DVD Title
King Kong Escapes
International Title
King Kong Escapes
DVD Length Original Length
96 Minutes 104 Minutes
Company Year of Manufacture
Universal 2005
Language Subtitles
English English, Spanish, French
Region Number of Discs
1 1
Aspect Ratio Sound
2.35:1 (Anamorphic) 2.0 Mono
Extras
. Menus (English)
. Chapters (18)
Captures
Review

The second DVD in Universal's King Kong Two Pack, King Kong Escapes showcases Toho's 1967 endeavor featuring the "8th wonder of the world". In terms of this release, the film has really never looked better. Granted, the Japanese version of the movie is missing, but the US version is presented here nearly flawlessly with excellent video and audio quality. Unfortunately, the extras are nonexistent, but considering the disc is packaged alongside King Kong vs. Godzilla for the extremely cheap price of $15 I suppose one can't complain.


 Video: Star Rating

Universal has done a commendable job in restoring the film, as King Kong Escapes looks amazing on this release. There are some minor complaints to be had, such as some scratches and a faint layer of grain, but otherwise the movie looks great. The colors are probably the most commendable area, as they are incredibly vibrant; however, it appears that the contrast might have been bumped too high as a result, but this is only noticeable on the overly white clouds during the Gorosaurus sequence (as seen here). As for the digital transfer process: the film looks very sharp with hardly any signs of edge enhancement, while artifacting and other inconsistencies are non-apparent.

Unfortunately, as mentioned before, this is the US version of the film. This means that the running time is short in comparison to the Japanese edit, while some new sequences have been added as well. Thankfully, the US version of this movie stands up a lot better in contrast to King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962). This means that all of the new sequences were ones filmed by Toho and were simply edited out of the Japanese version, most likely for pacing issues, as opposed to being filmed by a US unit. On the downside, there is also some minor stock footage padding added as well, from movies such as The War of the Gargantuas (1966).

King Kong Escapes is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and is Anamorphic for widescreen TVs.


 Audio:

There is one audio track present for King Kong Escapes, which is a 2.0 mono track of the English version. In terms of quality, the track is in excellent shape with no distortions while all of the dialogue is crystal clear. Unfortunately, the Japanese audio or a multi-channel presentation is not included, but one can hardly point fault in how Universal handled the English track.

The movie can be accompanied by, removable, English, Spanish, or French subtitles.


 Extras:

None, although not to be unexpected considering the set's price.


 Overview: Star Rating

Bottom line, the disc isn't exceptionally good in terms of its potential, but the presentation of the US version is absolutely outstanding here. The fact that there is new footage in the US edit, not found in the Japanese version, makes this a suggested purchase for all kaiju fans, especially considering the video quality and that the disc is sold at a bargain rate of about $7, when one divides the cost of the two pack.

-Anthony Romero  
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