King Kong Lives (1986)

Fuck this movie right in the ball sack.

No.  No, I suppose I should try to be professional about this.  I shouldn’t just leave it with the incredibly aggressive opening salvo I gave this article.  Instead I should try to be a little more grown up about it.

Have sexual intercourse with this motion picture unto its testicle bag, also know as its scrotum.

There we go.  All better.  But seriously, I cannot tell you how much I love the 1976 version of King Kong.  That John Barry score.  That incredibly sexy Jessica Lange.  That dickwad Charles Grodin.  That lush Jeff Bridges beard.  That incredibly sexy Jessica Lange.  Jessica Lange’s legs and body.  Jessica Lange’s southern accent.  Or!  That line Jessica Lange says about being saved by Deep Throat.  God-fucking-dammit Jessica Lange was hot in that movie.

Er…  Let me get back on track here.  That movie was a goddamn masterpiece of my youth – a movie I grew up with and have probably watched, like, 50 times.  This movie is a fucking dump truck of garbage.  You might think it will satisfy your needs to see a giant rampaging monkey.  It doesn’t.  You might think it’s gotta be good because Linda Hamilton is in it.  It isn’t.  This movie is like the sort of shit you can expect to happen when a bar crosses nickel beer night with circus freak night.

And that’s saying a lot because that would a million times more interesting than this turd.

The synopsis from the back of my bootleg DVD copy (yes, assholes, I bought this as a bootleg because I’m an idiot) reads: “Picking up where the 1976 version left off, King Kong Lives resuscitates the mighty ape through the miracle of modern medicine and brings him together with what will be the love of his life, Lady Kong.”

Way to shit on the emotional ending of the ’76 version by saving him from a shit ton of bullet wounds and a tumble from the World Trade Towers, jerkoffs.  Whatever.  Let’s get this over with.

Yeah, I know, baby.  I hate that you are stuck in archival footage for this turd too.

The movie starts by pissing me off immediately.  How so?  By starting at the end of the 1976 movie.  So we have to watch the end of a great movie in order to watch the entirety of a shitty one.  Again, we see Jessica Lange (looking all hot and shit), Jeff Bridges (being all cool and shit), a good King Kong (guy in a monkey suit), and we get all that emotional business of him being gunned down from atop the World Trade Towers before falling all the way to the ground.  At this point, in the good movie, you hear Kong’s heartbeat slowly come to a stop as reporters swarm him and Dwan (Lange, and no, that is not a typo, that is her name in the movie) with the assumption that the sea of reporters both block her from living happily ever after with Jeff Bridges and changing her life forever as being the literal beauty with the beast.

Some emotional shit right?

Don’t get used to it because this fucking movie changes all that and removes the emotion.  As the credits roll, we see that Kong is being kept on life support in some secret facility with scientists keep him an eye on him.  They’ve created a comically large artificial heart for Kong to use and they are ready to drop that son of a bitch into his chest.

I know what you’re thinking…  Because I’m thinking it too.  I don’t think it’s so much that he’s got a bad heart, right?  I mean he got fucking gunned down by military helicopters, then fell off one of the two TALLEST buildings on Earth.  But yeah, he’s got a bad heart.

Linda Hamilton gives the bad news (in as dull of a tone of voice as possible) that Kong’s not going to survive the heart transplant.  Not so much because it’s a giant mechanical heart.  Not so much because he had a fuckload of military grade gunshot wounds.  Not so much because he fell off the World Trade Towers.  Nah…  He’s been comatose (pronounced by an actor as com-ah-tOse, like a comma, not cOma-tOse, like a coma) for too long and needs a blood transfusion and there isn’t another Kong out there to get the blood from.  I’m not a scientist, but this seems like the least of his problems.  What do I know anyway?  Oh, yeah…  I know I’m watching a shitty movie.

