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.