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Events and outings organized by your friendly neighborhood H!O staff!

Over the years, the Henshin! Online crew has organized or assisted on several film festivals in the United States or has contributed programming to a number of conventions. The list of events includes the American Cinematheque's GODZILLA 50th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION and JAPANESE GIANT MONSTERS FESTIVAL; Bay Area Film Events' GODZILLAFEST, DYNAMATION CELEBRATION, ULTRAMANIA and HALLOWEEN TERRORAMA; the Hollywood Theatre's 50 YEARS OF GODZILLA; and August Ragone's SHOCK IT TO ME! Halloween Horror Film Festival.

The majority of these festivals have been connected to Godzilla and Japanese fantasy films, but we are also working on a number of non-tokusatsu themed events and screenings. With so much in the works, we've decide to add a new feature called HENSHIN! HAPPENINGS that will provide full details on all upcoming events from Henshin! Online's staff and extended family.

12/16/05 - 12/18/05 [LOS ANGELES]
The American Cinematheque Celebrates Kongs New and Old with Four Days of Giant Ape Movies, Rare Props, Special Guests, and Prizes!
Author: Keith Aiken
Source: American Cinematheque, Warner Home Video, Universal Studios Home Entertainment

The original KING KONG headlines a film festival honoring the Eighth Wonder of the World. DVD cover art courtesy of Warner Home Video. © 1933 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.
The Eighth Wonder of the World has returned to the public spotlight with a vengeance. On November 22, Warner Home Video released the DVD of the most-requested title in the company's history; the original KING KONG. The 1933 masterpiece has been newly restored, digitally remastered, and includes a commentary by Ray Harryhausen and Ken Ralston with archival interviews with Kong's creator Merian C. Cooper, co-director Ernest B. Schoedsack, and actors Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong. The KING KONG DVD is available in a variety of formats; a 2-Disc Special Edition with extensive bonus features (including a seven-part documentary of the film's creation), a Collector's Edition that includes the 2-Disc SE in a keepsake tin with collectible memorabilia, and THE KING KONG COLLECTION with the 2-Disc SE packaged with Cooper and Schoedsack's SON OF KONG and MIGHTY JOE YOUNG.

December 14 sees the premiere of Peter Jackson's remake of KING KONG. Created by the team behind the Oscar-winning blockbuster LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, budgeted at more than $200 million, and running over three hours, the new KING KONG is easily the most anticipated film of the 2005 Christmas holiday season.

During the festival, the Egyptian Theatre will show behind the scenes clips from KING KONG: PETER JACKSON’S PRODUCTION DIARIES. Photo courtesy of Weta Digital Ltd/Universal Studios. © 2005 Universal Studios
In celebration of the return of the first KONG and the arrival of the new King, the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles presents "Kong Session", a cinematic jam-session of more than 70 years of giant ape movies. The four day festival will take place at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica and the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, and includes two screenings of the original KING KONG (playing on the big screen after years off the market) and SON OF KONG, plus MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, the brand-new documentary I'M KING KONG- THE EXPLOITS OF MERIAN C. COOPER, the British Kong knockoff KONGA, Hong Kong's MIGHTY PEKING MAN, and behind the scenes footage from KING KONG: PETER JACKSON'S PRODUCTION DIARIES.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has provided a selection of King Kong DVDs which will be given away as contest prizes during the festival. © 1962, 1967, 2005 Universal Studios
The two Toho King Kong films, KING KONG VS GODZILLA (1962) and KING KONG ESCAPES (1967) were screened at the American Cinematheque's earlier "Godzilla 50th Anniversary Festival" and "Japanese Giant Monsters Festival". While they are not being shown on the big screen during "Kong Session", they will still be a part of the festival. Universal Studios Home Entertainment has provided a selection of their DVDs of KING KONG VS GODZILLA, KING KONG ESCAPES, and KING KONG: PETER JACKSON'S PRODUCTION DIARIES, and attendees will have an opportunity to win free copies every day of the King Kong festival.

The festival also features special guests and displays of artwork. Headlining the guest list is Oscar-nominated actress Terry Moore, the star of MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, who will attend the screening of her film and take part in a question and answer session afterwards. Forrest J. Ackerman, creator and editor of the classic FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND magazine, will introduce some of the films and reminisce about seeing the original KING KONG in 1933. Prior to the SON OF KONG screening in Santa Monica, the Every Picture Tells A Story gallery will host a display of KING KONG production sketches by Willis O'Brien and Byron Crabbe and new artwork by official Kong artist Joe DeVito. There will be a discussion panel of King Kong expert,s including DeVito, Mark Cotta Vaz, Rudy Behlmer, and Arnold Kunert.