Now, in a jungle, some white dude is leading an expedition for something, and, as luck would have it, comes across another Kong.  But a lady Kong.  How do I know this?  Because 1) the movie says it is and 2), she’s got boobs.  For real, check out dem tittaes…

When the natives shot her up with poison dart spears, Linda Hamilton gets notified that they found a possible blood donor.  This white prick, Hank Mitchell, tries to sell Lady Kong, and the university that is helping King Kong wants it for themselves to do the blood transfusion and whatever else.  They agree to buy Lady Kong off Mitchell despite Linda Hamilton (Amy Franklin) saying they cannot bring a female to the facility.  I guess there’s an issue with the idea of getting a transfusion from another giant ape that isn’t another male.  I dunno.  The university goes against her wishes and buys Lady Kong.

Franklin and Mitchell meet and you can already tell they are going to like each other because they have some contentious banter back and forth and another woman said she thinks Mitchell’s cute.  So clearly, that means that Franklin must now also think that.

The blood transfusion begins, and, yet again, there is a cartoonishly large prop for the large apes.  This time it comes in the form of a bag of blood that will be pumped into King Kong.  It even has a big ass sticker on the bag with a big ass emblem and big ass hand writing saying what it’s for.  Really?  The big bag of blood isn’t for the giant fucking ape on the slab in the facility?  Is this movie for real?  Am I getting punked with this stupid movie?

Scientist Guy 1: “Are you sure we got the right bag for King Kong’s blood?”

Scientist Guy 2: “Ooh, I guess I better check, huh?”

Scientist Guy 1: “Yeah, we better make sure on this, what’s the label say?”

Scientist Guy 2: “It says, ‘Blood for the only fucking thing in our facility that takes this much blood, you fucking idiots…”

Scientist Guy 1: “Whew…  Yup, you got the right bag.”

The people who made this movie are assholes.

The docs cut open King Kong and remove his heart with a giant claw machine.  I shit you not…  It is a giant claw machine used to remove his heart.  It would have been hilarious if it slipped out from the claw machine like the one at my local Walmart that always prevents me from winning that goddamn plush Pac-Man.  Anyway, the surgery is successful.  They also make accommodations for Lady Kong too.

Hey, remember in the 1976 King Kong when Jessica Lange was washed off under the waterfall?  Remember how amazing she looked in that little native dress the tribe people put her in when she was stolen from the oil tanker?  Here’s a reminder to the right if you don’t remember.  I really wish I was watching the 1976 movie.

You know who else remembers shit like this business to the right?  King Kong.  He wakes up and starts to go a little bonkers because he knows a female is around.  While I would certainly suggest he is probably better suited for the Lady Kong, he’s probably hoping it’s Jessica Lange in that other room.

Now, just when you thought this movie wouldn’t get any dumber, when the two Kongs finally see each other, they both get shot with this look that is hilarious.  It’s like in an episode of The Monkees when Davy would make eyes with a girl and they would get that little cartoon twinkle in their eyes.  The shot of both King Kong and Lady Kong was only missing the twinkle to completely replicate that very thing.  King Kong saves Lady Kong from her confinement and they make off into the night.

Now, remember, King Kong JUST had heart surgery.  He’s pretty spry for a guy in recovery.  Also, THERE IS NO FUCKING SURGERY SCAR on the ape costume.  Talk about your continuity errors.  This one is mighty epic.  Not only that, but there are no signs where he got shot multiple times from the military choppers at the end of the first movie.

Oh, hey…  I mentioned that part in the 1976 King Kong movie about the waterfall and Jessica Lange?  Here’s a picture of that because I clearly wish I was watching that movie instead of this one.

The Kongs make their way to some romantic getaway in the mountains of wherever the fuck they are.  Trying to be a kind and thoughtful romantic, King Kong tries to give Lady Kong a snake as a gift.  But because she’s a lady, she’s scared of the snake.  King Kong acts like a giant baby when he sees he has a skinned knee.  Lady Kong comes over and tends to it to prove that chicks do like it when an overbearing guy is big whiny asshole.  Not sure why it hasn’t worked for me, but I digress.

I’ll keep the Linda Hamilton, but you can keep the poofy headed guy.

So the Kongs are now being chased down by the military (because of course they are), and Franklin and Mitchell.  I wish it was Joe Don Baker’s Mitchell because that would be amazing, but it’s this jerkass with the poofy hair.

