King Kong Lives (1986)

First off, yes, there is a KING KONG LIVES. Second, no, I'm not lying. How or why this ever came into existence is beyond me, but the film serves as a direct sequel to the 1976 remake. In it, a university revives Kong using an artificial heart and a blood transfusion from a lady Kong that coincidentally was just found in Borneo. The doctor and adventurer that saved the apes must try to stop the government from destroying them after they escape to find freedom. It's downright amazing that they managed to stretch this one past the 90m mark. The plot goes no where, and the script resorts to poor self-parody in order to keep the audience interested. There are several asinine moments where redneck weekend warriors try to hunt down Kong, and he ends up ripping one in half and eating the other in a moment that will live on in green-screen infamy. While the costuming is still pretty good, the direction of the apes is just off. At times, they are convincing and run on all fours, but at others the two interact like humans and seem to kiss and hug in all sorts of lameness. Linda Hamilton and some dude deliver average performances, but they have to compete with the awfulness that is everyone else. The one thing I will commend the filmmakers on is the miniature set design, which has been crafted very well and offers a high degree of believability. I'd say this film was a missed opportunity, but c'mon, whose idea was it to sequelize KING KONG?? It's like making a sequel to OLD YELLER.

Rating: 5/10.
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  1. I do have to say three words to your comment about not 'sequelizing' Kong: Son of Kong. They made this movie as a direct sequel to the original way back in the day. I should know, I already reviewed it on my page.

    But yes, this movie sucks. The whole film is about King Kong needing a heart transplant because he was shot full of holes. Yes, that's all you need. The ape masks look goddamn ridiculous here too.

  2. It is a tough flick to get through. Definitely was just $$$ in the eyes of the studio.

  3. See heres the thing, SON OF KONG to me makes sense, since at least they had the sense to introduce a new Kong. But to turn the original Kong (who should have been liquidized by the fall let alone the bullet holes) into a cybernetic freak should only have been made as a farce. On my page. Fail.

  4. I agree, Carl. Made no sense to make a Kong sequel using the main Kong character.

  5. I caught this in a mostly empty theater upon its initial release. I enjoy it for what it is, a big dumb action movie. On that it succeeds. It's very silly and I assume unintentionally so.

    I enjoyed it more than the first one from Guillermin. The only part that really stood out as laughable to me was the scene wherein baby alligators are substituted as full sized ones when Kong gets hungry in the swamp.

  6. I love the alligator munching, that is by far some of the most ridiculous editing I have ever seen =D