King Kong Escapes (1967) … Remembered
I’m not sure I wanted to remember this film when I turned it on tonight. This week’s Svengoolie non-masterpiece is King Kong Escapes, a Toho production from 1967. This is the first robot version versus Godzilla movie Toho did, a theme that they did better in Godzilla versus Mechagodzilla. Yeah, this movie is terrible.
It is really slow at the beginning, but a Mecha-Kong giant robot leaps into action quickly. The evil Dr. Who wants to retrieve the radioactive Element X from the Arctic ice, but his silly robot can’t do the job. Why a mad doctor would build a robot gorilla to dig up some rocks is beyond me. Anyway, the mad doctor is ticked off his over-the-top plan failed. Even bananas can’t revive Mecha-Kong.
Some of the military go looking for the real King Kong. The submarine commander luckily majored in King Kong studies in college and takes the team to a mysterious island to find Kong. One of the Japanese ladies has blonde hair and befriends King Kong by the middle of the movie. Yes, you heard right, the blonde-haired Japanese girl tames the strange-looking King Kong.
Not only does Susan the blonde Japanese chick tame Kong, but she trains him like a beagle. She teaches him to put her down and beat up dinosaurs. Really, she does. Anyway, King Kong assaults the submarine like a spoiled brat when they try to take Kong away, wanting more blonde chick. Blonde chick jumps to action and saves the day with her blondeness. She convinces Kong to help them.
Dr. Who orders a plane ticket for King Kong and takes him to the Arctic, evading the UN. He uses hypnosis to get King Kong to do what he wants. He laughs evilly. And has an evil drink of vodka. He doesn’t need his robot Kong anymore, because now he has the real thing.
King Kong hops to work and starts digging up Element X, but falls asleep after drinking too much the night before. When he wakes up, he rips out his hypnotic devices and decides that he is not hypnotized after all. He frowns and remembers how Dr. Who drugged his wine, so escapes and thus gives importance to the movie title of this stupid movie.
Dr. Who captures Susan and the submarine crew to use Susan’s blondeness to convince Kong to continue digging like a backhoe. But she resists, and gives King Kong time to hike from the Arctic, getting advice from some penguins on how to get to Tokyo. Dr. Who decides to unleash Robo-Kong to attack King Kong in Tokyo. Susan finds that her blondeness has no effect on Mecha-Kong and King Kong attacks to save her.
Mecha-Kong uses his heat-vision and superstrength to whap King Kong, but the big guy doesn’t give up and saves the city. Well, the parts that aren’t destroyed, anyway. King Kong tosses Mecha-Kong from the top of the Eiffel Tower and the machine breaks, revealing that even Dell computer parts couldn’t keep him going.
King Kong then plays drums on Dr. Who’s destroyer, ending the movie in a musical number. However, Dr. Who dies as his ship explodes and King Kong can only swim the backstroke to his island, forced to perform the musical by himself until the next stupid sequel.
Overall, this movie is terrible and boring. I only found it interesting because it starred Mie Hama, the bond girl from You Only Live Twice (1967). Anyway, this movie is pretty stupid except for those who are either Toho junkies or monster movie completests. I don’t think Toho used the same Godzilla music and sounds from their other Godzilla movies, which is pretty stupid. Stupid trivia tells us that the same guy who was in the Godzilla suit in most of the Toho movies makes King Kong possible here. All in all, a forgettable evening.