TALKBACK: King Kong Escapes

Godzilla wasn't the only daikaiju to go stomping through Asia! From Rodan and Mothra to Yongarry and Gappa, discuss other JAPANESE/ASIAN kaiju films here!

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TALKBACK: King Kong Escapes

Postby lhb412 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:22 pm

I love this movie. When people mention another Honda kaiju-centric picture outside the holy trinity (Gojira - Mothra - Rodan) and the subsequent Godzilla franchise they usually mention War of the Gargantuas, which is technically a superior film to King Kong Escapes... but I can't help it. I love KKE a bit more. There's just an infectious joy with it that evokes '60s genre films and TV. It feels like there was a film series called 'Commander Nelson: Action Scientist' (a ridiculously macho, square-jawed type and his over-the-top, character actor having a ball evil genius arch enemy!) and we're just seeing the one movie that was a King Kong crossover.

Commander Nelson: Action Scientist is clearly assembled from choice bits of Johnny Quest, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, and James Bond.

The style, the sets and clothes, is just fab. This is so '60s and I love it.

It's interesting the way Kong's persona evolves on film and what it says about the times these films came out. Here we're deep into the era of the monster kids turning their fearsome favorites into toy heroes, and that's what Kong is here. This is the film of King Kong the superhero, the one who doesn't die but rides into the sunset.

This film also has a special significance to me because it was the only non-Godzilla Toho film I saw as a very little kid besides Rodan. The image of Kong in a giant jail cell really made an impression on me, and I drew many a picture of Kong in captivity.
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Postby Shonokin » Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:22 pm

I agree, it's a great movie for all the reasons you've mentioned. I wonder if the giant cage scenerio might've been inspired by Gekko Kamen's "Mammoth Kong" which has a very similar giant cagen in the first episode of that story.
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Postby Shin_Edda_Robo!!!!! » Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:26 pm

I absolutely loved the sense of scale in this movie. It felt like a big tokusatsu film. Bigger than most of the 60s Godzilla films, and I think the only 60s Toho Kaiju entry that tops this level of scale, is Mothra.
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Postby lhb412 » Sun Jun 16, 2013 5:39 pm

^We're in the remote Pacific, then in New York*, back to the remote Pacific, then at the North Pole, then - everyone to Tokyo for the finale! I understand scope means more than just distance, nevertheless, a lot of ground is covered!


*I love the part at the U.N. where Commander Nelson casually comments about how stupid it would be to bring Kong to a place like NY and that they were going to study him in his natural habitat. I don't think I ever caught that joking meta-reference before.
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Postby MekaGojira3k » Sun Jun 16, 2013 9:35 pm

I just watched this last night. I adore this movie. It's easily my favorite King Kong film. So much works. I'm not fond of the Kong suit in this, but it's really my only flaw with the film. A flaw that the other film overcomes and overshadows with all of its greatness.

Also, it has the two prettiest ladies in all of the Toho-verse.
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Postby Shin_Edda_Robo!!!!! » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:15 am

Really liked all the performances in this movie. Akira Takarada in the role of a navy officer was quite different than what I've seen him in before.
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Postby MouthForWar » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:39 am

I can't really add much to this. This movie rocks. I remember it being pretty elusive when I was growing up in the early 90s, since it didn't have a video release. The only time I ever saw it was the Sci-Fi Channel... (my first copy of this movie was recorded off there when they did their "It Started With Godzilla" week; I still have that tape, although I cut out the commercials (which I kinda wish I hadn't for nostalgia's sake). By the way, don't you guys miss when Sci-Fi would do those themed weeks where they'd show a corresponding film every night during the week?

Man, I miss old Sci Fi Channel so much. :(
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Postby Shin_Edda_Robo!!!!! » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:00 am

It makes me sad whenever I think of old Sci Fi channel. Saturday Anime. Kaiju movies once in a while. Old sci fi films.

Just not the same anymore.
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Postby Xenorama » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:26 am

http://xenorama.blogspot.com/2009/12/mo ... aurus.html

my story of first seeing this movie (well, mostly it's about Gorosaurus, but what the heck, right?).
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Postby king_ghidorah » Mon Jun 17, 2013 9:53 am

Such a glorious movie. Easily one of the best Toho has ever made.
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Postby klen7 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:37 am

Linda Miller ::swoons::
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Postby sentaison » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:49 pm

I had seen this movie several times on tv as a kid but had mostly forgotten about it until Sci-Fi showed it. I got the dvd and watched it with a friend of mine who has always been a Godzilla fan but hadn't seen (or even knew the existance of) many of Toho's non-G films. He was absolutely blown away by it and expressed sadness that there weren't more Toho Kong films.
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Postby jellydonut25 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:15 pm

If this movie didn't have the worst looking Kong of all time, my love for it would be unabashed. It's not even the design so much (I like the big eyes, makes him more of a cartoonish hero), it's the suit itself...it's really terrible, especially when it's wet.

But it's such a fun movie, it's really a shame I never saw it as a kid, because I would have loved it so much. There's plenty of monster action, and engaging characters, and bright shiny colors, it's the Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (or maybe Son of Godzilla, if you prefer) of the King Kong universe.

