Bring the Mosquito Spray

King Kong adds contemporary flair to the depression-era original, mocking the absurdity of marketing’s reach through Wilson. That’s best personified in New York as Wilson preps a growing audience for Kong’s appearance, but the doors open to a gargantuan Petrox-branded gas pump, to which Wilson rants about, “the power.” It’s hilarious. Then before Kong breaks free, Wilson notes the cage was certified as escape proof by the New York government. King Kong takes every pot shot it can, private and public sector alike.

Read our full review of Shout’s King Kong Blu-ray for more


A satisfying if unremarkable update on Shout Factory’s Blu-ray, gains in resolution appear minor. Grain resolves well (aside from inside the fog), and varies in intensity. Even at its most intense, King Kong maintains its film-like appearance. The finest details rarely pop though, which is more on the original cinematography. A slight suggestion of processing (watch Grodin around 16:50) appears from time to time.

Slightly pale color tends to wash flesh tones in dry hues. Island greenery helps a little. It’s unremarkable overall though.

Dolby Vision doesn’t do much either. Brightness lacks a spark or much energy. Black levels lazily drift into darkness with limited depth.


On the 4K disc, Paramount only includes a 5.1 mix in DTS-HD (ignoring the stereo track), the same as the prior Blu-ray. It’s a fine mix, but not for any grand action, rather John Barry’s score that sounds wonderful when amplified by the additional channels. It’s so full and rich and wide, his work sounds totally new. Small touches like Kong’s roar fill the soundstage.

Limited low-end extension preserves the aged material as-is, producing a small jolt on occasion, but generally supporting the music more than anything. Kong’s steps do produce a minor thud though, as do the ship’s engines. Overall fidelity impresses given the age, slight scratchiness to the dialog acceptable.


The Blu-ray contains the extended TV version as released by Shout on their Blu-ray. The only other bonus is a trailer, dropping commentaries and interviews from Shout’s disc.

King Kong (1976)
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras


A tonally confused, oddly sexualized take, King Kong ’76 is a mess, but a weirdly fascinating one.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 50 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:

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