King Kong Lives (1986 film)

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King Kong
King Kong Lives
King Kong
De Laurentiis Kaiju Film
King Kong Lives
Directed by                   Produced by
John Guillermin Dino De Laurentiis (executive)
Ronald Shusett (executive)
Martha Schumacher
Written by                       Music by  
Nathan Jenson
Steven Pressfield
John Scott
Distributed by                       Rating      
De Laurentiis Entertainment Group,
Shochiku FujiJP
  Budget                           Box Office
$18 million $?,???,???
Running Time
105 minutes
Designs Used

King Kong Lives is a 1986 film that serves as a sequel to the 1976 version of King Kong. The film was directed by John Guillermin and starred Linda Hamilton. The screenplay was written by Ronald Shusett and Steven Pressfield. The original music score was composed by John Scott. It was marketed and released in Japan, Spain and Italy under the title King Kong 2 or King Kong II in other places.


King Kong, after being shot down from the World Trade Center, is kept alive in a coma for about 10 years at the Atlantic Institute, under the care of surgeon Dr. Amy Franklin (Linda Hamilton). In order to save Kong's life, Dr. Franklin must perform a heart transplant and give Kong a computer-monitored artificial heart. However, he lost so much blood that a transfusion is badly needed. Enter adventurer Hank Mitchell (Brian Kerwin), who captures a giant female gorilla in Borneo (Mitchell theorizes that Borneo and the island from the first movie were once part of the same landmass), bringing her to the Institute so her blood can be used for Kong's operation. The transfusion and the heart transplant are a success, but Kong escapes along with the female, who is dubbed "Lady Kong." Archie Nevitt (John Ashton), an insane army colonel, is called in with his men to hunt down and kill the two apes. Lady Kong is captured alive by Nevitt's troops and imprisoned; Kong falls from a cliff and is presumed dead, but soon returns to try and rescue his mate. But as Franklin and Mitchell soon discover, Kong's artificial heart is beginning to give out. Kong then is successful in saving his mate. After being followed, attacked, and shot by the military, Kong kills the military colonel and dies slowly at a military base. After this event, Lady Kong is back in Borneo, with their happy, newborn son.




King Kong Lives received almost universally negative reviews. Roger Ebert stated that "The problem with everyone in King Kong Lives is that they're in a boring movie, and they know they're in a boring movie, and they just can't stir themselves to make an effort. "[1]

Despite its marketing campaign, King Kong Lives was a box office flop, grossing $4.7 million during its theatrical run.[2] Actor Peter Michael Goetz received a cheque for post release royalties that came down to 3 cents. He has it stapled to the film poster in his house, having never cashed it. Template:Citation needed

Despite being panned among worldwide audiences, the film was heavily marketed around the world, including in Japan, where it was distributed by Shochiku Fuji under the title King Kong 2, even being given a special theatrical poster drawn by Noriyoshi Ohrai, known for creating posters for many of the Godzilla films. The film also received two tie-in video games in Japan, King Kong 2: Revived Legend and King Kong 2: Furious Megaton Punch, the latter of which has maintained a cult following due to its difficulty and strangeness.

Video Games

Two official video games based on the movie were developed and released only in Japan by Konami and titled King Kong 2: Furious Megaton Punch for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and King Kong 2: Revived Legend for the MSX. The Famicom game totally discarded the human aspect of the story and players played as King Kong who has to travel around the globe fighting giant robots and certain military forces in order to save Lady Kong. The game was designed as an action adventure game with some science fiction concepts. The MSX version, on the other hand, plays from the perspective of Mitchell. This version is a role-playing game.


  • The Japanese poster for this film was drawn by Noriyoshi Ohrai, who is known for illustrating posters for most of the Godzilla films since The Return of Godzilla.
  • There was a brief shot of nudity when Dr. Franklin's breasts were exposed for a split second during a scene when she wakes up, startled to see that Lady Kong disappeared.

External links

Era Icon - De Laurentiis
Era Icon - Film
Era Icon - King Kong

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