A*P*E (1976) [REVIEW] | Flipping Kongs

Sure, Konga wasn’t great, and earlier this year we also spotlighted another King Kong rip-off, the italo-canadian Yeti: The Giant Of The 20th Centhury, which indeed is worthy of being called “craptacular”, as in it’s really bad but also frigging hilarious and with some odd innocence for italian exploitation cinema. Even if there’s a crime thriller subplot that almost kills off Lassie.

But we can go lower down the cinema alphabet, and for theatrically released feature lenght movies about giant apes, you can hardly go lower than the american-south korean A*P*E*, quickly put out to cash-in this wave of Kongsploitation, as it released the same year of the Dino DeLaurentis backed remake, with 3D effects because if we’re gonna do this, might as well make it gimmicky.

Yeah, i’m doing this one because i feel more people are at least aware of The Mighty Peaking Man, also made to cash-in the popularity of the 1976 DeLaurentis’ King Kong remake, but far better than most Kong rip-offs, definitely far better than A*P*E*.

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Konga (1961) [REVIEW] | British Jungle Beat

1961 was indeed the year of british giant monster rip-off movies, heck, this was released just 3 days in the UK before Gorgo debutted in US theathers, and both got a comic book tie-in (which eventually pitted them against each other), even if the production companies were different. But again, exploitation cinema is an universal language.

Where Gorgo obviously ripped off Godzilla, Konga went for the giant primate, even going so far as marketing it with this phrase written on the theathrical poster “Not since King Kong has the screen exploded with such mighty fury and spectacle”. But in this case there were no troublesome legal litigations on the name (the ownership to the name “King Kong” is an incredibly messy subject deserving its own detailed editorial or video), as producer Herman Cohen just paid RKO 25.000 $ for using the name “Kong” in the posters and marketing material.

Ironically, Gorgo’s plot was more akin to King Kong’s (or to be precise, Murders In The Rue Morge) than the one found in Konga, because there are no natives worshipping the giant ape, no company kidnapping him and all that jazz.

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