King Guam

Kong: Skull Island is an entertaining mash-up of Apocalypse Now and every archetypal monster-movie trope; while it certainly has it's share of horrific deaths, it is far more fun than Logan . . . and John C. Reilly has the most fun of anyone in the film, he plays Hank Marlow-- his name is certainly a nod to the narrator of Conrad's Heart of Darkness-- a WWII pilot who crashed on the island in 1944 while engaged in a dogfight with a Japanese plane; both soldiers survive the crash, battle a bit on the sandy beach and in the jungle, and then become friends, bonding over being scared shitless by Kong; we then flash-forward nearly 30 years to 1973, and a government and military crew is sent to map Skull Island and look for resources (but an especially dour John Goodman knows there is more in the jungle) after the crew is properly hazed and scattered by an angry, territorial Kong, one group meets Marlow in the jungle, and though Marlow's friend has died, Marlow has made it through the years and preserved much of his sanity, thanks to some friendly (but creepy) natives . . . so he's a little wacky, but certainly no Kurtz-- and while he's got no idea about what's happened in the civilized world for the past three decades, he is an expert on Kong and the skull-crawlers and everything else Skull Island related (but Samuel Jackson just won't listen to him, his character has been broken by the Vietnam War and just wants to defeat something, anything, and that thing is Kong) and take my word for it, take the kids and go see it, it's a visual spectacular that puts the new Jurassic Park to shame, but more importantly, I just learned Doug Mack's travelogue The Not Quite States of America: Dispatches from the Territories and other Far Flung Outposts of the United States that there was a situation quite similar to Hank Marlow's on the island of Guam: Sergeant Shoichi Yokoi survived 28 years in the jungle of Guam, 20 of them with two companions and the last 8 years alone (his companions starved to death) and he survived by eating "rats, frogs, snails, shrimp, coconuts, and other tropical fruit" and trapping eels; he lived in a cave with bamboo shelves and a bamboo ladder to the surface, and while he didn't have to contend with giant lizards and a godlike monstrous ape, he did make it home, marry, and live to the ripe old age of 82, which is why I pronounce him (posthumously) King Guam.

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