Sunday, September 5, 2010

Kong Island 1968 ** 3/4

Dir: Robert Morris aka Roberto Mauri

Stars: Marc Lawrence, Brad Harris, Esmeralda Barros, Adriana Alban, Ursula Davis

This Italian movie is also known as King of Kong Island, but don't let either title fool you, the apes in this are all regular sized. But gorillas are gorillas, and I'm a sucker for any movie with gorillas, especially if they are portrayed by people in gorilla costumes, and especially if, as in this movie, they are remote controlled by a mad scientist. The Leonard Maltin Movie Guide says this movie is "not even good for laughs". I beg to differ, but that could be because I find amusement in the concept of a mad scientist named Albert plotting to somehow control the world with an army of mind controlled gorillas in Africa. There are, admittedly, a lot of scenes where the film drags, as people walk endlessly through the jungle, but there's a lot to recommend it, as there is a jungle girl, referred to as "The Sacred Monkey", and a kind of fun dancing/club scene, as well as just a bizarre, twisted plot. One highlight includes the gorillas invading a camp and kidnapping the breathtaking Ursula Davis, also seen in Crypt of the Vampire and An Angel for Satan; she's one of my favourite Eurohorror beauties, seeming to always play the "good girl".

The last twenty or so minutes are especially good, as everything comes to a head and there is one fight after another in the lab/cave hideout of Albert; man versus man, woman versus woman, mad scientist versus gorilla. I must also admit I like this movie because it seems like something I may have caught part of on TV when I was a kid and been forever baffled and intrigued. I'm not sure if I really did, but it has that sort of strange evocative feel for me, between the nonstop muzak soundtrack and the blurry, otherworldly visuals. It puts me into a good b-movie trance, what can I say. That's what I look for.


  1. I have always had a soft spot for Gorillas running wild too. As a kid I always liked the Filmation Ghostbusters(with the ape ghostbuster) better than the Real Ghostbusters cartoon.

  2. Y'know, I've never seen that one, but I tend to like anything from Filmation, so if it's also got gorillas, sign me up! And of course I also love DC comics in the Silver Age, which was full of all sortsa gorillas.

  3. You should check it out. Rather than being four dudes, its two guys and a gorilla in a hat and jungle shorts. It is really weird in comparison. Like one of their guns shoots bubblegum.