Some more banter happens between Franklin and Mitchell that makes it seem like they are falling in love.  But don’t be fooled…  The dialog between them is clumsy and stupid (she tells him she needs him and he reacts like he’s stunned by her being so forward about that fire clearly burning in her loins, but it’s because she needs his help – not his dingaling – and the so forth).

This does lead to the best thing in the whole damn movie…  Franklin says she has to change her shirt, and when she takes off the shirt she’s wearing, she’s braless.  She puts another shirt on without putting a bra on which leads to a fairly decent thought of there being a possibility that Linda’s Hamiltons might just fall right out of that shirt if she gets it snagged on a branch or something.  That night, when Mitchell is cold and unable to cover up in the wild, Franklin invites him into her sleeping bag and they fuck.

This sort of shit leads me to think this movie isn’t very realistic.

The next morning, Franklin and Mitchell realize Lady Kong is alone.  I guess King Kong had the morning shits and excused himself or something.  Anyway, this leads to the Army nabbing Lady Kong which severely pisses King Kong off.  He throws rocks at the Army, they get mad, and try to shoot him.  King Kong escapes by jumping off a cliff into a river.  Need I say again that this guy JUST had his heart replaced and woke up from a ten-year coma?  Nah, this is all standard fare for heart transplant recipients.

His leap disorients him and he bashes his head on a rock.  His artificial heart flatlines as the water turns red with his blood (< that sentence was far more artistic than anything in this movie by the way).  Meanwhile, Lady Kong is in a holding pen and is pretty bummed out that she was separated from her main squeeze and tossed into captivity.

It’s unclear exactly how long she’s been in captivity, but it’s been, like, a year.  Franklin gets an order for them to see the captive ape.  She realizes Lady Kong is acting strange as if she realizes King Kong is still alive.  They babble on about how he has to be dead because he couldn’t get enough protein, but the science of this movie is flawed (I know right? Crazy to think that might be the case).  Franklin’s research buddy says it’s impossible for him to live because King Kong would require a thousand pounds of protein a day to survive.  Gorillas, assuming the Kongs are a variant of a gorilla, primarily eat vegetation and not meat.  He’s not hunting to get his protein.  Oh, fuck it…  Let’s just go with it because it’s way cooler to have a scene in which King Kong is eating alligators.

Whoever thought a movie starring a braless Sarah Connor and a poor man’s Jack Burton was a bad idea clearly had the right idea.

When Mitchell receives word that Lady Kong is not doing very well and the Army is keeping people away, he gets mad.  He tries to fight his way in, but is stopped by a single gut punch.  The institute that Franklin works for is securing a place for Lady Kong to be transported to so they will fight their battle for her through proper channels.  Because that’s exactly what a boring movie needs – a fight that will be played out through courts and bureaucracy.

Suddenly, the movie turns into a peeping Tom by looking in through a window on a couple teenagers about to sloppily diddle each other only to reveal that Kong is actually the one watching them.  There are momentous scenes in film history that sometimes get done well in remakes.  One of those scenes is when King Kong peers into a window for his lady love and reaches in and grabs her.  That was appropriately recreated in the 1976 version because it is one of the most iconic moments in the original ’33 version.  This movie tries to recreate a similar moment.  By having Kong peek into a fishing resort cabin’s ceiling window at two teenagers about to fuck.  Which causes a bunch of rednecks to load up and want to hung the giant gorilla.  Fuck you, movie.

Trust me, big fella, I’m pissed about all this too.

A group of rednecks wait for Kong to come down a little area between some cliffs.  When he does come, they blow up the sides of the cliffs, because why not, this land is their land (at least according to some popular standards that hillbillies tend to take very seriously), and it buries Kong in the rubble.  Because they are rednecks, they celebrate around their campfire by firing their rifles in the air and drinking moonshine.  They pose for pictures in front of Kong, which only pisses him off more.  They force some booze down his throat.  One of them decides that they shouldn’t be torturing him.  Just understand, this is the America we’re all headed for if Donald Trump wins the Presidency.  We will be blowing up cliff faces, torturing giant apes, drinking moonshine and firing rifles into the air.  This is where our country is headed.  At least when Kong escapes, he brutally murders the hillbillies (one of which he literally tears in half with his bare hands and another he eats).

