Or rather... who couldn't?
While it's true that this movie is sillier than a kindergartener who has just discovered the vocal effects of helium, there are a few things going for it that make it watchable for its camp value. For one, it never takes itself all that seriously (after all, Kong's main villain is a robotic doppelganger of himself); for another this one reaches goofy heights not seen again until 1973's Godzilla Versus Megalon; and the number one reason to watch this blistering segment of shellacked foam rubber is that the chicks in this movie are hotter than "steamed hams"!!!
I'm not even joking about that last part, man! Hama Mie's Madame Piranha X is quite possibly the reason the term "Asian Fixation" was coined. Believe it or not, American expatriate fashion model (and Japanese Resident) Linda Miller (who brings us Lieutenant Susan Watson) is even hotter, man! Every time she graced the screen I kept singing George Michael's "Too Funky"... and I liked it. Amazing this is one of only two film appearances of hers!
The plot of King Kong Escapes is every bit as strong, compelling and credible as most Japanese Kaiju flicks out there! The Ultramega Fine Madame X hires the villain Dr. Who (note: Not the coolio British Time Traveler, but a recurring bad dude from The King Kong Show) to mine for her and her mother country (so she claims) a rare and radioactive element known as Element X (must be a relative). To this end Dr. Who employs his creation The Tardis to... Uh, I mean, he employs his creation Mechani-Kong: The King Kong Robot! He's big, strong, metal, superpowered and almost as reliable as a teenage laborer you've paid in advance. When that Kaiju answer to Clockwork Smurf inevitably breaks down like an '86 Audi, Who makes promises to his benefactor Madame XXX that there's no way he can keep.
Luckily a UN (isn't it always the UN) Submarine just happens to be on the way to visit our resident dude-in-a-gorilla suit for fun, profit, and a ripped off scene or five from the 1933 King Kong. Kong's home has been referred to as "Kong Island", "Skull Island", "Island of the Skull", "Island of Skull Mountain", and "Farou Island"... but the submarine is actually heading for "Mondo Island" in this one. Must be great for surfing. Now, does Kong keep moving to take advantage of some "First Month's Rent Free" deals? And if so... how did this Sub find his ass? Naturally that sub has to feature Linda Miller (if it hadn't I'd have turned it off by then... uh, no I wouldn't've). Linda's Susan Watson is in constant and increasing disbelief that Kong exists at all, and makes no qualms about repeating this fact time after time until his big fat hand picks her up. Even she's not so myopic that she can't accept his existence then!
What follows is a series of borrowed scenes from the original done by dudes in rubber suits with no Billy Bond or Tom of T.H.U.M.B. in sight! Sadly, it's not too long before our walking carpet (and his new friends) are all kidnapped by the Who... oh, I mean Dr. Who... to do his malevolent bidding. I guess Kong can't drink quite as much as he did in his last onscreen foray, because in this one... he's a MINER... get it? Who makes him Mine Element X? Ah? Ah? You don't get it? Oh... it wasn't funny. Okay, moving on!
I won't ruin it for you by telling you whether King Kong escapes or not, and luckily the English Title doesn't give it away at all. However, I will say that the battle between Kong and his metallic Dead Ringer is worth all your "guilty pleasure" time. Mechani-Kong's frozen robot face is actually more animated than the forlorn puss of Kong himself, especially when that "Heat Vision" toasts our hero like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man! Man, I tell you, if that visage tried to smile, it'd crack into a big pile of rubbery flakes!
I don't have to tell you that the "Special Effects" mostly consist of miniatures that remind one of the G.I. Joe USS Flagg coupled with toys that will soon grace some kid's sand box. The jokes are of the maturity of those told by Brent Spiner in season one of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The acting (even the Americans' voices are dubbed) is done for laughs. And, yes, I can tell you, this movie is a hell of a lot of fun. All in all it's actually a better movie than King Kong Versus Godzilla and even more fun to be silly with. Sadly, like its predecessor once the fun slap boxing match between the biggies really gets going, the credits roll. There is one more shot of Linda Miller in her Mini Skirt, though.
Aaaaaaaaaaaah! In millions of years when space explorers come to Earth to audit our cultural history they'll puzzle over movies like this not sure whether to lambaste our dramatic tastes or exalt our comedy stylings. Well, this and The Hills Have Eyes! Personally, I say, go for both. This is the exact style of movie that makes you want to shove cheese in your face, especially if you're drunk! It still manages Two Stars out of Five! So, until they at long last release "Stevie Washington: The Angry Youth! Born to Die! New York's New York! The turn of the century! ALL CRIME!" on DVD, I shall remain your humble and faithful servant who will see you in the next reel!
TOKYO's two Biggest Jackasses!
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