Bob Burns will display original props from KING KONG, SON OF KONG, and MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, including the only surviving Kong armature from the 1933 film.
Another important guest is Bob Burns, a film historian who supplied materials for-- and is featured prominently in-- the extra features of Warner Home Video's KING KONG DVD. He is a long-time friend of Peter Jackson, and he and his wife Kathy were recently invited to visit the director in New Zealand where they took part in the very last live-action scene filmed for KING KONG. Bob will attend the Egyptian screenings and discuss both the original KING KONG and his experiences on the new film. In addition, he will be bringing along original props from the Cooper/Schoedsack films, including the original MIGHTY JOE YOUNG stop-motion armature animated by Ray Harryhausen in the 1949 film, a large Max O'Hara coin (also from MJY) cast from the original molds, and the only surviving Kong armature built by Marcel Delgado and animated by Willis O'Brien for the 1933 KING KONG! That's right... the one-and-only real King Kong will be at the Egyptian Theatre, and fans will have an extremely rare opportunity to see this piece of film history up close with the own eyes.

Ticket prices to the Egyptian and Aero Theatres are $9.00 general, $8.00 students and seniors, and $6.00 for American Cinematheque members. Double features are two films for one ticket price. Tickets can be purchased at the theater box offices and by fax (Egyptian only) at 323-467-0163. Complete ordering instructions, directions, and additional information are available on the Egyptian Theatre website.

The Kong artwork of Willis O'Brien, Byron Crabbe, and Joe DeVito will be displayed at Every Picture Tells A Story. KONG: KING OF SKULL ISLAND © 2005 DeVito Artworks, LLC
Series compiled by Martina Palaskov-Begov and Keith Aiken (Henshin! Online)

Special thanks to Marilee Womack (Warner Bros. Classics), Ronnee Sass (Warner Home Video), Evan Fong (NBC Universal), Kevin Brownlow and Heather Holmes (Turner Classics Movies), Michael Schlesinger (Sony Pictures Repertory), Elizabeth Nock (Miramax), and Lee Cohen (Every Picture Tells A Story)


1311-C Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA
5:00 PM

In partnership with the Merian C. Cooper Estate, the Every Picture Tells A Story gallery presents a display of King Kong artwork and a panel of Kong experts and authors. In addition to gorgeous limited edition fine art prints of original KING KONG production sketches by Willis O'Brien and Byron Crabbe, there will be Kong prints by Joe DeVito, author/illustrator of KONG: KING OF SKULL ISLAND and the authorized novelization of KING KONG. DeVito and author Mark Cotta Vaz (LIVING DANGEROUSLY: THE ADVENTURES OF MERIAN C. COOPER) will also attend the event to sign their books and take part in a discussion with historians Rudy Behlmer (RKO PRODUCTION 601) and Arnold Kunert (RAY HARRYHAUSEN: THE EARLY YEARS COLLECTION).

1328 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA
7:30 PM

The film festival begins with the sequel SON OF KONG. © 1933 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.
Film introduction by Forrest J. Ackerman, film historian and editor of the legendary magazine FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND.

DVD Giveaway: Attendees will have a chance to win DVDs of KING KONG VS GODZILLA or KING KONG ESCAPES.

SON OF KONG (1933, Warner Bros., 70 min, directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack) Fast-talking promoter Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) is blamed for King Kong's swath of death and destruction and hounded out of New York City. Deciding to put together a cargo business in the East Indies with Captain Englehorn (Frank Reicher), the pair is sidetracked in Dakang by a stranded singer (Helen Mack) and the villainous Hellstrom (John Marston), the man who originally sold the map of Skull Island to Denham. Trying to avoid the authorities, Hellstrom convinces Denham and Englehorn that there is a treasure hidden on King Kong's old home... and soon the group is face to face with angry natives, dinosaurs, prehistoric beasts, and the lovable, lonely Son of Kong.

Hilda (Helen Mack) and Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong) meet the SON OF KONG. © 1933 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.
Quickly made to cash in on the tremendous success of KING KONG, SON OF KONG lacks the pulse-pounding cliffhanger thrills of its predecessor but has some genuine charms of its own. Much of the original crew and cast (including director Schoedsack, executive producer Merian C. Cooper, writer Ruth Rose, and composer Max Steiner) returned for this sweet-natured, whimsical adventure-fantasy, and KING KONG stop-motion wizard Willis O'Brien once again supervised the visual effects and animated Kong Jr. and the other creatures.



6712 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
7:30 PM-Double Feature!!

I'M KING KONG covers the life story of Kong's creator, Merian C. Cooper. © 2005 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.
Clip from KING KONG: PETER JACKSON'S PRODUCTION DIARIES, detailing the creation of the new KING KONG.


