chief points at her and begins to chant "Kong." The sailors run back down the mountain and to their ship. Ann is quite shaken by the encounter, but Jack assures her that in the morning, they will explore another side of the island.
In the night, the natives sneak aboard and kidnap her. In the morning the crew finds her missing, with a native bracelet in her room. They quickly devise that the natives plan to sacrifice her, and they row ashore again despite the choppy waters. They can hear the natives chanting as they make their way up the mountain, but when they arrive at the gate, they are nowhere to be seen. They open the door, and find the altar empty, but the sailor sees a massive footprint, and they all hear Ann crying for help. Ann tries to squirm free of the ape's hand, but is unable to, and laments her fate. Kong then senses something amiss, and rests Ann on top of a boulder as a Tyrannosaurus rex emerges from the jungle. The two begin to do battle as Jack and the sailor approach in the same clearing. They watch as Kong hoists the dinosaur above his head before throwing it down, killing it. Jack remarks that this is a dominance behavior, and opts to call him "King Kong: Ruler of the Jungle." The sailor is confused by this, but Jack reveals that he has big plans for King Kong. The ape picks up Ann, who now understands he means her no harm, as Jack conspires how to take her away. They plan for him to sneak around and grab her while the others create a distraction. When Kong begins to chase them, they will use tranquilizer guns to help capture him and put him on display in New York. They put their plan in action, and he chases the sailors down to the beach, where he succumbs to the tranquilizers. Jack then proposes they tie the ship's rowboats together and use them as a raft to transport him. The voyage home is uneasy, with Kong only ever calming down when Ann is in sight, causing her to regret taking him from his home. The crew informs the New York Zoo of their discovery, and when they pull into the harbor, they are met by waves of press and onlookers, and a specially constructed massive iron cage.
Jack puts the beast in chains, and lets him out of the cage to display him and Ann together as "Beauty and the Beast," despite her misgivings. Jack sets them up as a stage show, with the premise of Ann being menaced by natives before Kong comes to her rescue, as a response to her cries for help. The first time he hears her cry out, Kong goes wild, breaks his chains, and takes off with Ann in tow through the streets, destroying everything in his path. He soon comes to the foot of the Empire State Building, and begins to climb it. The Air Force sends helicopters to dispatch him, and he tears one out of the sky. Despite this, Jack watches in horror as Kong is hit by bullet after bullet. He puts Ann down and beats his chest one last time before falling to his death. Ann is rescued and taken to his body, where she laments that his downfall was all their fault, and that he only attacked because he thought she was in danger. The sailor narrates that they never returned to the lost island, and while they wanted to forget their experiences there, none of them could ever forget the great gorilla King Kong.
Weapons, vehicles, and races
- The ending of the record combines elements of the original King Kong film and its 1976 remake. King Kong climbs the Empire State Building, as he did originally, but is slain by helicopters, as he was in the remake - despite the record's cover art including biplanes. Ann Darrow's sympathy towards Kong also reflects Dwan's characterization in the remake.
- The presence of Air Force helicopters also precludes the story taking place in the Great Depression setting of the original film, as the first U.S. military helicopters were not introduced until World War II and the U.S. Air Force was not founded until 1947.
- Despite the natives being isolated, and principally only chanting "Kong," the sacrificed woman can be heard crying for help in English.
- This incarnation of Kong is 40 feet tall.
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