Posted on Wednesday, March 16th, 2011 by Angie Han
Ever since The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters was released in 2007, we at /Film have watched with great interest as the documentary’s two main subjects, Billy Mitchell and Steve Wiebe, took turns beating each other for the Donkey Kong world record. Last spring, however, a New York plastic surgeon named Hank Chien burst onto the scene and stole the title from Mitchell, who’d held it for the previous three years. Mitchell then took the title back, only to be bested by Wiebe in September. And Wiebe, in turn, found himself unseated by Chien this past January.
Point being: Chien’s up there now with Mitchell and Wiebe as one of the top Donkey Kong players in the world, with a high score of 1,090,400. And he’s about to catch up to Mitchell and Wiebe in another way, too, as the star of his own documentary, Doctor Kong: Cutting Up the Competition. Watch the trailer after the jump.
[via George Roush's Twitter]
His pickup tactics may be questionable (“I’m playing Donkey Kong so I can get laid”), but Chien otherwise comes off in the trailer as a likable presence, with his wide smile and dorky laugh.
Director Alexis Neophytides began filming the short documentary in 2009, before Chien won the Donkey Kong title. At its inception, the project was simply intended, as Nintendo Life put it, “as a character study of this odd guy who would show up at a local bar in Brooklyn dressed in scrubs to practice Donkey Kong.” (Note to New Yorkers: Said “local bar” is Barcade in Williamsburg. Brooklyn represent!)
Though the film isn’t an official follow-up to King of Kong, given the subject matter, it’s tough not to make that connection. Not that that’s a bad thing. As someone who thoroughly enjoyed King of Kong, I’m looking forward to revisiting the competitive classic gaming universe.
Neophytides is a relatively new filmmaker whose last documentary, Coney Island’s for the Birds, was about pigeon racing. Doctor Kong has already screened in Brooklyn, and is slated for more screenings later this month. Check the official site for times, dates and locations.