King Kong Lives (1986)

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Image gallery for King Kong Lives
Credits for King Kong Lives
King Kong Lives soundtrack

King Kong films
King Kong (1976)
King Kong Lives
King Kong (2005)
King Kong Lives
American King Kong Lives poster
Alternate titles
Flagicon Japan.png King Kong 2 (1986)

Directed by John Guillermin
Producer Dino De Laurentiis (executive),
Ronald Shusett (executive),
Martha Schumacher
Written by Ronald Shusett,
Steven Pressfield
Music by John Scott
Distributor De Laurentiis Entertainment Group,
Shochiku FujiJP
Rating PG-13
Budget $18,000,000
Box office $4,700,000 (US)
Running time 105 minutes
(1 hour, 45 minutes)
Aspect ratio 2.39:1
Rate this film!
(24 votes)

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.

— Tagline

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.

  • Brian Kerwin   as   Hank Mitchell
  • Linda Hamilton   as   Dr. Amy Franklin
  • Peter Elliott   as   King Kong
  • John Ashton   as   Lt. Col. Archie Nevitt
  • George Antoni (as George Yiasomi)   as   Lady Kong
  • Benjamin Kechley   as   Baby Kong
  • Frank Maraden   as   Dr. Benson Hughes
  • Peter Michael Goetz   as   Dr. Andrew Ingersoll
  • Jimmie Ray Weeks   as   Major Peete
  • Jimmy Wiggins   as   Boyfriend
  • Mary Swafford   as   Girlfriend
  • Michael Forest   as   Vance
  • Leon Rippy   as   Will
  • Herschel Sparber   as   Jay
  • Wallace Merck   as   Chigger
  • Dean Whitworth   as   Scruffy
  • Jonathan Canfield   as   Jump Ranger #1
  • Jack Wheeler   as   Officer #1
  • Joe Wheeler   as   Officer #2
  • David Hartzell   as   Sergeant #1
  • Patrick Webb   as   Infantryman
  • Greg Hendrixson   as   Jump Ranger #2
  • Jim Grimshaw   as   Sergeant
  • Robin Cahall   as   Mazlansky
  • Matt Totty   as   Sgt. Tucker
  • Jeff Bridges   as   Jack Prescott (stock footage; uncredited)
  • Jessica Lange   as   Dwan (stock footage; uncredited)
  • George Whiteman   as   Helicopter pilot (stock footage; uncredited)
  • Rick Baker   as   King Kong (stock footage; uncredited)
  • Peter Cullen   as   King Kong (voice, stock vocalizations; uncredited)

Japanese VHS dub

  • Isao Sasaki   as   Hank Mitchell
  • Hiroko Suzuki   as   Dr. Amy Franklin
  • Kenji Utsumi   as   Lt. Col. Archie Nevitt
  • Koichi Kitamura   as   Dr. Benson Hughes
  • Toru Ohira   as   Dr. Andrew Ingersoll

TV Asahi Japanese dub

  • Shuichi Ikeda   as   Hank Mitchell
  • Hami Koyama   as   Dr. Amy Franklin
  • Yoshisada Sakaguchi   as   Lt. Col. Archie Nevitt
  • Rokuro Naya   as   Dr. Benson Hughes
  • Masaaki Maeda   as   Dr. Andrew Ingersoll
  • Hochu Otsuka   as   Major Peete
  • Eken Mine   as   Vance
  • Atsushi Ii   as   Crew Chief
  • Motomu Kiyokawa
  • Hirabayashi Shozo
  • Ikuya Sawaki
  • Kazuhiko Inoue
  • Kenyu Horiuchi
  • Nobuyuki Furuta
  • Toshihiko Seki
  • Masaaki Tsukada
  • Takuro Kitagawa
  • Kazuo Seki
  • Akio Otsuka
  • Roko Takizawa
  • Kikuko Inoue
  • Noriko Oka



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.

Alternate titles

  • King Kong 2 (international title)

Video releases

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)[1]

  • 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.


King Kong Lives trailer
King Kong Lives teaser #1
King Kong Lives teaser #2
King Kong Lives TV spot
King Kong Lives/Crimes of the Heart TV spot
Japanese King Kong 2 trailer
King Kong Lives video trailer


  • 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.[2]
  • 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.

External links


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: [1]

  1. "King Kong Lives Collector's Edition (+Poster +Postcards) (Beyond Genres #24) (Blu-Ray) (1986)". Umbrella Entertainment. Retrieved 15 October 2022.
  2. 1942 Dodge WC 51


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