This is the classic love story of a man and a woman falling in lover under weird circumstances. And a pair of apes that also fall in love under odd circumstances. And their heart transplant that bonds them. Okay, so this isn’t a classic love story, but it is the premise for easily the silliest “King Kong” movie ever made. In a movie that was sort of kind of made to be a spoor, but also meant to be taken very seriously, “King Kong Lives” is kind of the movie that killed King Kong until 2005, and proved that this concept was never meant to go beyond the one and done tale of his experience with Fay Wray on the Empire State Building.
This John Guillermin directed sequel to the 1976 remake takes off directly after the first film, where King Kong is shot down from the World Trade Center; except he didn’t really die, but has been kept alive in a coma for ten years by tons of doctors. It’s best just to go with it and not question the insane silliness. After giving him an artificial heart, they realize he needs a blood transfusion and go in search of another giant ape that can also match his blood type. Conveniently after doctor Amy Franklin goes searching through the jungles of Borneo with adventurer Mitch Mitchell, they capture a female gorilla they dub “Lady Kong.” After Kong is revived thanks to her blood, the pair form a bond and escape their government shackles, allowing them to wreak havoc. As they’re hunted down by a mad military colonel who wants to exterminate the pair, the duo travel through various landmarks and eventually begin seeking a sanctuary of their own.
Meanwhile as they’re being tracked by Mitch and Amy, the human pair also begin to realize their love for one another. The love plots between the Kongs and the human are paralleled as director Guillermin almost seems to be competing with himself to see which sub-plot is more ridiculous. The romance between a young Lind Hamilton and Brian Kerwin comes off like a cheap romance novel, all the while watching two men in ape suits miming cuddling and longful glances allows for inadvertent laughs. “King Kong Lives” is a novelty of a monster movie with nothing in the narrative making a lick of sense. There’s no rhyme or reason for anything that happens, but the movie follows through to the hilariously goofy climax where see young baby Kong being born before our eyes. I’m glad they didn’t show us Linda Hamilton being crushed by Lady Kong’s gargantuan placenta.