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 »ent for his mysterious benefactor, Madame X. When the robot proves less than reliable, the devious duo scheme to kidnap the real Kong from his remote island home of Mondo. But interfering with their plans are the heroic trio of U.S. Cmdr. Carl Nelson, Lt. Jiro Nomura, and Kong's current crush, Lt. Susan Miller. It's up to them to outwit the greedy ape-nappers in this sci-fi adventure that takes Kong to unprecedented heights of excitement.« less
Schuylar L. (schuym1) from SIOUX CITY, IA Reviewed on 7/8/2018...
The evil Dr. Who creates a mecha King Kong to dig for Element X in the Arctic. Dr. Who's robot proves to be a failure, compared to the real thing when it collapses. Dr. Who then sets his sights on capturing the real King Kong, and people from the United Nations must stop him. This movie is really cheesy, but fun with a genre blend of kaiju movies and spy movies. The villainous Dr. Who steals his scenes and is a joy to watch. The English dub on this DVD is actually pretty good. There is no way to escape either a Japanese dub or an English dub because it was a combined production from both countries. There are some pretty good people in suit fights - with King King fighting a dinosaur, a sea serpent, and then the mecha King Kong at the end of the film.
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."
A. Griffiths | London | 01/22/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've been trawling through the very worst of the King Kong wannabe movies that the world has produced and I am glad to say that this one is a real hoot. It's lots of fun to watch if you don't take it seriously and just enjoy the silliness.
The plot is pretty daft to say the least. An evil genius called Dr Who has created a robot King Kong which he intends to put to work excavating a rare ore called "Element X", at the request of a mysterious ambassador from an unnamed "certain country", who is willing to pay hefty sums of money for it. At the same time, a UN submarine runs into trouble (I forget why) and the crew find themselves on a remote island called Mondo island, which just happens to be the home of the REAL King Kong. Dr Who finds all this out somehow (I forget that bit too) and decides to capture Kong to take over the digging work from the robot Kong who has somehow malfunctioned. It's then action all the way as the UN crew try to thwart the evil Dr Who and the two Kongs fight it out together over Tokyo.
Well as you can probably tell, the plot didn't make enough sense for me to remember the details, in fact it has massive holes in logic all over the place. But the fun comes from the big monkey antics of course, and there are plenty of these. You better realise up front that the King Kong you will see here is light years away from a realistic looking gorilla. With a big lumpy suit, an immobile plasticky looking head and seams showing all over the fur costume, this Kong is a laugh a minute. But I don't wish to completely insult him - despite his big glassy eyes (complete with papery eyelids that actually blink!) and fang filled mouth, this Kong actually has real character. I don't know why, but I found him a pleasure to watch in every scene. Certainly a hell of a lot better than the monkey mistakes in films like "A*P*E", "The Mighty Gorga", "King Kong Lives" or "The Mighty Peking Man" (oh yes, I've seen them all!), this might be down to the skills of the guy in the costume because as crazy as it sounds, I actually believed this Kong had a real personality. Albeit a dopey and easily confused one.
But anyway, lets move on to other highlights of the film. Sadly, "King Kong Escapes" does not even TRY to deviate from all the cliches that these wannabe films seem to keep re-using. Witness if you will, Kong saving the heroine from a T-Rex, placing her in a tree while he battles the monster, and killing it by pulling it's jaw apart. Watch as Kong scales a tall tower in the final, with the heroine, again perched precariously on the high ledge. I mean, come on! It really can't be that hard to think up something new!
The ridiculous script is what really annoyed me. Several times the heros are captured by Dr Who and imprisoned, then let go, then rounded up again, then left to escape, then chased again, while the mysterious ambassador from a "certain country" swaps loyalties between Dr Who and the good guys but is left entirely free to do as she pleases in the Who compound, simply releasing our heros when she feels like it. In one crazy scene, the Who crew even leave the keys to the prisoners handcuffs lying on a table and the cell door wide open - convenient eh? The dialogue is also laughable - the dubbing doesn't help, and many of the lines that the actors are reading out are pure nonsense. And poor Linda Miller, who plays the heroine (and Kong's love interest, naturally) has the worst possible voice for a female lead, seemingly dubbed by Chuckie from "Rugrats"!
But it all adds up to silly fun and certainly never gets boring. Even in the slightly duller moments you can marvel at Dr Who's disgusting brown, gappy teeth (can't evil genius's afford dentists?) and the kitsch 60's fashions (Linda Miller's outfits are pretty cool - some submarine doctor's uniform that is!). I enjoyed this a lot and I think others will too."