The principal manner in which the new blockbuster Kong: Skull Island (now showing in NZ theatres) distinguishes itself from previous King Kong movies, particularly Peter Jackson's still underrated 2005 film, is through the sheer size of it's titular monster - this is the biggest Kong ever seen in an English-language iteration of the character.
To mark the magnificent monkey's mammoth magnitude, here I will cite the biggest movie monsters ever. Starting from now, looking back into cinematic history.
Kong from Kong: Skull Island (2017)
The new Kong was always going to have to be a biggie, as before the film had even completed production it was announced that he would square off against the giant lizard from the next entry in this list in 2020's Godzilla Vs.
Kong. The inspiration for that showdown comes from Japanese film company (and creators of Godzilla) Toho's licensed usage of Kong in 1962's King Kong vs. Godzilla.
Toho's 1962 Kong was even "bigger" than the one seen in the new film, but he was just a dude in a gorilla outfit stomping about. Although the 2017 Kong is shown to be a formidable and savage fighter, and is by far the biggest thing on Skull Island, he is nonetheless still somewhat dwarfed by....
Godzilla from Godzilla (2014)
Cinemadom's most iconic giant monster has varied in size since Toho released their first Godzilla movie in 1954, but he's always been pretty massive. The 2014 incarnation is the biggest yet, or at least it was until Toho released their latest film, Shin Godzilla, in which Godzilla officially stands slightly taller than his American counterpart, no doubt not coincidentally.
The mosquito-ish creatures 'Zilly faught in the 2014 film looked pretty pathetic next to the big guy, but he'll hopefully face off against some monsters from his own weight division in next year's Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which is rumoured to feature the English-language debut of some of Godzilla's most famous co-stars from the Toho movies: Rodan (a pterodactyl-like creature); King Ghidorah (a three-headed flying dragon) and Mothra (er, a big moth). The various giant monsters featured in movies made by Toho and other Japanese film companies were known as....
Kaiju from Pacific Rim (2013)
Screenwriter Travis Beacham borrowed the Japanese terminology for this Godzilla-versus-Voltron action spectacular, and in doing so properly introduced the word 'Kaiju' to the west. The imaginatively-designed Godzilla-scaled monsters benefitted greatly from the creative genius at the helm -Guillermo del Toro's affinity and even empathy for giant monsters comes through in every massive set piece.
Now if they'll just bloody let him make his long-planned adaptation of HP Lovecraft's At The Mountains of Madness, and we'll get to see his version of literature's mostfamous giant monster: Cthulhu. The priviledge of beholding the Great Old One will not doubt be worth going insane for.
Demon Monster from This Is The End (2013)
The big demon monster from the end of this suprisingly awesome bro-comedy was impressively huge, and clearly inspired to some degree by the Balrog from Lord of the Rings. It also stands as the biggest example of Seth Rogan and co-writer Evan Goldberg's perennial penis fixation.
Red Death from How To Train Your Dragon (2010)
Although the Bewilderbest in How To Train Your Dragon 2 is technically bigger than the massive Red Death, I found the sense of immense scale to be much more pronounced in the first film. Plus Red Death can fly. He's scarier.
Clover from Cloverfield (2008)
Another Godzilla-inspired American monster, Clover was arguably the first well-executed CGI monster of its size. It was certainly a step beyond the 1998 Godzilla, a film that seemed less interested in Toho's creation than a '90s version of...
The Beast from The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953)
This giant monster classic featured early stop-motion work from iconic animator Ray Harryhausen, and his sense of scale is effective even amongst the shintzy miniature sets.