Appearance by Bob Burns, who will show some of his original movie props, discuss his involvement with the new KING KONG film from Universal, and introduce the first film of the weekend...

SON OF KONG (1933, Warner Bros., 70 min, directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack)

I'M KING KONG - THE EXPLOITS OF MERIAN C. COOPER (2005, Turner Classic Movies, 57 min, directed by Kevin Brownlow and Christopher Bird) This brand-new documentary covers the incredible life story of KING KONG's creator; his childhood, his life-or-death struggles as an aviator in World War I, his collaborations with Ernest B. Schoedsack and John Ford, the making of KING KONG, his adventures in World War II, and filming the incredible flying sequences that helped launch Cinerama in the 1950s. Narrated by Alec Baldwin, I'M KING KONG features scenes from many of Cooper's films, interviews with Ray Harryhausen, Fay Wray, Terry Moore, Ray Bradbury, Bob Burns, Mark Cotta Vaz, James Karen, and Harry Carrey Jr., plus archival recordings of Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack.


Introduction by Forrest Ackerman and MIGHTY JOE YOUNG star Terry Moore.

Jill Young (Terry Moore) and Mr Joseph Young of Africa in Cooper and Schoedsack's classic MIGHTY JOE YOUNG. © 1949 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.
MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (1949, Warner Bros., 94 min, directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack) Stop-motion legend Ray Harryhausen got the chance to work with his hero Willis O'Brien - and KING KONG co-director Ernest B. Schoedsack - on this marvelous adventure/fantasy story from producers Merian C. Cooper and John Ford. Hollywood showman Max O'Hara (Robert Armstrong) takes a group of cowboys led by Gregg Ford (Ben Johnson) to Africa in order to lasso wildlife for exhibition in his new safari-themed restaurant. On the Dark Continent they encounter a beautiful young woman named Jill Young (Terry Moore) and her best friend, a giant gorilla named Joe! O'Hara convinces Jill to bring Joe to California, and the pair is soon the biggest nightclub attraction in Los Angeles. But being forced to live in a cage and endure the mistreatment of callous audiences soon drives Joe to go on a rampage in the safari club.

The 1950 Academy Award Winner for Best Visual Effects, MIGHTY JOE YOUNG was the final giant ape collaboration between Cooper, Schoedsack, and O'Brien. While not a financial success on its first release, the film has become a fan favorite over the decades and even inspired a 1998 Disney remake starring Charlize Theron and Bill Paxton (with cameos by Ray Harryhausen and Terry Moore). The Joe Young stop-motion armature animated by Ray Harryhausen is now owned by Bob Burns, and will be shown during a presentation at this festival.

Meet MIGHTY JOE YOUNG star Terry Moore, and see original props from KING KONG, SON OF KONG, and MIGHTY JOE YOUNG from the collection of Bob Burns. Inc.
Q&A with Terry Moore, conducted by Chris D of the American Cinematheque.

8:00 PM


Q&A with Bob Burns, who will display original props from KING KONG and MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, and introduce the screening of...

KING KONG (1933, Warner Bros., 100 min, directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack) 72 years after it first premiered, KING KONG remains one of the greatest fantasy films ever made. Fay Wray lights up the screen as Anne Darrow, the Beauty who drives the Beast to distraction, with support from great Robert Armstrong as Carl Denham, Bruce Cabot as first mate Jack Driscoll, and the astounding visual effects work of Willis O'Brien.

Released during the lowest depths of the Great Depression, KING KONG struck a cord with audiences eager for an escape from their miseries. The film became a box office sensation and saved RKO from bankruptcy, as well as a great critical success. KING KONG also inspired generations of filmmakers and decades of additional "giant monster on the loose" movies.

The original KING KONG returns to the big screen with a pair of screenings on December 17. © 1933 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.
In recent years Warner Bros. had pulled KING KONG from theatrical circulation... now to celebrate the incredible collector's DVD of the newly-restored film, the classic that started it all finally returns to the big screen with a pair pf screenings at the Egyptian Theatre! Don't miss this rare opportunity to see KING KONG as it was meant to be seen- large as life in a theater with state-of-the-art projection and sound.

10:15 PM


The leads of KING KONG; Jack Driscoll (Bruce Cabot), Ann Darrow (Fay Wray), and Carl Denham (Robert Armstrong). Photo courtesy of Warner Home Video. © 1933 Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.
KING KONG (1933, Warner Bros., 100 min, directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack) For those who can't get enough of the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Egyptian is proud to present a second screening of the original KING KONG.

6:00 PM-Double Feature!!

