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King Kong Lives

3.4 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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(Nov 07, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Linda Hamilton, Brian Kerwin. The sequel to the '76 Kong, we find the great ape comatose in a Georgia lab awaiting an artificial heart and a blood donor. Luckily, Queen Kong is discovered in Borneo and is a blood match. Unluckily, after a successful surgery, the two escape. 1986/color/105 min/PG-13/fullscreen.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: John Ashton, Marc Clement
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Trinity Home Ent
  • DVD Release Date: November 7, 2006
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000787Z1M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,486 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I like watching all kinds of films, the good, the bad, and the ugly, with the belief that some redemptive value, a nugget of joy if you will, can be found, but sometimes I have to look very hard (the musical score was passable, albeit repetitive). I will say that I've seen King Kong Lives (1986) a while ago, so I knew the cinematic pain trip I was preparing to embark on prior to plugging this DVD into my player, but that didn't mean the experience was any less hurty...

Directed by John Guillermin (not surprisingly his last film, especially after his previous disastrous outings including the 1976 King Kong remake and 1984's flopfest Sheena), the film stars Linda Hamilton (2 years after her role in Cameron's sci-fi thriller The Terminator...after this film, her star quality plummeted, forcing her to work in television for the next four years). Although she was obviously the star in this film, she didn't even get top billing as the credits rolled...that went to the two male actors in the monkey suits. Also appearing are Brian Kerwin (Murphy's Romance), whose career seems to have yet fully recover from his role in this sequel to a film that should have never been made. and John Ashton (Beverly Hills Cop I & II).

As the film begins, we're treated to a recap of the final scenes of the '76 Kong film, where a man in the giant ape suit plummets to his death from atop the World Trade Towers, after being riddled with bullets...but wait! After this rehash is concluded, fast forward ten years and we learn that Kong didn't perish, but was secured away at some institute in Georgia resting comfortably in a comatose state...oh bruther...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The rumors of Kong's death have been greatly exaggerated. It takes more than the combined firepower of the city of New York to send him to the great beyond.

I confess, I liked this motion picture more than some other reviewers. When I heard that "KING KONG LIVES" I was afraid he'd just go after another white woman and end up being shot down off a tall building again. I know what it's like to be grossly misunderstood and mistreated by humans for being different. I also never trust sequels. So, I expected nothing and got more than I'd dreamed. It is worth seeing on late night TV. I mean, it's much better than most infomercials.

This movie starts with the premise that King Kong wasn't really killed when they brutally assaulted him in New York City and shot him down from the World Trade Center in the 1976 movie excellently reviewed elsewhere. Despite what we saw on the silver screen back then, the big guy was only injured. It turns out he has been kept alive lo these many years by top scientists. One wonders how they slapped together an I.C.U. of such massive proportions quickly enough to get him on life support and how they were able to smuggle him away from S.W.A.T. teams and planes and military folk that had just blasted thousands of rounds into him. You'd think the local authorities would have rolled that yellow crime scene tape around the area or something. It does take time to get one of those cop dudes to draw a chalk line around such an enormous shooting victim.

However, lest ye think that this is a PETA film where the massive beast will be returned to his native island and allowed to live out his life on his own terms, nothing could be further from the truth. It seems nobody learned the lesson.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this film the day it opened in 1986, and I still haven't recovered.
It is just so dissapointing and innexcusable how bad this movie is.
That said, let me move on and state that it has grown on me in recent years. But only after over a decade of staying away from it. I enjoyed SON OF KONG, KING KONG VS. GODZILLA, KING KONG ESCAPES
and the 1976 remake (especially the "lost" four hour TV version) and I felt that, despite shortcomings, they were true to the spirit of the original.
This is the exception. KING KONG LIVES is a direct sequel to the 76
version and starts with a replay of Kong's battle atop, and eventual fall from, the World Trade Center in New York. In hind sight this is really
a hiderence to the film, as I believe it would play better (especially today) without the baggage of the last movie attached to it. A tactic that worked with KING KONG VS. GODZILLA and KING KONG ESCAPES.
But, because of Kong's Injuries, we are forced to sit through a laughably silly giant artificial heart transplant, which plays like something out of a Bert I. Gordon movie. And then faced with the unbelievability of Kong's
absurdly fast recovery from a 10 year coma. There are a few memerable sequences that are impressive. Such as Kong's heroic rescues of his
mate, the pumelling of some seedy hunters and a climactic battle in which Kong throws some attacking tanks and jeeps around. But, the scene in which Kong hides out in a swamp and eats dime-store rubber
alligators will have you roaring. Also silly is a scene where Kong eludes his militant pursuers by jumping from a seemingly thousand foot rock cliff into a deep river and dissapears under water. This movie takes place in Louisiana!
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