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King Kong Escapes (1967)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

King Kong Escapes (1967) This King Kong remake/sequel begins with us being introduced to the crew of a submarine on a mission for the United Nations. There's a blonde nurse, Susan, and the leading man, Carl Nelson. He and a colleague are looking at drawings of Kong, a giant ape and they say the creature is not just a legend but a real creature. This huge anthropoid lives on "Mondo Island".

Meanwhile, at an Arctic hideout, a crazy looking mad scientist, complete with a shock of white hair, has created a mechanical Robot Kong. The robot is being used to mine "Element X", from which they can power a nuclear arsenal. His client is a mysterious Asian woman. They watch the robot do its work but the magnetic properties of the Element destroys its circuits.

The submarine gets damaged and so they have to surface near Mondo Island. Carl, Susan and another guy take a hovercraft over and are met by an old man who warns them to keep away. He tells them they are trespassing on Kong's island. The two guys leave Susan for a moment and this is when a T-Rex (Gorosaurus) shows up. Her screams wake up Kong, who picks her up and places her in a nearby tree. While Kong fights the dinosaur the trio attempt to go back to the sub but a giant sea snake shows up. Kong then fights the snake. Afterwards he goes to the sub and won't let it go until Susan comes out and talks to him. He releases the ship and returns to his island.

Once the sub is back in New York they have a press meeting at the United Nations, where that Asian woman is representing her country. She gets the idea to capture the real Kong so he can mine the "Element X". Before Nelson and the crew can send another expedition to Mondo island to study Kong and the prehistoric life the evil scientist captures him. They fit Kong with a control device and he works in the mine-but it only works for a short while until the radioactivity destroys the controls. Carl and Susan is captured when they track Kong down-and once Kong escapes the bad guys send the Robot Kong, now repaired, to fight him. Making things much more dire is that the Robot Kong grabs Susan-and Kong has to get her back.

Basically, this is a re-working of the original Kong movie, downplaying the "Beauty & the Beast" scenario and upping the giant monster factor. I had forgotten this was a Rankin-Bass Production, done in conjunction with Toho Films. KING KONG ESCAPES is an entertaining movie if you don't take it too seriously.

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