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King Kong Lives

4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Brian Kerwin, Linda Hamilton, Peter Elliott, George Antoni, John Ashton
  • Directors: John Guillermin
  • Writers: Edgar Wallace, Merian C. Cooper, Ronald Shusett, Steven Pressfield
  • Producers: Dino De Laurentiis, Lucio Trentini, Martha De Laurentiis
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG-13
  • Studio: Fox Video
  • Release Date: April 19 2005
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002B15WY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,039 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

From the Studio

A giant ape King Kong, which was shot and fell off the Empire State Building, appears to be alive, but is in coma for 10 years and desperately needs a blood transfusion in order to have an artificial heart implanted. Suddenly, in the rainforest, another gigantic ape is found - this time a female. She is brought to the USA, and the heart is successfully implanted. But then King Kong, having felt a female ape, breaks loose. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LP Quagmire on Feb. 26 2009
Format: DVD
"King Kong Lives," the ads proclaimed loudly in December, 1986, "and he is NOT happy!" Filmgoers though, couldn't have been more thrilled, and stormed theaters en masse to see the great ape's return.
They weren't disappointed. Prior to the film's release, however, the naysayers were out in full force. After all, the 1976 KING KONG was an unassailable classic, a noble and poetic masterpiece, the most fantastic expression of Beauty & The Beast ever filmed. How could this new film expect to follow such a cherished, cultural and cinematic touchstone, and more importantly, how could it do anything but cheapen it's legacy?
All misgivings were quickly disspelled when the film finally hit the multiplexes. After a dramatic recounting of Kong's tumble from the World Trade Center at the end of the original film, (complete with cameos by stars Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange, neither of whom appear to have aged a day), we fast-forward ten years later to discover Kong has indeed survived his plunge from New York's tallest skyscraper, and we find him comatose at a privately-funded research facility, awaiting a heart transplant...
I wouldn't dare give away more than that. Brimming with remarkable special-effects wizardry, KING KONG LIVES is a true entertainment spectacular and, in a rare feat, has become every bit as legendary as its illustrious predecessor. Even though Rick Baker chose not to don the monkeysuit for the sequel, it's virtually impossible to distinguish this ape from the '76 model, and that's as it should be. The near-documentary quality of the effects proved so convincing that many people reportedly ran screaming from the theater in shock and terror.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAME on June 23 2004
Format: DVD
"King Kong Lives" is so boring that even pre-schoolers will probably get up and wander out of the room on this one to go play with a cardboard box or watch paint dry. It is one thing to make a sequel to a splatter flick where Michael/Jason/Freddy constantly comes back from the dead, but another thing to try and put the same trick with King Kong. Thousands of people die around the world each year because of heart attacks, but working on an artificial heart for a 50-foot ape who has been in a coma for ten years seemed like a good idea to heart specialist Amy Franklin (Linda Hamilton). Meanwhile, in the jungles of Borneo big game hunter Hank Mitchell (Brian Kerwin) finds a female Kong. This is good news because she can provide the blood Kong needs during the operation (let us all think about the world's biggest by-pass machine). Amy falls for Hank because they have so much in common, while the two apes do the same. Needing privacy, Kong and his love flee into the woods where the Army proceeds to hunt them down. The movie makes it seem like it only took the army a couple of days to hunt down two 50-foot apes running loose in the wild, but it must have been many, many months because when the Army catches up with them the female Kong is in labor.
This movie is jaw-droppingly bad. But given that Jessica Lange survived the original "King Kong" remake and Linda Hamilton had some success after this turkey, there is really no reason for any young actress to ever turn a role in one of these films, no matter how bad the script. King Kong's leading ladies do pretty well. The gap between the original "King Kong" and the remake is certainly a lot closer than "King Kong Lives" and the original sequel, "Son of Kong.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By falcon on Feb. 2 2008
Format: DVD
my sister and i watched this sequel to the 1976 version of KIng
Kong.and we actually both liked it.sure it's no masterpiece and i
didn't like it quite as much as King Kong,but i did find it
entertaining and fun.i felt it was on a smaller scope than KIng
Kong(1976) and less serious,on my opinion,but it wasn't half
bad.true,the dialogue won't win any awards,and the acting could have
been better,but there was plenty of action and excitement.the story is
bit of a stretch for sure,but if you don't take it too seriously,you
might enjoy it for what it is:an action packed,entertaining 90 minutes
or so.and it might make you forget about life for awhile.for me,King
Kong Lives is a 3.5/5
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Travis Hosey on Feb. 7 2004
Format: VHS Tape
This sequel to the 1976 remake of King Kong is pure cheese, but very entertaining for monster fans! I found it more entertaining than King Kong (1976), and not as long and drawn out as the latter movie.
Highly recommended if you can get a copy of it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 69 reviews
65 of 81 people found the following review helpful
Two men in ape suits 'feel like making love...' Dec 8 2004
By cookieman108 - Published on
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...also, Kong is in need of a heart transplant, as the visage of a giant, artificial heart is shown suspended by a crane (who the heck is financing this endeavor, and why?) Problem is, before Dr. Amy Franklin (Hamilton) can perform the operation (remember that Seinfeld episode where George hit the squirrel, and his girlfriend made him take it to the vet, and the vet said they needed special, tiny tools to operate? Well here they need the really big, honking tools...), they need a compatible blood donor. Well, it's a good thing entrepreneur Hank Mitchell (Kerwin) conveniently just happened to find a equally large Queen Kong (how do we it's female? She has giant monkey breasts, of course...kill me now) in the jungles of Borneo, and was able to come to terms with institute with regards to price (surprisingly, a bunch of natives were able to take the creature down with blowguns, and yet the U.S. military, as we'll later see, is unable to stop and equally sized Kong with a barrage of bullets and artillery fire...whatever). So the female Kong is brought to the institute, despite Amy's misgivings (she feels a female Kong will drive the male nutty coco puffs, hindering his recovery) and the operation is a success, only Kong escapes, hooks up with the female Kong, and both run off into the Georgia mountains (to a place called Honeymoon Ridge...I'm serious, kill me NOW) where they consummate their burgeoning relationship as only two guys in monkey suits can...ewww[...] Now with the military, lead by the gung-ho Col. Nevitt (Ashton) hot on their giant, hairy heels, Amy and Hank (who have since become romantically involved, mirroring the relationship between King and Queen Kong) have their work cut out for them, in trying to save this gruesome twosome.

