Konga

"Terrible"

Konga Review


Ah, Konga. When I saw this film as an impressionable youngster -- if my memory serves correctly it was an afternoon "horror show" on a local cable channel -- I was both mildly frightened and incredulously stunned. Watching it today, well... let's just say it's like an overdose of Cap'n Crunch cereal.

The plot is B-movie simple: Doctor Charles Decker (Michael Gough), presumed deceased, returns from dark and mysterious Africa with a formula to grow things big. We're talking a laboratory of man-sized plants and other nasty mutations. And when Decker giganitsizes his pet chimp Konga, all of London is in dire trouble.

Konga's saving grace is Gough. One of England's most prolific and exhaustively entertaining actors (he's best known these days for portraying Batman's butler, Alfred, in the Tim Burton films), Gough comes on strong and never stops. He's got a maniacal glee that is simply unmatched. His performance here is on par with his other horror film outings, including The Horror of Dracula, Horrors of the Black Museum, and Black Zoo. But the film is more akin to his turn in the nausea-including Trog.

The plot is lurid; this is more Frankenstein's monster than true King Kong. Where Kong was a resourceful giant trapped in a small city, Konga is a man-made monstrosity that terrorizes simply for kicks. He's not after a gal, there's no blonde bombshell for him to saunter down Main Street with. Hell, Konga even grabs a dude at one point!

Sadly, the real thrill here is the slap-dash, cheap-ass buffoonery of the mismatched miniatures and moth-eaten costumes. I thought the Korean abomination A.P.E. (the infamous King Kong rip-off where the giant monkey actually gives his attackers the finger) had the poorest ape effects on record, but Konga truly takes the cake. And the venus flytrap puppets deserve an honorable mention.

With the DVD vultures currently circling over anything even remotely related to King Kong, or having anything to do with a giant ape, it's no wonder that this turkey has found its way to stores everywhere. If you missed it in '61, count yourself lucky. But if you're one of those sadomasochistic cinephiles looking for raspberries this is a sure fire winner.



Konga

Facts and Figures

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 1st March 1961

Distributed by: American International Picture

Production compaines: Merton Park Studios, Anglo-Amalgamated Film Distributors, American International Pictures (AIP)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 33%
Fresh: 2 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 3.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: John Lemont

Producer: Herman Cohen, Nathan Cohen, Stuart Levy

Starring: as Dr. Charles Decker, Margo Johns as Margaret, Jess Conrad as Bob Kenton, Claire Gordon as Sandra Banks, Rupert Osborne as Eric Kenton, Austin Trevor as Dean Foster

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