What do you get when you combine the monster, sci-fi & spy film genres, and toss in a bit of a cartoon series for good measure? The result is 1967’s King Kong Escapes, a co-production between Japan’s Toho studios & Rankin-Bass, the US animation company responsible for classics like Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer & Mad Monster Party. Based in part on the Rankin-Bass animated series The King Kong Show, the film features the evil Dr. Who (no relation to the title character of the long running BBC series) who has created a robot replica of Kong called Mechani-Kong. He’s using the robot to obtain an ore called “Element X” which will help his employer, Madame X, and her unnamed country, make weapons that will enable them to..…you guessed it….RULE THE WORLD. Meanwhile a submarine commanded by Carl Nelson (Rhodes Reason, brother of Rex, star of This Island Earth) ) gets waylaid while on a mission for the UN, and ends up at Mondo Island, the real Kong’s home. Nelson & his crew have an up close & personal encounter with Kong. The big, furry guy takes a shine to Lt. Susan Watson (Linda Miller), and battles a couple of giant creatures in order to protect her. Our stalwart heroes barely escape the island alive.
Back at villain central, the bad guys have a problem: the radioactivity in Element X has fried Mechani-Kong's circuits. So what’s a super-villain to do? Dr. Who sets out to find the real Kong and bring him back to his Arctic lair, so he can use the giant ape to mine the ore. Of course, it’s inevitable that the bad guys will cross paths with our heroes. And in true pulp movie fashion, we discover Dr. Who is an old nemesis of Nelson’s. When the nefarious villain successfully captures Kong, he has trouble controlling him, and kidnaps Susan (along with the rest of the sub's command crew) in order to control the lovelorn ape. The beautiful but deadly Madame X tries to use her charms to get Nelson to turn to the dark side, but has little success. Of course, an angry & not so complacent Kong escapes (hence the title), a repaired Mechani-Kong is sent after him by Dr. Who, and a battle of titans ensues in Tokyo, with Susan in the middle. Can Kong rescue his lady love and save the day? Will Tokyo get stomped once again? You have seen one of these films before, right? ;)
|A blogger meets Kong's lady friend:|
With co-star Linda Miller at Chiller Con in April 2015