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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

King Kong Escapes aka "Kingu Kongu no gyakushû" [Blu-ray]


(Ishirô Honda, 1967)





Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Toho Company - Rankin/Bass Productions

Video: Universal



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:36:08.387

Disc Size: 35,152,761,691 bytes

Feature Size: 26,510,260,224 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.99 Mbps

Chapters: 18

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 1st, 2014



Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1896 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1896 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English, French, none



• none





Description: A Colossal Battle Between Two King Kongs! It’s King Kong to the rescue when a giant robot threatens to destroy Tokyo in the gripping King Kong Escapes! The action begins when the conniving Dr. Who builds a robot Kong in order to retrieve a highly radioactive element for his mysterious benefactor, Madame X. When the robot proves less than reliable, the devious duo scheme to kidnap the real Kong from his remote island home of Mondo. Interfering with their plans are the heroic trio of U.S. Cmdr. Carl Nelson, Lt. Jiro Nomura, and Kong's current crush, Lt. Susan Miller. It's up to them to outwit the greedy ape-nappers in this sci-fi adventure that takes Kong to unprecedented heights of excitement.



The Film:

Rhodes Reason is the requisite Hollywood "name" actor in the Japanese-produced King Kong Escapes. While hacking through the jungle, expedition leader Nelson (Reason) and his companions are attacked by a dinosaur. They are rescued by King Kong, who since his traumatic experiences in New York has evidently changed his spots and become a lovable old Joe. Susan (Linda Miller), the prettiest member of Nelson's expedition, takes quite a liking to the big ape (Kong, not Nelson), and the feeling is reciprocated. The emphasis then shifts to dome-headed mad scientist Dr. Who (Eisei Amamoto), whose plans to take over the world include building a huge "Mechni-Kong," a robot designed to put the real Kong out of commission (if Amamoto sounds familiar to you, that's because his dialogue is dubbed by Paul Frees, the voice behind Boris Badenov). The climactic battle between the two Kongs is staged on a tinker-toy replica of Tokyo Tower -- hardly as imposing a structure as the Empire State Building, but consider what they're working with here. The Rhodes Reason/Linda Miller scenes were directed in Canada by Arthur Rankin Jr., the man responsible for the King Kong animated TV series of the late 1960s.

Excerpt fromB+N located HERE

When a mechanical replica of King Kong is unable to dig for the highly radioactive Element X at the North Pole, the evil Doctor Who and his sponsor Madame Piranha (Madame X in the American release) decide to kidnap the real Kong. As an insurance policy they kidnap Lt. Susan Miller as well as her boyfriend Lt. Jiro Nomura and Cmdr. Carl Nelson (Kong develped a crush on Susan when she Nomura and Nelson visited the Kong at his home on Mondo Island). Kong later escapes and heads for Tokyo. Susan and the others also escape. Who and his minions follow him and activate Mechani-Kong in order to recapture him. Susan is then grabbed by the robot and is taken to the top of Tokyo Tower and a battle ensues.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

King Kong Escapes appears impressive on Blu-ray from Universal.  It's on a dual-layered disc with a high bitrate. Colors are rich and there are some consistently strong black levels. I see no signs of manipulation and it is an impressive representation with the help of a well-maintained source print. This Blu-ray has pleasingly sharp visuals looking very flawless in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio.  By modern standards this holds up well - grain is well-supported and the Blu-ray produces a consistent, and clean, presentation if filled with, some, hokey effects.
























Audio :

The audio is rendered in a DTS-HD Master stereo at 1896 kbps - only in the English DUB - Universal does not license the Japanese track, here. Typical bombastic effects coming through with charismatic panache.  There is a bass-heavy score credited to Akira Ifukube (Anatahan, The Mysterians, the original Godzilla - and other Godzilla features - the bulk of Zatoichi series, plus Kurosawa's The Quiet Duel and many others.) There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.



Extras :

No supplements. That's okay - what more do you need?



Beejesus, what more do you want? We have Kong and his robot counterpart, Rhodes Reason, brother of absurdly deep-voiced actor Rex Reason (This Island Earth), Toho hottie Mie Hama (You Only Live Twice) as Madame Piranha (Madame X), cute-as-a-bug's-ear Linda Miller (The Green Slime) and evil villain Dr. Who (English DUB'bed by Paul Frees.)  King Kong Escapes is a neat 50s/60s sci-fi cinema with full-bodied camp/kitsch value. You don't have to take it serious guys to really enjoy it!. It's following the mid ’60s animated show of the same name. The Universal Blu-ray is a steal at less than $10 - even bare-bones and only the English DUB. What pleasure.... strongly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

October 27th, 2017





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