A raggedy, slack-jawed Kong with an obvious zipper down his back fighting a robot replica of himself at the behest of a cape wearing villain called Doctor Who - what's not to love about King Kong Escapes?
Evil scientist Doctor Who (played by Hideyo Amamoto; I suspect it really should have been Doctor Hu, but that's how it's spelt in the credits) has been laughed out of the James Bond Villain Society for being rubbish and has blown his life-savings on building a robot duplicate of King Kong to assist him in some uncertain scheme to mine the legendary Element X from under the ice at the North Pole.
Because he's spent all his money on his robot, Who is being bankrolled by a nameless Asian country represented by their duplicitous agent, the femme fatale known as either Madame Piranha or Madame X (which might have got confusing with Element X), played by Bond girl Mie Hama.
There's some talk about Element X being used in nuclear weapons and helping Madame Piranha's country take over the world, but that doesn't really go anywhere.
Meanwhile, a UN submarine surveying for oil and captained by Commander Carl Nelson (played by the pulpishly named Rhodes Reason) - who happens to have been the designer of MechaKong before Who stoles his plans - is forced to make repairs off the coast of an island where the real King Kong is rumoured to hang out.
Nelson, Lieutenant Susan Watson (Linda Miller) and Lt. Commander Jiro Nomura (Akira Takarada) go ashore to check out the rumours and lo-and-behold find Kong.
Kong takes a shine to Susan, saving her from a rubber dinosaur that may have been a T-Rex in the script, however before Nelson and his crew can return for a fully-sanctioned UN study of the great ape, the evil Who swoops in with his army of goons, gases Kong and carries him away to his polar laboratory.
Nelson, Susan and Jiro are then kidnapped by Who's men as well, as Who knows of Kong's affection for Susan and the beast's willingness to obey the beauty's wishes.
The bond between the two is so strong though that when Who tortures Susan, Kong becomes enraged, escapes the supervillain lair, jumps into the sea... and promptly swims to Tokyo!
Given the lack of actual land at the North Pole and Kong's subsequent swim to Tokyo, I rather suspect - much like Who/Hu's name - somewhere in the translation from Japanese someone got their North and South mixed up as it makes more sense for Who's mining operations to have been where was actually some land!
Anyway, Who and his minions take their robot and race to Tokyo, getting there just behind Nelson, Susan and Jiro - who have been helped by Madame Piranha (I said she was duplicitous).
Kong and MechaKong then duke it out in downtown Tokyo, eventually taking their fight to the top of a very tall radio mast with inevitable consequences.
King Kong Escapes is a totally loopy and adorable movie, made with a surfeit of gleeful innocence sadly lacking from mainstream cinema these days.
Fantastic model work and goofy story make this perfect lazy day viewing, while the whole "mining using a giant gorilla" angle just doesn't merit wasting any brain power on as it's patently ridiculous, just enjoy King Kong Escapes for what it is: escapist fun.
I don't regret a penny of the fiver I spent on this DVD.