Clip from KING KONG: PETER JACKSON'S PRODUCTION DIARIES, detailing the creation of the new KING KONG.


Introduction by Michael Schlesinger, Sony Pictures Repertory.

The Shaw Brothers' MIGHTY PEKING MAN answers the question, "What if beauty had loved the beast?" © 1977 Shaw Brothers
MIGHTY PEKING MAN (Xing-xing Wang, 1977, Miramax, 90 min, Ho Meng-Hua) Explorer Johnny Feng (Danny Lee of INFRA-MAN and THE KILLER) is approached by a greedy Hong Kong promoter to lead an expedition to find the giant beast known as Utam, the Peking Man. Their quest takes them to forests at the base of the Himalayas, but the promoter and his men betray Johnny and leave him for dead. The adventurer is nursed back to health by the beautiful Samantha (Evelyne Kraft), a blonde, loincloth-wearing female Tarzan (!) stranded in the jungle as a child after an airplane crash and raised by the Peking Man. When Johnny convinces Samantha to bring the Peking Man back to Hong Kong, all hell breaks loose.

Produced to capitalize on the international hype surrounding Dino DeLaurentiis' KING KONG remake (1976), MIGHTY PEKING MAN was the first (and to date, only) giant monster movie created by Hong Kong's famed Shaw Brothers Studios. The film was initially released in the US in 1980 as GOLIATHON, then resurrected by Quentin Tarantino's Rolling Thunder Pictures and Cowboy Booking International for the "midnight movie" circuit in 1999. MIGHTY PEKING MAN was directed by Ho Meng-Hua (THE FLYING GUILLOTINE) and featured special effects by several veterans of Toho's monster movies, including effects director Sadamasa Arikawa (SON OF GODZILLA, DESTROY ALL MONSTERS, YOG: MONSTER FROM SPACE), assistant effects director Koichi Kawakita (the Heisei Godzilla series), and monster suit maker Keizo Murase (VARAN THE UNBELIEVABLE, MOTHRA, MATANGO, and Daiei's GAMERA). The movie is a mix of Hong Kong-style action, jungle adventure, campy 1970s pop culture, and Godzilla-style mass destruction. Bizarre, over-the-top, and violent... MIGHTY PEKING MAN should not be missed!

A brand new print of the British film KONGA will be shown at the Egyptian Theatre. © 1961 Orion Pictures Corporation
New 35 mm. Print! KONGA (1960, MGM/UA, 90 min) After being lost in the jungles of Africa for over a year, Dr Charles Decker (Michael Gough, "Alfred Pennyworth" in Tim Burton's BATMAN film series) returns to England with Konga, a baby chimpanzee. The psychotic botanist begins work on his latest experiment; having witnessed a Baganda witch doctor's use of a rare carnivorous plant to produce accelerated animal growth, Decker injects Konga with the same serum. The chimp soon grows to the size of a gorilla, and Decker uses the beast to brutally murder his enemies, attempt to impress one of his female biology students, and try take over England. Wildly deranged monster-ape madness ensues as Konga continues to grow, breaks out of Decker's laboratory, and rampages thru London.

Featuring one of the all-time great "I-hate-mankind-so-why-don't-you-love-me?" performances from Gough, KONGA comes to the big screen courtesy of a brand-new 35mm print from Sony Pictures Repertory.

12/08/05 UPDATE: Playmates Toys, Inc., the official toy manufacturer for the new KING KONG, has offered a selection of Kong merchandise for prize giveaways at the King Kong Festival. Attendees will now have chances to win one of several "Electronic Kong Arms" or the "Kong vs Juvenile V-Rex" set. Both items are part of Playmates’ "KONG, THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD" line.

Win fun prizes like the "Electronic Kong Arms" and the "Kong vs Juvenile V-Rex" set, courtesy of Playmates Toys. © 2005 Universal Studios and Playmates Toys, Inc.
The "Electronic Kong Arms" are oversized King Kong hands that can be worn by children or adults. They are motion activated; when the left arm is swung or slammed down it emits King Kong roars, sounds of destruction, and screams. The sound box runs on two AAA batteries which are included.

The "Kong vs Juvenile V-Rex" set includes a figure of King Kong (approximately 7 inches tall), the tyrannosaur-like the Vastatosaurus Rex, and a tiny Ann Darrow. Kong comes with lever controlled arms that can pry open the V-Rex’s jaws. The Vastatosaurus Rex (meaning "Ravager Lizard King") has spring loaded jaws that open and close, and the Ann Darrow figure fits in the V-Rex’s mouth.

Thanks to Playmates Toys and Bender/Helper Impact for being a part of the American Cinematheque’s King Kong celebration!