So my father & I got a chance to catch Kong Skull Island over at the local dollar cinema last night. We loved it and mostly had the movie theater to ourselves so see it in a theater if you get the chance. The basic plot line follows an American Army crew into the heart of Skull Island. The special effects are well done the basic plot is a homage to Apocalypse Now with a mix of classic popculture mythology.
Of course this film counteracts & completely wipes away the floor with Peter Jackson's 2005 King Kong film. Umm not at all really at all. Skull Island itself is really at the center of all this but what is Skull Island itself? Skull Island is one of the remnants of Atlantis or Mu that has been perpetually sinking into the ocean but how does this interact with the films? And why would there be an OSR connection?
Seismologist Houston Brooks blurts out the Gygaxian ecology of the Skull Islands, he states that he had a paper in college that describes pockets of inner Earth or Hollow Earth theory. Is it any reason that Project Monarch picked him up? If there was an incursion by mankind or series of expeditions or landing onto the various Skull islands then this could explain the aggression by the apes. We know that species like the Skull Crawlers & much more dangerous monsters are found in these environments. But if Monarch knew about about the apes then it might have been because of the 1933 New York King Kong incident. But how do you explain the vast ecologies of the islands? These are various islands that have been thrown up and torn down by the seas over the past sixty five million years. These are predator top heavy because of the fact that the predators wait for the openings for migration from the inner earth to open up. These are routes from the "hollow earth" land of Pellucidar that have been there for millions of years. In fact the latest King Kong picture could tie in with the rest of the King Kong incidents even going into the 1970's Kong picture. They don't really counter act one another. Monarch has been very good at their job. This might also help explain the boat load of various ruins & mega dungeon like structures that have been scattered in remote places across the globe.
Now here's where the Gygaxian ecology comes in, these are not the only apes that have been seen over the years in the various Appendix N literature. Carnivorous apes have been standard fare since the beginning of OD&D but I think you're looking at an entirely other inner Earth species here. These apes species are closely associated with these variations of mankind. The states of the cultures of the tribes of the Skull Island chains are simply reflections of the survivors of the sinking of Mu, Atlantis, or whatever other lost world happens to have been thrust up by the tops volcano chains that make up these places. These apes have close ties to these people because actually they're the degenerate remains of other survivors of the disasters that sank these lost countries. This all ties back into Lovecraft & the killer ape theory, "
The killer ape theory or killer ape hypothesis is the theory that war and interpersonal aggression was the driving force behind human evolution. It was originated by Raymond Dart in the 1950s; later it was developed further in African Genesis by Robert Ardrey in 1961." All of this actually ties in with HP Lovecraft's "Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family" & the many killer ape stories out of African pulp adventure fiction including the connection with the 1995 film Congo.
Your not looking at normal apes when we speak of Carnvous apes your looking at a creature part man & part something else entirely. This ties in with Clark Aston Smith Voormis/ HG Wells Time Machine Morlock connection & equation which other bloggers have put forth in the past. I think the most dangerous thing that might come from below the surface might not be the giant monsters but the horrors that are just like us.
Now the Voormis had, from their remotest origins, considered themselves the chosen minions of Tsathoggua, the sole deity whose worship they celebrated. And Tsathoggua was an earth elemental ranged in perpetual and unrelenting enmity against the Rhan-Tegoth and all his kind, who were commonly accounted elementals of the air and were objects of contempt to those of the Old Ones, like Tsathoggua, who abominated the airy emptiness above the world and by preference wallowed in darksome and subterranean lairs.But how would these islands not be discovered until the Seventies? Those perpetual storms that surround the islands because of the on going volcanic activity. In H. P. Lovecraft's fictional manuscript The Pnakotic Fragments we get most of the story but there might be more including the round about connection to the eight armed white apes of Barsoom.
- —Lin Carter and Clark Ashton Smith, "The Scroll of Morloc"
Bronze Age Miniatures' great white ape
We know that the survivors of Skull Island use a very subtle form of telepathy that we see on screen. ERB's inner Earth cave men have similar senses as do his Barsoomians. So could all of these be survivors of the disasters that took out Hyperborea, Atlantis, Mu?
Well that's up to you in your campaigns. As for me I already know the answer to the question but next time I'll begin to really explore some of the connections to some of the most dangerous challenges that adventurers can face.