Friday, December 9, 2005


"America's Biggest Hero is back... and He is not happy."

While I may make a half-heated defense of DeLaurentis and Guillermin's '76 KING KONG, I can't do the same for their nigh-indefensible 1986 sequel, KING KONG LIVES.

The sequel no one asked for goes something like this: ten years after his fall from the World Trade Center – which apparently was not fatal, but did put him in a coma – Kong is revived by cutie scientist Linda Hamilton (THE TERMINATOR) by transplanting an artificial heart into his chest. At nearly the same time, cut-rate Indiana Jones wannabe Brian Kerwin finds a female giant ape in Africa, and brings her to the United States. You know this will end badly, right?

The screenplay from usually reliable genre scribe Ronald Shusett (ALIEN) is a campy mess that makes the '76 film look smart in comparison, and Guillermin's direction is uninspired, at best. The gorilla suits are adequate, but once again, the process work and miniatures are shoddy and amateurish. There is some camp value in seeing two guys in monkey suits make goo-goo eyes at each other, but that's about it.

20th Century Fox Home Video's DVD is another bare-bones release, featuring only a very sharp and pristine 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer and robust Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 stereo soundtracks. That's it.

For Kong kompletists only.

BUY: King Kong Lives