King Kong – Frankensteins Sohn (1967)

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King Kong – Frankensteins Sohn: Directed by Ishirô Honda. With Rhodes Reason, Mie Hama, Linda Miller, Akira Takarada. Inspired by the Rankin/Bass cartoon, the evil Dr. Who captures King Kong to dig for Element X when his mechanical doppelganger, Mechani-Kong, is unable to do the task. Kong escapes and soon confronts his mechanical double.

“This movie is a follow-up to 1962u0026#39;s u0026quot;King Kong vs. Godzilla.u0026quot; This time, King Kong was kidnapped by a mad scientist, who planned to use him to dig up Element X (a key ingredient for a nuclear bomb). Along the way Kong battles a giant sea snake, Gorosaurus (Godzillau0026#39;s buddy) and a replica of himself called Mecha-Kong. The directing and special effects were OK, and the story was serviceable. I think that Toho intended to give this movie a James Bondish treatment, since u0026quot;You Only Live Twiceu0026quot; (1967) was released the same year and actress Mie Hama, who appeared as bond girl Kissy in the 007 flick, appeared in this movie. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe movie could have used more suspense and human action. The monster scenes were OK, though some scenes, especially with the helicopters, were really cheesy. If Kong was almost the same size as Godzilla, I wouldnu0026#39;t think that he would be dwarfed by the Tokyo Tower (and having the ability to climb it). Nonetheless, I think the tower scene where the two monsters duke it out was a pretty remarkable special effect. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eFour major problems I have with this movie are about the characters. First of all, Commander Nelson (Rhodes Reason) is supposed to be one of the heroes in the story, but he basically didnu0026#39;t do anything important. He lost a little Karate-fight to the main villain, and then played chess with him afterward while his two friends were confined to a below 0 degree cell! Also, his acting was plain. Second, Lieutenant Watson (Linda Miller) was a very annoying character and had such an irritating voice. However, her role is of some importance (especially in the parts where she told Kong to stop shaking the sub she and the crew were in and where she calmed Kong down while he was on the loose in Tokyo). Third, the part where Lt. Nomura (Akira Takarada) told an official heu0026#39;s Lieutenant Nomura (heu0026#39;s not in uniform) and asked to let him take command is a bit awkward. How would the official be sure heu0026#39;s who he claimed to be? Fourth, the henchmen in the movie were just stupid. To sum it all, the better acting actually goes to the two main villains! Dr. Who (Eisei Anamoto) gave an outrageously cruel performance. Heu0026#39;s wildly funny, with his wild white hair and long black cape, and heu0026#39;s pretty darned skillful with the trigger. And, Madame Piranha (Mie Hama) steals the show. Sheu0026#39;s bewitching, spellbinding and beautiful. She is the true hero of the movie *spoiler* since it was she who destroyed Mecha-Kongu0026#39;s control system, thereby, defeating the robot completely. I wish she would have had a better fate in the movie. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe monster action was OK. City destruction was limited, though, and King Kong looked pretty dumb. The costume used for the monster was hideous, but still better than the one used in u0026quot;King Kong vs. Godzilla.u0026quot;u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAbove all, this movie was very average – not the best from Toho. The plot lines really go all over the place. What made up for this movie was Akira Ifukubeu0026#39;s great, haunting music score and Mie Hama.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eGrade C+”

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