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King Kong Lives

King Kong Lives (1986) Movie Poster
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  •  USA  •    •  105m  •    •  Directed by: John Guillermin.  •  Starring: Peter Elliott, George Antoni, Brian Kerwin, Linda Hamilton, John Ashton, Peter Michael Goetz, Frank Maraden, Alan Sader, Lou Criscuolo, Marc Clement, Richard Rhodes, Larry Souder, Ted Prichard.  •  Music by: John Scott.
        A giant ape King Kong, which was shot and fell off the Empire State Building, appears to be alive, but is in coma for 10 years and desperately needs a blood transfusion in order to have an artificial heart implanted. Suddenly, in the rainforest, another gigantic ape is found - this time a female. She is brought to the USA, and the heart is successfully implanted. But then King Kong, having felt a female ape, breaks loose...

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Review:

Image from: King Kong Lives (1986)
Image from: King Kong Lives (1986)
Image from: King Kong Lives (1986)
Image from: King Kong Lives (1986)
Image from: King Kong Lives (1986)
Image from: King Kong Lives (1986)
Image from: King Kong Lives (1986)
Image from: King Kong Lives (1986)
Image from: King Kong Lives (1986)
Image from: King Kong Lives (1986)
Image from: King Kong Lives (1986)
Image from: King Kong Lives (1986)
Image from: King Kong Lives (1986)
Image from: King Kong Lives (1986)
Image from: King Kong Lives (1986)
Image from: King Kong Lives (1986)
Image from: King Kong Lives (1986)
Image from: King Kong Lives (1986)
KING KONG LIVES is a great example of a big budget yet total ineptness throughout. While schlock directors like Ed Wood, Arch Hall and Al Adamson can make really bad films, their budgets are minuscule. Here, however, with a big budget the producers show that they can produce a film every bit as bad. That's a great great return on your money, folks!

This is also one of those films whose concept is so bizarre and dumb you wonder how it ever got made in the first place. First, considering how much of an enormous box office bomb the previous version of KING KONG was, you'd be amazed to see this this is a sequel! Second, the entire idea just makes no sense at all. This sequel begins as you see Kong falling to his death at the end of KING KONG (1976). But, despite falling a bazillion stories AND being machine gunned repeatedly, KING KONG LIVES expects us to accept that the giant ape DID NOT DIE!!! And, here's the weirdest part folks, some evil rich guy has been paying to keep the ape on life support in a warehouse for a decade!!! Why?!? This NEVER is explored in the least. And, after the nasty simian destroys New York, this guy has the idea of trying to revive this beast!?!

In contrast to the evil industrialist (and aren't they all in these sort of films?!), you have the dedicated people (the doctor who saved Kong and the man who discovered a female Kong) who want to save the ape and return it to the wild--sort of like that kid from ET. And, when the military comes into the film, you KNOW that they are evil and only want to kill. So, it's the two innocent idiots who have to battle the unfeeling idiots who want to kill Kong and his new lady love (yes, folks, there are now TWO giant apes in this film). So, despite Linda Hamilton (who really seems to have a thing for big hairy guys) and some other jerk armed only with pluck, they are able to sneak past a bazillion idiot soldiers and the forces of the evil idiot rich dude...and save the day. In the process, the cars and trucks of the evil rich dude inexplicably run into each other and instantly explode in flames--thus enabling the apes and the only two who understand and care to escape.

One of my favorite awful scenes was right after this when the male and female apes escape. They are now in the wild and are at a place called "Honeymoon Ridge"--at which place, naturally, the now adorable aminals start cooing and falling in love! Oh, this is stupid and I couldn't help but groan...and laugh. And, when the two ape-lovers happen upon them, guy what happens next?! Yes, they, too, are smitten and inspired by the apes' pure and innocent love!

A short time later, the evil military mess up this perfect love and manage to gas the female ape to sleep. This works very, very well. So, when Kong shows up a minute later, they barely even try to put him to sleep as well but throw bombs and stuff at him--and really ticking him off in the process. Why didn't they also just put Kong to sleep as well and transport them to a sanctuary or a zoo or to Disney's Animal Kingdom?! So, given that the two lovers are separated, is what happens next really much of a surprise?! However, I was surprised to see that Kong survived by hiding out and eating alligators--and later, even people. The ape appears to be a giant gorilla--and gorillas are vegetarians. Also, the forest where Kong and Mrs. Kong hied out appears to be some place like Idaho or Colorado. Which begs the question "what are giant rubber alligators doing in this part of the United States?!?".

Now I noticed that this movie won a Razzie award for its special effects and I actually think this is unfair. The ape suits were not that bad and the special effects are actually the best thing about this terrible film. I do agree with the Razzie book (which I own) that it is a great movie to see because it is so laughably bad, but the award seemed misplaced. To have given an award for writing, directing or even acting would have seemed a lot more appropriate because of the silly lovemaking that occurred between the apes--now THAT was dumb! But the costumes weren't that bad for 1986 (other than Baby Kong's--whose was truly terrible). Also, in the film's defense, while the film was 100% stupid, it looked good--with good camera-work and decent effects. But, at heart, despite this, it was still incredibly dumb.

And, speaking of the love of two apes, apparently the two apes can meet, have sex and have a baby all in the space of a day or two. Wow, those giant apes work fast!! And, with no amniotic fluid, placenta or mess whatsoever!! And, oddly, the baby turns out to be about the size of a normal gorilla--making me wonder who the father REALLY was!!! Apparently, Mrs. Kong was quite the slut! By the way, apparently the people inside the Mr. and Mrs. Kong's outfits were both guys. This makes the amazing childbirth scene all the more amazing!!!

Oh, and the only good scene in the entire dreadful film involves Kong ripping some dumb redneck in half and then eat another. It's dumb but kinda cool as well. Although, it's pretty sad if this is the BEST thing the film has to offer! It's also interesting because the ape only appears to eat bad people--despite man chances to eat others, it only eats these rednecks who deserved it!


Review by planktonrules from the Internet Movie Database.

 

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