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King Kong Lives (1986) | John Guillermin



In this sequel to the 1976 remake of Kong Kong, none of the original cast returns, except in archival footage shown in the intro depicting Kong after getting shot down from the top of the World Trade Center and falling to the streets below. We come to learn that Kong (Peter Elliott) improbably survived, existing in a coma for ten years on life support in a giant lab facility in Atlanta awaiting a giant artificial heart to replace the organic one that can no longer support him without medical assistance. Kong also needs lots of ape plasma for the surgery but there aren’t apes like him to give blood. The lead heart surgeon, Dr. Amy Franklin (Linda Hamilton), laments that only a miracle can save Kong.

That miracle arrives when the soldier-of-fortune Hank Mitchell (Brian Kerwin) discovers another giant ape while scouting for diamonds in the jungles of Borneo. He finds a way to bring the female ape back to the United States for fortune and glory. The lab needs her plasma but the two apes sense the presence of each other, which makes it particularly dangerous for any humans trying to keep the apes from doing what apes want to do naturally.  The apes escape their confinement and run away as fugitives, but the scientists can’t have these two roaming the Great Smoky Mountains wreaking havoc, so the military, led by the tenacious Colonel Nevitt (John Ashton), is called in to take whatever measures and necessary. It’s up to Dr. Franklin and Hank Mitchell to lead them to safety somehow. John Guillermin directs.