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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
Edit

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

The American version of the film (Runtime: 96 minutes) was the only version projected in the release, re-release (1977) and re-release (2016) at cinemas in Spain. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Atop the Fourth Wall: Doctor Who Classic Comics #15 (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Cheap, Silly, But Still Good Kaiju!
18 March 2001 | by Eric-62-2See all my reviews

Kaiju fans like me always know well enough to check our desire for (a) believable dialogue and (b) completely realistic special effects at the door when we settle ourselves down to watch what Japan has specialized in for five decades now. As quality filmmaking, King Kong Escapes is of course laughably bad, especially to those who deify the 1933 original. But in the context of Japanese giant monster kaiju, King Kong Escapes is one of the better entries to be found, coming in the 1960s when the focus was less tounge in cheek, more action-oriented, and free of the kiddie thrust that REALLY made Japanese monster movies annoyingly bad in the 1970s (Gamera sequels and Godzilla vs. Gigan anyone?). In a ways, after the dark,brooding seriousness of the original "Godzilla" in 1954, the 1960s saw movies more in the Armageddon-Mummy vein of action, special effects and empty-headed scripts. And while those weaned on GCI will find this hard to believe, the work of Eiji Tsuburaya was considered top of the line for its day (when you stop to think of it, how different are the SFX of Japanese monster movies all that different from American movies, pre-2001: A Space Odyssey? Not much really). And truth be told, I find these kaiju movies of the 60s to have a lot more charm than their 90s American counterparts like "Armageddon" or the Tri-Star "Godzilla."

Eisei Ammamoto, a veteran of Japanese sci-fi, deliciously chews the scenery as the villainous "Dr. Who" while Bond girl veteran Mie Hama ("You Only Live Twice") provides lovely visual distraction as "Madame X", and is far more appealing than the bland non-actress Linda Miller (badly dubbed by cartoon voice Julie Bennett who also dubs Hama!) as the object of Kong's affection (and let's set the record straight, this is NOT the woman of the same name who is Jackie Gleason's daughter, no matter what the erroneous IMDB data base says). The most amusing part of the script is how they almost seemingly plagiarized from "Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea" in their basic premise (a sub commander named Nelson for goodness sake!). No matter though. Bad dubbing, lame script notwithstanding, "King Kong Escapes" is pleasantly mind-numbing fun from the peak period of kaiju cinema.

Incidentally, I'm glad to note that Rhodes Reason, who by his own admission "knew the film was lousy but couldn't pass up the trip to Japan" to make it, was able to overcome this in the long-run and earn better notices as Daddy Warbucks in numerous Broadway productions of "Annie."


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