I think most of us are familiar with the fact that sequels rarely live up to their predecessors, and this film is no exception. After De Laurentiis' remake (more aptly bastardization) of the original film, King Kong Lives was the equivalent of rubbing a heaping pile of salt into a gaping wound. There's really nowhere near enough room to talk about how much was wrong with this film. The story is so utterly ridiculous that even a child's capabilities of suspending disbelief would be strained. I mean, right in the beginning we're asked to believe Kong actually survived being torn apart by gatling guns mounted on helicopters, and then falling from the World Trade Towers...and now someone has decided to give him a heart transplant? And the moronic concepts just keep flowing, and at an exponential rate. The characters are completely insipid, lacking any credible or meaningful substance, spouting the most laughable, ludicrous dialogue I've heard in a long time. Here's an example as Amy relates Kong's physical state, "Only one things can save Kong.", "What's that?", "A miracle!" In another scene Hank arrives from the jungles with the female Kong and reporters ask "Are you going to breed her?", to which Hank replies "You mean personally?" The ingratiating attempts at humor matched the pathetic attempts creating a sense of pathos throughout the film, the latter being something that the original 1933 film had in spades, and flowed forth so very naturally. It looked like some serious money was spent on this film, although much of it spent on effects appears to have been wasted as giant ape special effects seemed not to have progressed much in the 10 years since the first film. Also, the ape perspective was so very moment the apes seemed 100 feet tall, and another they appeared 50 feet tall...very disorientating. Despite all these things (and much more), I probably could have survived this film better if it wasn't for the overly obvious attempted anthropomorphizing, or `humanization', of the apes (smiling, kissing, mating...did I mention it was two guys in ape suits? Ewwwwww).

I was surprised to see a fairly pristine wide screen print on this DVD (heck, I was surprised to see the film released to DVD), along with clear, clean audio. There are no special features, but I wasn't looking for any. For those who say `This movie isn't as bad as they say', it is, and much, much worse...

24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Tried to enjoy it, but..... May 13 2005
By A. C. Cronvich - Published on
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! There aren't any giant canyons or rivers deep enough to hide sixty foot ape in the American south. But of course, this film was produced by italians and directed by a brit. The characters are
unmemorable and there is the usual love interest. The antagonists are cartoonish and often cruel for no logical reason. We are supposed to believe that the government would spend ten years and billions of dollars in keeping Kong and his mate alive and then, on a dime,
torment, torture and kill them with military hardware. It just makes no sense. This all could have been enjoyable were it not for the boring characters and corney plot twists. The ending is perhaps one of the biggest let downs in cinema history. I was also deeply dissapointed, at the time at least, that the incredible John Barry musical score from the previous film was not used here. But I will admit that the score used in King Kong Lives is quite impressive, and emotionally stirring, even if the movie falls flat.
In conclusion. Awful on the big screen in 1986, Not nearly so bad on a TV set 20 years later. Is there a fan edited version yet? A good re-editing/shortening could save the life of King Kong Lives.
19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
How this film was pitched Oct. 8 2005
By joseph Corey - Published on
Format: DVD
True story: this guy goes into Dino's office to pitch a few ideas for films. Dino seems completely unimpressed by them. As a last ditch effort for a sale he proposes a sequel to King Kong.

"But the monkey died at the end of the film. How can you make a sequel?" Dino asks.

"They give Kong an artificial heart!"

Dino's eyes light up and he makes a deal for the screenwriter to write it. The screenwriter goes home happy that he made a sale and clueless what to do for a story. And it shows.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This film should be put out of its misery! July 12 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: VHS Tape
Once one has scraped the bottom of the proverbial barrell, if he or she were to lift up that barrell and dig for about 2 hour they would find this film. Fair to bad spfx highlight this lame tale of King Kong falling in love with a lady gorilla and being pursued by the military, scientists, etc., etc., ad infinitum. Do I really need to go on? This film is really bad, populated with goofy characters and enough cliches to sink a large aircraft carrier. Hopeless in the extreme, more witless than a clump of dirt, KKL is absolutely lethal!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Wow, this movie really sucks..not even worth 7 bucks for DVD Jan. 2 2006
By D. Donato - Published on
Format: DVD
I just saw this for free on TV , will never buy it. Movie made no sense and apes look like people in monkey suits. When the big female monkey gave birth at the end, it was hilarious. The baby ape acted too human and even smiled . Much of the movie is spent watching Kong get hunted, shot at by the military and then harassed by some hillbilly hunters. Makes no sense, some "university " spent millions saving him only to get shot by military with NO public outcry??? and why did linda hamilton have time to get her freak on inside a sleeping bag when she should have been keeping an eye on King Kong when he wondered off and got into trouble. She was great in the Terminator movies, but this is a waste of her talent.

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