Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|King Kong Escapes|
Actors: Rhodes Reason, Linda Miller
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Science Fiction & Fantasy
It's King Kong to the rescue when a giant robot threatens to destroy Tokyo in the gripping King Kong Escapes! The action begins when the conniving Dr. Who builds a robot Kong in order to retrieve a highly radioactive elem... more »
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Kevin S. (jsterlingmedia) from LAKE VILLA, IL
Reviewed on 5/18/2010...
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
The Best Kong Ever?
Nick Tropiano | Havertown, PA United States | 12/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was a staple of Saturday afternoon monster flicks that aired in the pre-cable days of UHF TV. Haven't seen it in decades - and true to 60's Toho form, it's just as colorful, fun, entertaining, and silly as I remember. As a Toho/Rankin-Bass co-production, released through Universal, it has probably the highest production values of any film in the heyday of Japanese sci-fi/fantasy, the 1960's. The dollars went into impressive arctic sets and assorted miniatures, which are larger and more realistic than usual. Especially impressive is the submarine miniature, the tower where the climatic battle takes place, and the aircraft carrier that Kong smashes at the end of the film. The glowing frozen tunnel where Kong and his robot counterpart mine "Element X" is also visually evocative and memorable. This film also has a fair number of composite shots, some more successful than others. A great one is Kong snatching Linda Miller out of the water as she tries to swim to the sub.
Unlike some other US/Japanese co-productions, the American actors are part of the cast, rather than inserted, often clunkily, later - ala Raymond Burr in Godzilla. The scope of the sets and international cast gives the film a semi-epic feel. It should be noted that this was also scored by Akira Ifukube, who never fails to deliver a memorable theme. The distinctly morse-code Mechakong theme I remember vividly since seeing this film as a kid.
If you're familiar with this film, the knock on it is the Kong suit. Yes, it's weird, silly, not even remotely realistic... My take is that this film was intended as a live-action version of the animated Rankin-Bass Kong series, and this Kong was designed around the animated Kong from the cartoon. In fact, the Dr Who (no relation to the british sci-fi series) character in the movie - complete with cape, long gray villianous locks, is the cartoon's main villian. Perhaps the ties between this film and the animated series were intended to be closer than one realises 40 years after the film and animated series was aired. This would explain those absurd oversized cartoon eyes on the beast. He was designed around the animated character of the cartoon series, hence Kong looks more "cartoony" than real. Then again, it could be that the Toho monster suit makers just suck at making ape suits. Dinosaurs, dragons, giant robots? No problemo. Anthing but a giant ape. Perhaps this is why they decided to use Godzilla instead of Kong in Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster. It finally dawned on Toho that ape costumes weren't a forte, and they decided to stick to their core concentration.
So, why did I title my review, "The Best Kong, Ever?". While I'm sure nobody will agree...
1. King Kong (1933). Classic, yes. But long, talky, dated (sorry, it is), takes too long to get going, plus we all know the ending.
2. Son of Kong - forgetable follow-up to the original, despite great FX work.
3. Godzilla vs King Kong - Really a Godzilla movie with Kong as the kaiju dujior.
4. King Kong Escapes - Old but not dated. Still a fun, vivid, colorful and most of all entertaining Kong adventure from the heyday of Toho-style Kaiju Eiga with what might be the most novel and exciting monster battle Toho ever staged on the Tokyo tower.
4. King Kong (1976) As dated today as the 1933 original, and mostly an insincere excersize in blockbuster hype than a genuine movie
5. King Kong Lives - yeah, right...
6. Kong Kong (2005) - Overblown, overrated, over-long, overbudgeted, over-hyped, over-serious, dated upon release, excessive in every way but NOT fun in any way 2005-style CGI-fest ego trip from Peter Jackson.
Fourty years later, I can still get a kick our of King Kong Escapes. Not sure I can say that (and some I definately can't) about any of the other Kong flicks. Though not without faults, it's the best by default. It's just fun, and has a certain charm about it which is utterly absent in most of the others."
Rankin & Bass Do King Kong
Joshua Koppel | Chicago, IL United States | 10/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Just as Rankin & Bass had tackled Tolkien before Jackson did, they also did a King Kong movie. Once again we have a remote island where Kong lives. He also meets a blonde beauty and falls in love. But this version has more. We have an evil villain who has constructed a giant robot Kong to aid him in his schemes. But the villain, Dr. Hu, discovers that the real Kong would work even better.
Now add some gorilla mind control, suitmation, miniature sets, and titanic battles between giants and you get an unforgettable epic (even if you want to forget it). The result is a film that fits somewhere between the original and a Godzilla film. Visually speaking the film is pure Godzilla-style and a credit to the Kaiju films of its day. While not as polished as some modern Kaiju films no Kaiju library should be without one. The dubbed dialogue actually adds to some of the fun as the villain gloats and compares the two Kongs. Check it out.
Ooooo, a bit shaky, but not the worst of Kong flicks....
Jerry C. Lewey | Everywhere | 03/27/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Let me be frank here, I'm not dogging the film really, it's just, it was EXTREMELY CHEESEY, which makes it great in a sense. And I love all 'Zilla flicks to include "Rodan", "Mothra", this one and whatever else Toho did. But this costume was really bad. His eyes were as blank as a piece of printer paper, and his posture had me literally laughing out loud. One scene in particular stands out. When he comes out of the cave and looks up at an airplane or chopper I think.
Also, he seemed a bit smaller than in Godzilla vs. King Kong. The scale-job done on this is pretty pitiful, which again makes it even more fun to watch I guess because you can't take this movie seriously like you would "Green Mile" "Schindler's List" or "Silence of the Lambs". I recommend this because I think anyone's kids would love this, as I did growing up watching all of the Godzilla flicks or just an old fan like myself.
It is better entertainment than the newest installment done by Peter Jackson and maybe more entertaining than the 1933 version simply because it is a bit slow and depressing by the end of it. I do sort of have a closet liking to the 1976 version the best of all King Kong movies. This might be a distant second or third. I own it, so should you if you like the old Godzilla movies from the 50's, 60's, and 70's."