Sunday, January 23, 2011

King of Kong Island (1968)

The description on the 100 sci-fi classics actually got me excited for this one. It promised mad scientists creating gorilla warlords. There was to be adventure on a mysterious island, and best of all – a descendent of King Kong in the finale. I knew it would be low budget, but hey that would make it for fun, right.

Burt Dawson (Brad Harris) is out for revenge against the men who set him up during a payroll robbery gone bad. Along the way he runs into Forrester (Mario Donatone), his old pal who may have a job for him. Forrester’s daughter, Diana (Ursula Davis) has been seized by a man named Turk (Paolo Magalotti) and the diabolical Albert Muller (Marc Lawrence). They are holding her hostage to get at Burt. But Burt is no slouch he jumps into the jungle and tries to find the kidnappers, doing battle with zombie apes and meeting Eva “The Savage Girl” (Esmeralda Barros). And because it’s a jungle movie there will be a ton of stock footage and lots of walking scenes. Can you stay awake long enough to discover who is the King of Kong Island?

Good Points:
  • Want beefcake or cheesecake – this movie’s got both!
  • A fun and funky late 60’s vibe
  • The killer gorilla/zombies are hilarious
Bad Points:
  • Lots and lots of walking scenes
  • The entire middle portion is duller than dirt
  • How does this relate to King Kong again?
I think this movie was made to show off the assets of Brad Harris, Esmerelda Barros and Adriana Alben. Because it wasn’t for the plot or the creating anything really entertaining. Some comedy can be mined from the oh so 60’s party at the beginning or the bad monkey outfits, but really this one’s a dud.

Scores (out of 5)
Visuals: 2
Sound: 3
Music: 2
Acting: 2
Script: 1
Direction: 2
Entertainment: 1
Total: 1

In Depth
I don’t expect much form these movies. I just want some cheesy entertainment. So when you promise some giant apes, I just expect to see some giant apes. Instead the King of Kong Island is one let down after the other.

The basic story about Burt wanting revenge on the men the betrayed him during a robbery is dull. We never get a good look at the traitors, and so it actually took me a while to realize these were the same men. Then Burt behaves like such an ass, that I don’t care what happens to him, and hope that Kong comes and squishes him like a grape. Alas, Burt gets to wander around the jungle, take his shirt off and splash around (for the ladies) and then come to the rescue, kinda, at the end. So our protagonist is worthless.

Our villain fares a bit better. Muller is your typical mad scientist type who wants to conquer the world with radio-controlled apes. You know the type. He chews the scenery, threatens the hero, laughs like a loony and makes gross advances on his captive Diana. I think Mr. Lawrence knew just what kind of a dumb movie he was in and just went for it. He played two different mafia toughs in two different Bond movies with the same bit of zeal (Diamonds are Forever and The Man with the Golden Gun).

Then there’s Eva the jungle goddess person or some such stupidity. She basically wanders around the jungle topless (with her long hair in front of her chesticular region, calm down boys), and talks to a chimp. Yeah I guess the chimp is supposed to be the descendent of Kong. She does some stuff to save Burt, but mostly I think she supposed to be a combination of titillation and comic relief she doesn’t do very well with either. Adriana Alben steams up the screen a bit more in her shower scene, but she’s doesn’t really have a point in King of Kong Island other than to have the shower scene and get beaten up by Forrester.

Yeah the nice movie has a scene where a woman gets slapped around and an scene where the villain threatens to rape his captive or have his zombie apes rape her. Jeez! Some movies have no class.

Really that’s what this stupid movie boils down to. It has no class, and no point of really existing. It’s dull in the middle with endless walking scenes and stock footage of African animals. The thrilling scenes make you snore and only the ludicrous apes (and horrific dubbing) provide any laughs. But they honestly aren’t worth it. Stick with any other version of King Kong  or Tarzan if you are in the mood for jungle fun. Or heck even watch Queen of the Amazons over this stupid turd. You’ll be glad you missed this one.

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