King Kong vs. Roboman

King Kong vs. Roboman was Ted Phillips' first "vs" short and made use of stop-motion animation. It was recorded on VHS-C format media on the old camera on or about February 14, 1993, but was not edited or released to the public until November 12, 2008.



Synopsis

The short begins with a view of King Kong in a triumphant pose while a fanfare plays for a few seconds. An announcer then declares the title before the fanfare resumes.

King Kong turns around and begins demolishing a local man's home with his bare hands. Once the house is completely leveled, Roboman arrives to challenge King Kong. Roboman fires a plasma blast from his bazooka, knocking King Kong off his feet. King Kong rises and attempts to smother his opponent, but Roboman elbows King Kong in the face. King Kong falls to the ground and gets back up, but Roboman kicks King Kong in the anus. King Kong falls again and tries to escape, but Roboman corners him against the edge of the table. King Kong tries to grab hold of Roboman's bazooka, but Roboman shoots King Kong in the face, causing him to fall over the cliff. King Kong climbs back up, spears Roboman, and lifts him over his head. Roboman begs for mercy, but King Kong throws him off the edge and is declared the winner.

History

It's likely that Ted Phillips was inspired by the film King Kong vs. Godzilla[1] to make a King Kong vs... short. At the time, King Kong was one of Ted's favorite and most feared film characters.

Both the figures used in this short were part of a prop loan from Rich Falantano that was originally supposed to last the duration of the shoot. Falantano went on vacation to Pennsylvania the next week, extending the period of the loan.

Later in February 1993, Ted Phillips created T.J.'s Cracked Egg Productions to oversee the principle photography of The Bloody Man. At that time, the rights to his earlier works, including King Kong vs. Roboman, were absorbed by this entity.

In April 1993, Ted Phillips made a sequel to both King Kong vs. Roboman and The Bloody Man, called King Kong 2: King Kong Comes Back Vs. The Bloody Man!.

King Kong vs. Roboman became one of Cracked Egg Studios' most famous productions amongst cult fans who had access to the archival footage. For this reason, it was sometimes confused with Deep in the Woods as being the studio's earliest video production ever.

King Kong vs. Roboman grew in popularity for a number of reasons. The vocals for the character King Kong, the repetition of the voiced velar plosive consonant[2], were considered absurd. Production values were low and some shots revealed the animators themselves or their shadows. It seems the issues with the studio's first iteration of equipment had begun as early as this production, because the title sequence was recorded and cut off several times. Many thought the repetition of multiple takes to be hilarious when viewed as a whole.



For many years, scholars incorrectly dated King Kong vs. Roboman to October 1992, due to its positioning on Ted's Movies after Deep in the Woods, which had also been misdated. However, in mid-April 2022, further analysis revealed that Deep in the Woods was filmed closer to February 13, 1993. Since some Deep in the Woods set pieces also made an undamaged appearance in King Kong vs. Roboman, this suggests that Deep in the Woods was filmed no more than several days later. However, as John Phillips was only available as camera operator on weekends at the time, this led to the new dating of February 14, 1993.

Cultural References

Trivia

  • When applying to film school, Ted Phillips described King Kong vs. Roboman in his portfolio:
    Ted Phillips said:
    King Kong destroys a local man's home, when Roboman arrives to administer justice.
  • The local man is actually the main character from The Bloody Man, but he is only partly visible in a couple of frames.
  • In the archival footage, you can hear Nick Phillips in another room watching an episode of The Human Race Club[5] called "The Lean Mean Machine."

References

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Comments

TK Seya

Network Partner
This entry is mildly entertainig. Watch it with the sound off!

A few things to note are:

1) King Kong is obviously racist. He knocks off all the yellow parts first.

2) King Kong is overpowered! Roboman doesn't stand a chance with his not-very-effective beam attack. Title should be changed to King Kong vs. Roboman: JUSTICE.

3) Where is my sequel? It seems that Roboman is not finished yet.


Speaking of sequels, a good title might be King Kong vs. Roboman: Roboman Bites Back. Of course, Roboman should still fail but not without doing something to King Kong's bananas and posh jungle home!


I give this entry a decent rating of 5.0112358/10
 

Bandit

New member
well, obviously yellow is the first target color, King Kong would have thought those were banannas, and after discovering that there werent, he was sent into a frenzy, first aiming to destroy all the impostors.
secondly, this, "Roboman" is a vigilante, who has no right to administer his personal ideas of justice without the backing of the American judical branch. taking that into consideration, a beam attack of that calibur may be enough to damage something other then king kong, but should be abolished anyway.
and thirdly, the idea of a sequel is currently being entertained.
also taking into the consideration the age of the director, i think a little more then 5.0112358/10 is due. i give it a solid 7.
 

Ted

New member
I agree that perhaps this short is a statement against vigilante justice. But like most of my projects at the age of 5, I probably was not aware that it had any meaning beyond King Kong kicking some ass.

In fact, if we consider that the house suddenly appears behind King Kong while he's chilling in his jungle habitat, this could be a reference to man's destruction of nature for the sake of progress, and the hiring of mercenaries to protect said progress.

If we consider that Roboman is part of some rogue terrorist organization with a base in the jungle, whose plans are to steal bananas and sell them on the black market, then it's also possible that King Kong is an employee of the government sent in to infiltrate such organizations by pretending to be a part of the natural environment.
 

HJ

Network Partner
well... it is pretty darn amazing that you made this thing back in 1992... when I was busy playing video games and watching street fighters... lol
Good Job...
 
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