Shin_Edda_Robo!!!!! wrote:Really liked all the performances in this movie. Akira Takarada in the role of a navy officer was quite different than what I've seen him in before.
It's quite the change of pace from his role as a naval officer in Gojira, isn't it? :wink:
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Re: TALKBACK: King Kong Escapes

Postby Russzilla » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:05 am

Easily one of the best Toho kaiju movies made. This was a favorite of mine as a kid watching it on Creature Double Feature a number of times. There are a number of shots of Mecha Kong that I love and his performance in the film is very good. It is also one of the best dubbed Toho movies also. I like it so much that I haven't even watched the original Japanese version yet. Ever.
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Re:

Postby Russzilla » Tue Dec 03, 2013 3:12 am

jellydonut25 wrote:If this movie didn't have the worst looking Kong of all time, my love for it would be unabashed. It's not even the design so much (I like the big eyes, makes him more of a cartoonish hero), it's the suit itself...it's really terrible, especially when it's wet.


It's a shame that Toho just couldn't get the hang of making ape suits. No problems with designing other monster suits, but man, those Kong suits. :roll: Just look in the Guess the Godzilla image thread to remind yourselves. :lol:
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Re: TALKBACK: King Kong Escapes

Postby Dr Kain » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:31 pm

I haven't seen this movie in years and most of it has to do with Universal not giving us the original Japanese version. The last time I saw it was off of a VHS tape as my dad had recorded the movie back when TNT aired it during the mid 90s. I remember it being pretty cool and Mecha Kong was interesting. There is not much I can say of the movie outside of that though.
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Re: TALKBACK: King Kong Escapes

Postby klen7 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:14 pm

it also stars the adorable Linda Miller ::swoon::
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Re: TALKBACK: King Kong Escapes

Postby Dr Kain » Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:36 pm

klen7 wrote:it also stars the adorable Linda Miller ::swoon::


Was that the name of the blonde girl in the movie?
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Re: TALKBACK: King Kong Escapes

Postby klen7 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:31 pm

That was the name of the adorable blonde actress that played LT Susan Watson.. ::swoons::
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Re: TALKBACK: King Kong Escapes

Postby king_ghidorah » Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:29 pm

This is probably a top five kaiju film for me. Perfect.
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Re: TALKBACK: King Kong Escapes

Postby Gwangi » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:41 pm

Saw this movie many times in the 70s (thanks to KHJ Channel 9 in Los Angeles), but would not see it again until it resurfaced in the 90s on TBS or TNT and I ended up taping it and it was that version that I had until it finally came out on DVD in 2005.

The Kong suit is better here than in KK vs. G. But it was Gorosaurus and Mecha Kong that looked impressive.

Had this movie been done in the 1950s as a Hollywood production, it would have been a good bet that Nelson and Watson would have been the love interest, while they would have paired Jiro with Madame X. It is refreshing that Toho decided to mix it up.
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Re: TALKBACK: King Kong Escapes

Postby lhb412 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:40 pm

Gwangi wrote:The Kong suit is better here than in KK vs. G. But it was Gorosaurus and Mecha Kong that looked impressive.


I was just thinking about why I like Kong so much more in this one. I realized it wasn't just the better suit: it's Nakajima's far superior performance in the suit.

Had this movie been done in the 1950s as a Hollywood production, it would have been a good bet that Nelson and Watson would have been the love interest, while they would have paired Jiro with Madame X. It is refreshing that Toho decided to mix it up.


Great points.
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Re: TALKBACK: King Kong Escapes

Postby kiryugoji04 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:46 am

klen7 wrote:That was the name of the adorable blonde actress that played LT Susan Watson.. ::swoons::


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Re: TALKBACK: King Kong Escapes

Postby Russzilla » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:43 pm

lhb412 wrote:
Gwangi wrote:The Kong suit is better here than in KK vs. G. But it was Gorosaurus and Mecha Kong that looked impressive.


I was just thinking about why I like Kong so much more in this one. I realized it wasn't just the better suit: it's Nakajima's far superior performance in the suit.

Had this movie been done in the 1950s as a Hollywood production, it would have been a good bet that Nelson and Watson would have been the love interest, while they would have paired Jiro with Madame X. It is refreshing that Toho decided to mix it up.


Great points.

Excellent points. On both subjects. This was also one of the best English dubbed Toho kaiju movies. I hope this title gets a dual language release one day, but even if it doesn't, the English dub still holds its own.
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Re: TALKBACK: King Kong Escapes

Postby Russzilla » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:51 pm

Gwangi wrote:Had this movie been done in the 1950s as a Hollywood production, it would have been a good bet that Nelson and Watson would have been the love interest, while they would have paired Jiro with Madame X. It is refreshing that Toho decided to mix it up.

Not only did Toho have an excellent core of actors and actresses back in the Showa Era, but they also made some great casting of Americans in their kaiju movies. Rhodes Reason and Linda Miller were very good in their respective roles. (and I liked the budding romance between Jiro and Lt. Watson) It's too bad Toho couldn't carry this into the Heisei and Millennium Era movies as those American actors were horrible.
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