The story picks up about a month after the dramatic finale of the previous film and follows the further adventures of filmmaker Carl Denham (again played by Robert Armstrong), now implicated in numerous lawsuits following the destruction wrought by King Kong. Denham leaves New York with the captain of the Venture, Captain Englehorn, who is certain it is just a matter of time before he is similarly served. Their efforts to make money shipping cargo around the Orient are less than successful. In the Dutch port of Dakang, they run into Nils Helstrom, the former Norwegian skipper who sold Denham the map to Skull Island, who tells them there is a treasure on the island. Blinded by their financial situation, they believe him and agree to return. In fact, he is lying so they will take him to another jurisdiction, as he has just caused a man's death. Shortly after they put out to sea, a beautiful stowaway girl (Helen Mack) is found on board. She had been part of a traveling show run by her recently deceased father, Helstrom's victim.
They arrive at Skull Island where they meet, befriend, and are ultimately saved by Kong's easygoing albino son Kiko (a name used in production but never spoken in the film; he is referred to only as "Little Kong" and, by Denham, "Baby"). The son of Kong is portrayed as considerably smaller than his famous father, but is still twice the size of a man. He is much friendlier and saves Denham and the girl from a giant cave bear. Despite the fact that Helstrom made up his story on the spot out of desperation, a treasure is found. Shortly afterwards, Kiko, Denham and the girl are attacked by a long necked dinosaur which Kiko kills, while Helstrom tries to escape in the lifeboat but is eaten by an elasmosaurus. Eventually, Kiko dies saving Carl Denham, as does every other creature on Skull Island, when an earthquake strikes the island and it sinks into the ocean.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
Directed by Ernest Schoedsack
Written by Ruth Rose
Produced by Merian C. Cooper, Archie Marshek, Ernest Schoedsack
Music by Max Steiner
Cinematography by Edward Linden, J.O. Taylor, Vernon Walker
Edited by Ted Cheesman
Assistant Directing by William Cody, Walter Daniels, Ivan Thomas
Special Effects by Willis O'Brien, Harry Redmond Jr., Harry Redmond Sr.
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
Son of Kong had a budget of $269,000, less than half the budget of King Kong, and grossed $1,342,880 in the United States.
Son of Kong received mostly negative reception upon release, and was criticized as a rushed cash-in on the success of King Kong, due to its short 69 minute runtime and several recycled elements from the previous film.