After the New York fiasco with Kong, Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) is hiding out from process servers. Broke and hounded he gets a visit from Charlie (Victor Wong), the cook from the SS Venture. He says that Captain Englehorn (Frank Reicher) wants to see him. Denham slips out of his boarding house and meets with Englehorn who is also looking to leave New York before he is likewise served. Denham shoves off with Englehorn on his steamer looking to haul cargo around the Orient.
Things aren’t going all that well in the shipping business. They end up at Dakang offloading a small cargo and looking to pick up another load somewhere. In the small village a variety show is being presented. Denham wants to see the show. It’s not impressive. A small troupe of performing monkeys and a young woman named Hilda (Helen Mack) who sings and plays the guitar are the highlights. The show is run by Hilda’s father Peterson (Clarence Wilson).
That night Peterson is drinking with a Norwegian captain named Nils Helstrom (John Marston). The two drunks get into an argument. Helstrom ends up killing Peterson and starting a fire that burns down Peterson’s tent. Hilda manages to release the monkeys before they perish in the flames. Hilda confronts Helstrom and threatens to tell the magistrate when he arrives that he killed her father.
Helstrom is looking to get out of Dodge before that happens. He runs into Denham and Englehorn at a bar. Helstrom had been the man who gave Denham the map to Kong Island so he is well aware of the place. He convinces the two that there was a treasure on the island as well as Kong. Denham and Englehorn fall for the ruse and agree to go back to the island with Helstrom.
Later Denham sees Hilda. She asks if she can go with him. Denham, knowing that they are going to a dangerous island, refuses to take her. The ship sails for the island. Out at sea, Hilda is found having stowed away.
Englehorn, wanting the ship for himself, incites the crew to mutiny. When they get to the island the crew put Denham, Englehorn and Hilda on a lifeboat. Not wanting Englehorn as a captain either, the crew tosses him overboard too. Charlie the cook, not liking anybody on the ship, decides to go with the lifeboat.
When the lifeboat lands on Kong’s island the reception from the natives is not as warm as was expected. The small band of castaways row to another part of the island. They begin exploring. The first thing Denham and Hilda find is the son of Kong.
“Son of Kong” was released in 1933 and was directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack. It is a pre-code adventure/monster film. The special effects were done by Willis O’Brien and Buzz Gibson. The film was cranked out just nine months after “King Kong” 1933 was released.
Helen Mack's character is called Hilda in the movie credits but she is advertised as Helene in the show’s poster and by her father during the show. Denham always calls her “kid”. During the production Little Kong was called "Kiko", short for King Kong. The name is never used in the film or in publicity materials.
The puppet used for Little Kong is actually the "long face" Kong model used for the T-Rex battle in King Kong (1933). The existing rubber and fur was removed and the features remodeled to look like a younger albino gorilla. Recordings of Fay Wray's screams from “King Kong” were used in this movie. Robert Armstrong (Carl Denham), Frank Reicher (Captain Englehorn), Victor Wong (Charlie), Noble Johnson (The Native Chief) and Steve Clemente (The Native Witch King) are the only actors to reprise their roles from King Kong.
This is a very different Carl Denham than we saw in “King Kong”. In Kong he’s arrogant and pompous. His overconfident demeanor is what drives the film. He’s also no leading man material and his only love is fame and fortune. In “Son of Kong” he’s the opposite. He’s humble and self defacing. He’s still not leading man material even though Hilda has latched on to him as her savior. He treats her more like a daughter than a love interest. The relationship between the two doesn’t come off as romantic but incestual.
Even the dinosaurs are not as good as in the first film. The film was rushed and it looks it. They have sort of a Play-doh look to them. All together the film is fine as a film, but not so good as a sequel.