King Kong Lives

05/03/2017 16:38

Film: King Kong Lives

Year: 1986

Director: John Guillermin

Writer: Steven Pressfield and Ronald Shusett

Starring: Brian Kerwin, Linda Hamilton and Peter Elliot



This film begins showing us the end of the previous film. King Kong has been shot and has fallen from the World Trade Center.

We then shift two years into the future. King Kong did not die of his ordeal from the previous film. A doctor, played by Linda Hamilton, has created a fake heart that will replace the one that King Kong has, but the problem is he has lost too much blood. They cannot do the surgery so it looks like the giant ape is going to die.

The film then introduces us to the other main character, played by Brian Kerwin. He is an explorer and he is in Boreno. He goes to lie down in some grass and it starts to move. It turns out there is another giant ape, but this one is a girl that is dubbed Lady Kong. He then starts to shop her around to the highest bidder.

There are two doctors that work with Hamilton at the institute that are negotiating to buy the gorilla; they are played by Peter Michael Goetz and Frank Maraden. Hamilton tries to dissuade them from purchasing her; she just wants them to take some blood from her for a transfusion. She claims that having Lady Kong too close to King Kong while he is recovering could upset him and throw off his recovery. The doctors decide to go against her, thinking that if the surgery fails, they will still have a giant ape.

Hamilton performs the surgery and it is a success. Kerwin takes a liking to Hamilton, but she does not give him the time of day at first. She is also right that King Kong can hear and knows that Lady Kong is close by, even though she is miles from him. The same goes for Lady Kong as well. The setting up of a habitat for her is sped up and the day they are going to move her, she becomes agitated. This also upsets King Kong who escapes. He goes to her enclosure and frees her.

Together they flee into the countryside. At first, the military cannot find her. They call in John Ashton to oversee the capture of the apes. Kerwin and Hamilton team up to find them first. They end up falling for each other during this and they find the apes first as well. The military is close behind and tries to knock them out. They succeed in capturing Lady Kong.

Kerwin goes to Borneo to secure land for a preserve for the apes while Hamilton fights to see Lady Kong. King Kong has disappeared and no one has been able to find him. He is presumed dead, but Hamilton points out that a creature that size, a body should have been found. We learn that there is something wrong with Lady Kong as she will not eat or sleep. Hamilton fears she is dying.

King Kong is still alive and he is living by a swamp eating alligators. He is discovered by some locals who he scares into frenzy. All of the town’s hunters team up to try to capture or kill the ape themselves. Ashton is called back into action as well to take him down. Kerwin does return to the United States to inform them that a preserve has been set up; they just need to get them there.

Will King Kong be able to free his lady counterpart? Will she survive? What is wrong with her? Will Hamilton and Kerwin get the apes to Borneo or will Ashton or the hunters take care of him first?

I will lead off saying that I like that they created a Lady Kong for this film. I like that this one has a different type of story with King Kong having a mate and then he wants to protect her. I thought the fight scenes between King Kong and the military and against the hunters was pretty good as well. There is also a very brief nude scene of Hamilton if you are interested in that.

Now this film has a lot of issues that I found. The first being, this film should have probably never been made. I don’t think it is possible for King Kong to survive two years in the state that we saw him in at the end of the pervious film. I don’t mind the heart transplant idea, it is just there is no way he could survive as long as he did in the state he was in. I think the acting across the bad was not good. Kerwin and Hamilton really overact and they were not believable in this film. I had issues that no one could tell that Lady Kong was pregnant until the ending sequence. Apes are similar to humans in that they carry for roughly 9 months and go through a similar process. I also do not believe that Ashton would act how he did at the end of the film. He disobeys direct orders which are not believable for me for a person in his position.

I would have to say to avoid this film. The acting is not good. The story and concept are not bad, but I don’t feel that this film should have been made after what happens at the end of the first one. There are some major plot-holes that come up that the film just directly ignores that personally bothered me. The redeeming factor is watching King Kong defend Lady Kong and himself from the military and the crazed hunters. I would say to watch the original or even the remake is more worth your time, depending on the era of film you are interested in seeing.


My Rating: 4 out of 10