King Kong Lives John Guillermin, Charles McCracken

What's better than one giant monkey? Why two, of course. And throw in a double love story, caring scientists and fortune hunters, evil army colonels, country bumpkins and funny natives while you're at it. It turns out that King Kong didn't die after his fall from the World Trade Center (this being the sequel to the Jessica Lange/Jeff Bridges 1978 version). He has been kept on life support in a secret location for a decade. And now, poor thing, his heart is about to give out. Scientists, led by Dr. Amy Franklin (Linda Hamilton), have fashioned a giant mechanical replacement heart but they've waited too long and now Kong will require a blood transfusion as well. As luck would have it, Hank Mitchell (Brian Kerwin) just stumbled upon another giant beast in the jungle and is ready to sell it to the highest bidder. There appears to be a competition among universities and "Heads of Primate Research" to see who gets the biggest monkey, and thankfully Dr. Franklin wins. The operation is successful and Kong wakes up a new man (or ape, rather) but all hell breaks loose when he gets a whiff of Lady Kong — kept in a silo three miles away. Like Romeo and Juliet, our doomed star-crossed lovers struggle to be together. In this retelling it involves Kong crushing tanks, construction equipment and helicopters. Dr. Franklin and Mitch know that he's a good ape at heart and is just trying to protect his mate but how can they convince that pigheaded army colonel? He just won't listen! King Kong Lives is a fine example of silly B-movie antics with lady scientists and their swashbuckling love interests. The special effects aren't stop-motion — those are real people in those monkey suits! — which adds to the enjoyment. Not quality filmmaking but enjoyable viewing. (Fox)