As we continue to tread lightly through giant monster movies’ history, we skip a classic and move right to its sequel with Ernest B. Schoedsack’s 1933 Son of Kong. Interestingly enough, the sequel came out three months after the original King Kong and features the same writer and lead actor, Robert Armstrong, as Carl Denham.
Son of Kong picks up not too long after the original. Showman Carl Denham’s life is in shambles. He’s broke, been served with over a dozen lawsuits, and hears word that the grand jury will soon convene for an indictment. Denham reteams with Captain Englehorn (Frank Reicher), and the two decide to leave America behind and become partners in a freight business.
Business isn’t exactly that great for the pair. While in Dakang looking for business, they stumble upon a makeshift “circus” tent featuring musical monkeys. It’s the closing act that catches Denham’s eye in Hilda (Helen Mack), the circus owner’s daughter.
“…Helstrom mentions a treasure hidden on the island, and they’ll all be rich.”
Then there’s the suspicious character, Captain Nils Helstrom (John Marston), who gave Denham the map to Kong Island in the first film. After a drunken argument with Hilda’s father, Helstrom inadvertently burns down the circus tent and kills Hilda’s father. Hilda tells Helstrom she knows what he did, and the magistrate will be in Dakang in a few days for some justice.
Needing to run, Helstrom connects with his old friend Englehorn and casually asks for a ride to another port. Englehorn refuses until Helstrom mentions a treasure hidden on the island, and they’ll all be rich. Long story short, the trio—now with Hilda—head to the island in search of treasure only to be thrown off the ship after a crew mutiny and run off by the island’s indigenous peoples (I’m sure that’s what they called them).
"…Son of Kong is a story of redemption."