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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 »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$2,180,000
See more on IMDbPro »

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

Linda Miller was modeling in Japan when she was cast in the movie. See more »

Goofs

During some of the North Pole scenes, Dr. Hu's men cast shadows on the painting of the "distance" (mainly snow-capped mountains) on the studio set. 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 »

Connections

Featured in Cinemassacre's Monster Madness: Son of Kong (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
King Kong Escapes? Well, catch him then!
23 February 2006 | by violencegangSee all my reviews

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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