For only being a plus-size gorilla, King Kong has still become one of American cinema's biggest stars, appearing in a slew of films over the past 70 years—and almost all of them have sucked.
• King Kong (1933)—With still-amazing special effects and an epic but fast-paced story, the original King Kong is so rad that mere words can't do it justice. Just see it if you haven't seen it yet, all right? Plus, the new two-disc DVD features a fascinating documentary about the making of the film, examining everything from the effects to the film's censorship, to the lost, now-legendary "spider pit" sequence.
• King Kong (1976)—I thought this cheesy flick was the shit when I was five or six. Clearly, I wasn't a very bright child. Featuring a swooning Jessica Lange, an evil Charles Grodin, and a fruity Jeff Bridges (rocking his exact hairstyle from The Big Lebowski, sans irony), this hammy remake has Kong being stolen by an oil magnate (Grodin), being defended by a hippie (Bridges), and (ugh) scaling the Twin Towers instead of the Empire State Building.
• King Kong Lives (1986)—Hey, remember when Kong died after falling from the Twin Towers in '76? Okay, well, he actually survived, and he's just in a coma, and now he needs a heart transplant! Good thing they just discovered a giant She-Kong! Starring Terminator's Linda Hamilton, who looks like she's waiting for James Cameron to hurry up and make Terminator 2 already.
• King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)—How's this for ingenuity: When King Kong vs. Godzilla's Kong fights a giant octopus, it's just a guy in a monkey suit strangling a normal-sized octopus! It's actually really messed up, and totally worth seeing for its weird-factor alone. Where the hell else are you going to see an octopus vs. a guy in a monkey suit? Nowhere, that's where! (And yeah, the title implies there's a dude in a lizard suit too—but for the life of me, all I can remember is that octopus scene.)