Film buffs with the hottest ticket in town were left running for safety after a giant model of King Kong went up in flames at the sizzling Vietnam premiere of the rebooted horror classic.
The blaze began as a glamorous announcer welcomed communist party officials, diplomats and celebrities to the screening of Kong: Skull Island in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday night.
But the razzmatazz soon gave away to farce as a blaze — apparently started by a torch discarded by a fire dancer — consumed the oversized primate in minutes.
The fire tore through the five-meter high model, sending film-goers scurrying for cover as flames burned demon-like through King Kong’s eyes.
The only injuries caused by the fire were to the model of the giant ape — and the pride of event organizers, as video of the fiasco went viral.
Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the latest outing for Kong features an A-list cast led by Samuel L Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson and John Goodman.
The US$185 million blockbuster is the first Hollywood movie to be shot in the communist country and includes many landmark locations, including the limestone cliffs of Ha Long bay.