King Kong Lives (1986)
|King Kong films|
- King Kong 2 redirects here. For the video game tie-ins to this film, see King Kong 2: Furious Megaton Punch and King Kong 2: Revived Legend.
America's Biggest Hero is back...and He is not happy.
King Kong Lives, known internationally as King Kong 2, is a 1986 American giant monster film directed by John Guillermin and written by Ronald Shusett and Steven Pressfield, with special effects by Carlo Rambaldi. Produced by the De Laurentiis Entertainment Group, it is a sequel to the 1976 remake of King Kong. It stars Brian Kerwin, Linda Hamilton, John Ashton, Peter Michael Goetz, Frank Maraden, and Jimmie Ray Weeks. The film was released to American theaters by the De Laurentiis Entertainment Group on December 19, 1986.
Ten years after Kong's fall from the World Trade Center, he is kept alive in a coma by Dr. Amy Franklin of the Atlantic Institute. In order to save Kong's life with an artificial heart, she requires a blood transfusion from another member of his species. Adventurer Hank Mitchell discovers a female of the species in Borneo who is dubbed Lady Kong, and the operation to replace Kong's heart is successful. But when Lady Kong escapes the institute with Kong, the military begins to hunt down the two apes. When Lady Kong becomes pregnant with Kong's child, Kong musters his remaining strength for a final confrontation with the military to save his family. King Kong Lives proved to be a critical and financial failure, and was the last live action King Kong film for nearly two decades. Universal Pictures would return the character to the big screen with Peter Jackson's King Kong remake in 2005.
After being seemingly killed by UH-1 Iroquois helicopters atop the World Trade Center in 1976, King Kong was actually taken to the Atlantic Institute and kept alive in a coma for 10 years. Dr. Amy Franklin sets out to save Kong's life by giving him a computer-monitored artificial heart, however the procedure would require a blood transfusion and no suitable donor for Kong exists. Thankfully, adventurer Hank Mitchell discovers a female member of Kong's species, dubbed "Lady Kong," in the jungles of Borneo. Mitchell proposes that Borneo and Kong's island were once part of the same landmass, explaining how members of the species were found living in both locations. Lady Kong is brought to the Institute so her blood can be used for Kong's operation. The procedure proves to be a success, but the revived Kong and Lady Kong escape from the Institute and run off together. Army colonel Archie Nevitt and his men are then called in to hunt down the giant apes. The army corners Kong and his new mate in the forest and seemingly cause Kong to fall from a cliff to his death, then proceed to capture Lady Kong alive. Kong survives the fall and begins pursuing his mate, but Dr. Franklin and Mitchell learn that his artificial heart is beginning to give out. They also come to discover that Lady Kong is pregnant with Kong's child. Franklin and Mitchell help Lady Kong escape from a military base and bring her to a barn, where she goes into labor. Kong arrives at the farm, with the military standing in the way to his mate. Kong clashes with the army, and despite being mortally wounded succeeds in killing Nevitt and defeating his attackers. Kong then drags himself into the barn, where Lady Kong has given birth to their son. Kong manages to get a good look at his son before finally dying from a combination of his wounds and the failure of his artificial heart. Lady Kong and her son are then relocated to Borneo, to live out their days together in peace.
- Main article: King Kong Lives/Credits.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by John Guillermin
- Written by Ronald Shusett, Steven Pressfield
- Produced by Martha Schumacher
- Music by John Scott
- Cinematography by Alec Mills
- Edited by Malcom Cooke
- Production design by Peter Murton
- Assistant directing by Matt Earl Beesley, Brian W. Cook, Bruce Moriarty, Bud Davis
- Special effects by Carlo Rambaldi
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
Japanese VHS dub
TV Asahi Japanese dub
Weapons, vehicles, and races
Ever since King Kong earned $80 million at the box office, Dino De Laurentiis considered producing a sequel. Various projects were considered, ranging from King Kong in Africa and King Kong in Moscow to loose remakes of Son of Kong. Ultimately, King Kong Lives was released on December 19, 1986, almost exactly 10 years after the release of King Kong. Despite its reduced budget compared to its predecessor, King Kong Lives was heavily marketed around the world, usually under the title King Kong 2, even receiving two tie-in games in Japan.
- Main article: King Kong Lives/Gallery.
- Main article: King Kong Lives/Soundtrack.
- King Kong 2 (international title)
20th Century Fox DVD (2004)
- Region: 1
- Discs: 1
- Audio: English (2.0 Mono and 5.1)
- Special features: None
- Notes: Out of print.
Umbrella Entertainment Blu-ray (January 18, 2023)
- Region: B
- Discs: 1
- Audio: English (2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio)
- Subtitles: English
- Special features: Audio commentary by King Kong: The History of a Movie Icon author Ray Morton, interview with miniature supervisor David M. Jones, "John Guillermin Lives" featurette, John Guillermin video essay by Stephen Vagg, trailer, reversible poster, six postcards
Though King Kong Lives is not yet available on Blu-ray in North America, Shout! Factory licensed it from StudioCanal and made a digital HD version of the film available for rental or purchase through various online storefronts beginning on July 12, 2022.
- One Japanese poster for this film was illustrated by the late Noriyoshi Ohrai, who was known for illustrating posters for most of the Heisei and Millennium Godzilla films.
- Some of the M114 Command and Reconnaissance Carriers in the film are equipped with fake turrets, possibly to create the illusion of greater military firepower.
- King Kong Lives is, to date, the last live action King Kong film to take place in the year of its release. All subsequent films either take place in the past or near future.
This is a list of references for King Kong Lives. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: 
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