King Kong Escapes
(aka King Kong's Counterattack
) is a 1967 film coproduced by Toho
Co. Ltd and Rankin/Bass Productions. A loose adaptation of The King Kong Show
cartoon series, it was the last time Toho was able to use the King Kong character. This film is notable for the King Kong suit not being in great shape and the introduction of Gorosaurus, who would go on to become a major character in Destroy All Monsters
. By the way, it's not a sequel to King Kong vs. Godzilla
due to the Kong suit used in this film.
On the payroll of a unknown Asian country, Evil Genius
Dr. Who builds Mechani-Kong
in order to harvest Element X
, but the radioactivity shuts the robot down. Meanwhile, the submarine of Commander Carl Nelson is damaged, giving him, Lt. Commander Jiro Nomura, and Lt. Susan Watson the opportunity to investigate Mondo Island's legend of King Kong. Susan gets left behind and gets attacked by Gorosaurus
. King Kong comes to her defense, and Susan and the others flee to the submarine. Susan manages to persuade Kong to let them leave, and this becomes worldwide news. Dr. Who and the other catch wind of this, deciding to kidnap Kong and later the trio in order to dig up Element X. Kong could withstand the radiation but couldn't be mind controlled, and he flees toward Tokyo. Susan and the others manage to escape Dr. Who, who sends Mechani-Kong after Kong. With Susan captured by Mechani-Kong, Kong is determined to rescue her in a battle on Tokyo Tower...
The film provides examples of
- Disney Villain Death: Mechani-Kong, and a rather brutal one at that when you think about it.
- Even Evil Has Standards: As the representative of her country, Madame X wanted Element X so her people could become a nuclear power like America and the USSR. She had little qualms with contacting a dubious group like Dr. Who's, nor of their less than legal methods. She puts her foot down when the heroes and later the ordinary citizens of Japan are endangered. There's the pragmatic side of not having her country cause an international incident, but she risks her life to stop Dr. Who's destructive ways.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Gorosaurus. This was his debut film, as well as that his role in the film was just to act as the T-Rex for Kong to fight.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Madame X, who dies destroying the controls for Mechani-Kong.
- High Heel-Face Turn: Madame X, who seemed keen on pampering the heroes into cooperation and found endangering ordinary citizens abhorrent. She was also the only visible woman antagonist in the entire film.
- Humongous Mecha: Mechani-Kong.
- Jaw Breaker: Kong degeats the Gorosaurus by breaking its jaw.
- Mind-Control Device: Used on King Kong in order for him to dig for Element X, and was later attached to Mechani-Kong at the film's climax.
- Name's the Same: Dr. Who, who has no connection to the BBC character more properly known as the Doctor (though the cinematic version of the evil genius looks a little like the William Hartnell incarnation). Recently some fans have claimed that the character's real name is "Dr. Hu", and a translation or transliteration error was responsible for "Dr. Who"; among other things, this theory ignores the fact that this Dr. was created by American writers for an initially American audience and made his debut in an English-language cartoon.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Never threaten Susan in front of Kong... EVER.
- Ship Tease: Jiro and Susan are hinted to have a bit of a romance going on. Jiro is the one whose ready to save her when she's in danger.
- Yellow Peril: If this film hadn't been made in Japan, Dr. Who would be a textbook Yellow Peril villain. Since everyone in the movie is Asian, however, he ends up being just regular peril.
- Although, it IS based on an American cartoon...