5.6/10
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51 user 31 critic

King Kong Escapes (1967)

Kingu Kongu no gyakushû (original title)
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.

Director:

Ishirô Honda (as Inoshiro Honda)

Writer:

Takeshi Kimura (as Kaoru Mabuchi)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rhodes Reason ... Commander Carl Nelson
Mie Hama ... Madame Piranha (Madame X)
Linda Miller Linda Miller ... Lieutenant Susan Watson
Akira Takarada Akira Takarada ... Lt. Commander Jiro Nomura
Hideyo Amamoto ... Dr. Who (as Eisei Amamoto)
Yoshifumi Tajima Yoshifumi Tajima ... Henchman
Sachio Sakai Sachio Sakai ... Henchman
Susumu Kurobe ... Henchman
Nadao Kirino Nadao Kirino ... Henchman
Tôru Ibuki Tôru Ibuki ... Henchman
Kazuo Suzuki Kazuo Suzuki ... Henchman
Ryûji Kita Ryûji Kita ... SDF General
Yasuhisa Tsutsumi Yasuhisa Tsutsumi ... General
Ikio Sawamura Ikio Sawamura ... Mondo Islander
Tadashi Okabe Tadashi Okabe ... Soldier
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Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Fate of the World Hangs in the Balance as KING KONG Fights the KING KONG ROBOT! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Japan | USA

Language:

Japanese | English

Release Date:

19 June 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

King Kong Escapes See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There is a widespread rumor that in the German dub of the film, Dr Who has been renamed to Dr. Frankenstein. The reason for this is that in Germany, many classic Japanese giant monster movies were given an unique spin by inserting references to a certain Dr. Frankenstein, and explaining away many monsters as being his creations. In fact, the name Frankenstein often appeared in the title, despite no person named Frankenstein ever appearing in any of the films - his existence was merely alluded to. But in contrast to what the rumor claims, Dr. Who kept his original name in the film's German version. The title was, however, changed to the confusing-sounding "King Kong: Frankenstein's Son", which may have added to the myth. See more »

Goofs

When fighting the dinosaur, the Kong suit is very clearly falling apart. At one point, when the dinosaur throws him off itself and Kong flips over, part of Kong's neck "peels off" and you can see the stuntman inside. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
First Submariner: Lieutenant.
Lieutenant Susan Watson: Good morning.
Second Submariner: [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.
Second Submariner: Y-yes, Sir. Ma'am. Lieutenant.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version of the film shown on television deleted Dr. Who's death scene due to its rather gruesome nature. However, it was restored in the DVD release. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Watch for Madame Piranha.
12 April 2001 | by OllieSuave-007See all my reviews

This movie is a follow-up to 1962's "King Kong vs. Godzilla." This time, King Kong was kidnapped by a mad scientist, who planned to use him to dig up Element X (a key ingredient for a nuclear bomb). Along the way Kong battles a giant sea snake, Gorosaurus (Godzilla's buddy) and a replica of himself called Mecha-Kong. The directing and special effects were OK, and the story was serviceable. I think that Toho intended to give this movie a James Bondish treatment, since "You Only Live Twice" (1967) was released the same year and actress Mie Hama, who appeared as bond girl Kissy in the 007 flick, appeared in this movie.

The movie could have used more suspense and human action. The monster scenes were OK, though some scenes, especially with the helicopters, were really cheesy. If Kong was almost the same size as Godzilla, I wouldn't think that he would be dwarfed by the Tokyo Tower (and having the ability to climb it). Nonetheless, I think the tower scene where the two monsters duke it out was a pretty remarkable special effect.

Four major problems I have with this movie are about the characters. First of all, Commander Nelson (Rhodes Reason) is supposed to be one of the heroes in the story, but he basically didn't do anything important. He lost a little Karate-fight to the main villain, and then played chess with him afterward while his two friends were confined to a below 0 degree cell! Also, his acting was plain. Second, Lieutenant Watson (Linda Miller) was a very annoying character and had such an irritating voice. However, her role is of some importance (especially in the parts where she told Kong to stop shaking the sub she and the crew were in and where she calmed Kong down while he was on the loose in Tokyo). Third, the part where Lt. Nomura (Akira Takarada) told an official he's Lieutenant Nomura (he's not in uniform) and asked to let him take command is a bit awkward. How would the official be sure he's who he claimed to be? Fourth, the henchmen in the movie were just stupid. To sum it all, the better acting actually goes to the two main villains! Dr. Who (Eisei Anamoto) gave an outrageously cruel performance. He's wildly funny, with his wild white hair and long black cape, and he's pretty darned skillful with the trigger. And, Madame Piranha (Mie Hama) steals the show. She's bewitching, spellbinding and beautiful. She is the true hero of the movie *spoiler* since it was she who destroyed Mecha-Kong's control system, thereby, defeating the robot completely. I wish she would have had a better fate in the movie.

The monster action was OK. City destruction was limited, though, and King Kong looked pretty dumb. The costume used for the monster was hideous, but still better than the one used in "King Kong vs. Godzilla."

Above all, this movie was very average - not the best from Toho. The plot lines really go all over the place. What made up for this movie was Akira Ifukube's great, haunting music score and Mie Hama.

Grade C+


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