(1968)

The electronic monster Mechani-Kong boldly challenges the ruler of the South Seas, King Kong!!

An adaptation of the Rankin/Bass cartoon, "The King Kong Show". King Kong is brought in by the evil Dr. Who to dig for Element X in a mine when the robot Mechani-Kong is unable to do the task. This leads to the machine and the real Kong engaging in a tremendous battle atop Tokyo Tower.

It's very easy for us to understand. You see, as ridiculous as it may sound, Kong is a male and, uh, Miss Watson is... Well, see for yourselves, gentlemen.
King Kong Escapes is directed by Ishirô Honda and written by Takeshi Kimura. It stars Rhodes Reason, Mie Hama, Linda Miller, Akira Takarada and Hideyo Amamoto. Music is by Akira Ifukube and cinematography by Hajime Koizumi.
King Kong Escapes' actual Japanese title is King Kong's Counterattack and it was a live action tie-in to the 1966 animated series simply called King Kong (AKA: The King Kong Show). Knowing this really helps to set you up for what to expect from King Kong Escapes, for it is in essence a live action cartoon!
Pic on a plot basis is as you would expect all very silly. It features an evil genius who has invented a mechanical robot King Kong, an Asian babe intent on boosting her nuclear arsenal for world domination, a UN submarine crew complete with pretty lady to melt the real Kong's heart, and naturally some creature smack-downs.
Naturally the effects work is dicey, but fun with it, though Kong looks too daft for menace value, in fact he looks like he has been on the Columbian Ciggies! There's a cool fight with Gorosauras, a leaping dinosaur whose fight tactic is to repeatedly drop kick its enemy with both feet! While it all builds to the inevitable big face-off finale as the two Kong's tear it up. Who wins? Will Tokyo be obliterated? Well you wont really care but you will have fun getting there!
Characterisations are wonderfully cheese laden, none more so than evil Dr Who (Amamoto), resplendent in black cape and with deadly pointed eyebrows. He sets the tone early on, with a devilish glint in his eye as he sets about aiding the sultry Madame X (Hama) with bonkers science fiction pumped machinations. Rhodes Reason sticks his chest out for American heroics, likewise Takarada for the Japanese front, and Miller (appallingly and strangely dubbed) potters about looking pretty and keeping Kong in check. Hooray! 5/10

Toho Co., Rankin/Bass Productions by Ishirô Honda, Takeshi Kimura, Edgar Wallace.
Stars: Rhodes Reason, Mie Hama, Linda Miller.

Genres: Adventure, Family, Sci-Fi

Keywords: giant monster kaiju

06/19/1968

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