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Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Who (but not that Doctor Who)’

31 (Japanese) Monsters #7: Mechani-Kong

October 7th, 2010 No comments

King Kong Escapes is a curious film.

  • It’s a co-production between Toho Studios and Rankin/Bass Productions. Yes, the folks behind all those animated holiday specials.
  • It’s based on an American cartoon series.
  • It features a villain named Dr. Who*.

This was actually the second attempt at a Toho and Rankin/Bass King Kong feature. The first one fell apart and the script was rewritten into¬†Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster. (This explains Godzilla’s unnatural interest for the native girl in that film.)

They tried again the following year. This time they borrowed a few elements from Rankin/Bass’ King Kong cartoon show, including arch-foe Dr. Who and his creation…

Mechani-Kong!

Monster Island Nickname Gnik Gnok
Hails From The Arctic Lair of Dr. Who
Movies Appeared In
(not counting stock footage)
1
Hobbies Pretending to be King Kong
Quote (metallic clanging noise)

Dr. Who built Mechani-Kong with the specific purpose of digging out a deposit of the highly radioactive Element X from the North Pole. Why a giant gorilla and not, for example, a remote-controlled steam shovel is not made entirely clear.

Unfortunately, the radiation proves too much for the robot’s circuits. Fortunately for Who and his financier, the sultry Madame Piranha, the real King Kong is rediscovered on Mondo Island. Clearly, there’s only one possible way of extracting Element X: kidnapping Kong and hypnotizing him to dig for it! This goes as poorly as you might expect.

Pretty soon Kong escapes to Japan (well, of course he does) and both he and his mechanical double wind up climbing the Tokyo Tower. The big monkey is deterred neither by Mechani-Kong’s hypno-skullcap nor his belt of grenades, but it takes a last-minute change of alliance by Madame Piranha to send the machine crashing to his doom.

*No relation, but you can bet that some Whovian somewhere has written fanfic explaining how the Doctor’s fourth-and-a-half incarnation turned Japanese and built a King Kong robot.