King Kong is brought in by an evil ruler to dig for precious gems in a mine when the robot MechaKong is unable to do the task. This leads to the machine and the real Kong engaging in a tremendous battle that threatens to level Japan.
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When a mechanical replica of King Kong is unable to dig for the highly radioactive Element X at the North Pole, the evil Doctor Who and his sponsor Madame Piranha (Madame X in the American release) decide to kidnap the real Kong. As an insurance policy they kidnap Lt. Susan Miller as well as her boyfriend Lt. CommanderJiro Nomura and Cmdr. Carl Nelson (Kong developed a crush on Susan when she Nomura and Nelson visited the Kong at his home on Mondo Island). Kong later escapes and heads for Tokyo. Susan and the others also escape. Who and his minions follow him and activate Mechani-Kong in order to recapture him. Susan is then grabbed by the robot and is taken to the top of Tokyo Tower and a battle ensues between Kong and his robotic replica. Written by
Brian Washington <Sargebri@att.net>
This was the second and last film by the Toho Studios to use the King Kong character. Their rights to use it again lapsed after this film. See more »
The appearance of Kong keeps changing due to different suits being used for different scenes. See more »
Lieutenant Susan Watson:
[talking to another crew member]
Boy, with a good looking nurse like that on board, I wouldn't mind running a fever.
Lieutenant Susan Watson:
Just remember, sailor. I've got lots of castor oil in sick bay. And you too.
Y-yes, Sir. Ma'am. Lieutenant.
See more »
As it states under 'Trivia', 'King Kong Escapes' was a tie-in to the Rankin-Bass 'King Kong' cartoon series, and to be honest, this film is very much a children's movie, featuring a cartoonish super-villain, a faintly ridiculous plot and comical fight scenes. This shouldn't be taken to mean that I hate the film, however. While it's not as good as Toho's previous Kong outing, 'King Kong VS Godzilla', it's still okay if you're in the mood for that kind of thing. I've never seen the cartoon, but the plot of this film is straightforward enough that you don't need to.
The film does have a number of flaws, the most notable being King Kong himself. I personally thought the ape suit from KKVG looked pretty impressive, but KKE's version is more than a little silly, particularly the face, with its wide, staring eyes and permanently open mouth, which makes Kong look like he's high. Also, the fights with the other monsters aren't overly impressive; the battle on Mondo Island (Kong had obviously moved from Skull Island after it was destroyed at the end of Son of Kong) with Gorosaurus is actually quite funny, particularly when Kong gets repeatedly drop-kicked, but the showdown with Mecha-Kong is a bit anticlimactic, particularly compared to the city-destroying smackdowns of KKVG and the best of the Godzilla series.
The plot is some silly gubbins about mining a radioactive element, and King Kong comes into the story after the evil Dr Who (not the time-travelling character from the long-running British T.V series) builds a robot ape, only for it to fail. He then kidnaps the real Kong, but he escapes (hence the title) and the usual Kaiju action ensues. The human element is rather bland, although this is probably the fault of the script rather than the actors. Linda Miller is the ersatz Fay Wray of this picture, her role generally consisting of being picked up by Kong and trying to save the big ape from getting into trouble. Rhodes Reason is solid if unspectacular, and Dr. Who makes a good, over-the-top villain.
Having said that, I do think it's a shame Toho never made any more Kong movies. Personally, I would have loved to have seen Mecha-Kong come back, perhaps in a Godzilla movie. Given that Godzilla battled so many monsters over the years, it might have been interesting if he had come up against King Kong again, maybe in a scenario that forced them to work together against one or more of the many monster that big G faced.
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