I guess Linda Hamilton has to fix the artificial heart or something.  They have to get close to use a machine to do so.  Kong steps on the machine she uses to try to enter some sort of sequence to fix his heart.  With the machine destroyed before she is able to complete this sequence, she says his heart won’t last another day.  They find the campsite of the dead hunters to which she then says, “Oh, Kong, you’ve killed now.  That means there is nothing to stop them from killing  you.”

Now, wait just a fucking second.  First, his heart won’t last another day, right?  Well, that sucks because you should have found him sooner than the last, what… 365 days since it has been about a  year since you lost him or whatever calculation we’ve landed on?  Seems like a pretty weird thing to say that his heart won’t last another day if he’s gone this long with a functioning ticker.  Second, if his heart won’t last another day, and you have no way of fixing it, won’t the Army’s use of deadly force in retribution for dead hillbillies the same as a malfunctioning artificial heart?  Oh, fuck it…

What face do you make when your character is a cartoon and you call a giant ape a son of a bitch?  This one.

King Kong makes his way to the facility where Lady Kong is being kept.  Our cartoonishly broad General character makes it his personal vendetta to kill King Kong and even goes so far as to calling him a “son of a bitch”.    Thanks to some of the incompetent soldiers arguing with each other about what orders they have received, Mitchell and Franklin are able to sneak into the facility to bust Lady Kong out.  When it is reported that a break in is occurring, thankfully our trained soldiers in our military are easily distracted by Linda Hamilton’s female form because that totally happens to help Mitchell punch out the guards at Lady Kong’s pen.  Franklin says that the reason why Lady Kong is acting weird is because she is pregnant.  Something she didn’t mention when she last saw her even though she pointed out the fact that Lady Kong was acting strangely then too.  This movie didn’t have a script, did it?  Like they just made shit up on the fly?

King Kong comes and helps bust Lady Kong out.  They end up at a barn hoedown – no shit.  I guess hillbillies are fucking intensely stupid because they don’t see two giant gorillas moseying on up to the party.  They also didn’t hear all the commotion at the Army base.  Evil General Badguy rolls up with a bunch of tanks and shit and open fire despite the female going into labor.  They shred King Kong who protects Lady Kong so she can give birth, but ultimately he survives long enough to kill General Bad Guy by smashing him into the ground.  King Kong dies but Lady Kong gives birth to Baby Kong – who is small enough to fit in the palm of King Kong’s hand and has a full set of teeth already and learns the hard lessons of life right out of the gate by watching his father die in front of him.

Come to think of it, shouldn’t this movie be called King Kong Dies?  That would be more appropriate.  Actually, even more appropriate would be Geoff Gave up His Friday Night for This Shit.

So, how much money did all this cost the institute Linda Hamilton worked at?  They had to build that artificial heart.  Also, they had to keep the power running for about ten years to keep King Kong alive.  They then had to pay for the place in Borneo to ultimately transport Lady Kong to.  Somebody had to foot the bill for the hillbillies’ barn that Lady Kong fell into and gave birth to Baby Kong in.  I wouldn’t be too terribly surprised in the 80s as the power held by lawyers rose, someone probably had to pay for the death of General Badguy because it wasn’t like he went to war.  He died fighting something that should not have still been alive.  Oh, fuck it…

This movie is a goddamn catastrophe.  Dino De Laurentis made the 1976 movie, and still had the ability to make a sequel and it was… ill-advised to say the least.  It’s kind of funny, the De Laurentis Entertainment Group (DEG) did distribute another film in 1986 that holds a much higher place in all our hearts – Transformers: The Movie.  So…  I guess you win some and lose some so badly you go bankrupt in just a few years after that loss.

There’s not much to say to summarize this movie that I haven’t already said.  I don’t care if you don’t really like the 1976 version of King Kong.  Everyone can have their own opinion (even if it is categorically wrong).  Yet, there’s no reason to watch this horrible piece of celluloid fart.  The guy who created the Golden Raspberry Awards (the Oscars of shit movies) says this is one of the 100 most enjoyably bad movies to watch.  I respectfully disagree.  This movie really isn’t enjoyable.  It hurts my heart.

My artificial, cartoonishly large, heart.

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