Cast and Crew: Ishiro Honda (Director), Takeshi Kimura (Writer); Arthur Rankin Jr., Tomoyuki Tanaka (Producers); Akira Ifukube (Score); Eiji Tsuburaya (Effects); Paul Frees (Dr. Who, English version),
What It’s About: A trio of UN research scientists-Carl Nelson (Rhodes Reason), Jiro Nomura (Akira Takarada) and Susan Watson (Linda Miller)-visit Mondo Island to get a look at King Kong while their sub is making repairs nearby, which allows Kong to do his Kong thing (saving a beautiful blonde from a series of prehistoric monsters). Meanwhile, Dr. Who (Eisei Amamoto) builds a Mecha-Kong to provide secret agent Madame X (Mie Hama) with a very powerful, rare and nearly impossible to mine radioactive element. There’s just one problem: Mecha-Kong is short circuited by the radiation. The obvious solution? Kidnap King Kong and force him to dig, under the power of hypnosis. When that fails, only beauty can force the beast to work for Dr. Who, so he kidnaps Susan, Jiro and Carl, who turn out to be (surprise, surprise) unwilling to tell Kong to dig for Dr. Who. When Kong busts out of Who’s arctic base and heads for Tokyo, Who follows, hoping to use Mecha-Kong to recapture the King. Will Tokyo survive yet another Kaiju throw-down?
Why Watch it Today?: When the original King Kong was released on this date in 1933, no one could predict that in less than 40 years he’d appear in a Japanese-American co-production/cartoon tie-in as a superhero battling a Chinese communist plots to control the world, but that’s just what happened in this Toho-Rankin/Bass mash-up of the Kaiju and spy genres.