Random Film of the Week: KONGA

(thanks, Movie Trailer Graveyard!)

Konga MPWhile it’s not the worst man in a gorilla suit sci-fi/horror hybrid out there (Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla or A*P*E*, anyone?) 1961’s KONGA is nevertheless a terrifyingly bad movie that’s worth a watch for a few reasons. You’ll marvel at the ferocious, scenery chewing by Michael Gough’s mad botanist/scientist Dr. Charles Decker, the kitchen sink plot that tosses in carnivorous plants, terrible, inaccurate science, botany and biology, a love triangle that’s actually a square that gets whittled away corner by corner as the film progresses and some mostly lousy special effects that make this a total howler. I’ll get back to the ape suit later and the man in it, as both are another key to making this film so hysterically funny.

You have to admire a film that wants you to believe that Dr. Decker returns from his year-long trip to Africa (he’s actually missing and presumed dead!) with some strange ideas, some recipes for a serum that can make plants and animals grow to extreme sizes and a cute baby chimpanzee. His plant experiments end up creating a number of oversize man-eating varieties including (eek) some that look like gigantic black rubber penises with green veins a’poppin’ and red tongues hanging out (seriously). Before that rolls around in your head too much, Decker’s real showpiece is Konga, that baby chimpanzee he gives his serum who SOMEHOW changes into a gorilla (Wait, WHAT? Science takes another hit, folks POW!) before using his new “pet” to get revenge on a few of his peers (spoilers inbound, but it doesn’t matter because even if it’s all given away, this one’s worth seeing for the laughs it provides)… Continue reading

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Random Film of the Week: Master of the World

Master of the WorldAh, Master of the World… you’re so well intentioned but when all is said and done you’re just not as good a film as you wanted to be… and that’s too bad. Even the great Vincent Price reading the words of the great Richard Matheson (who reworked elements from two of the great Jules Verne’s books into a screenplay) can’t save you from your crushing mediocrity. Nope, those barrel bottom visual effects work and an unfunny comic relief chef character tossed into the rather serious story can’t keep this Albatross afloat at all. That said, it’s an OK flick if you don’t mind it reminding you of a few better ones it tries so hard to template.

Now, call me crazy… but I think the idea of a war-hating kind of madman flying around the world and waging war against people who wage wars is both nuts and necessary in this day and age. However, this film fails to excite on a few levels other than giving Price his juicy lead role and Charles Bronson a chance to play a rugged-looking 19th century good guy for a change. For all its explosions and shouting, it makes the idea of Price’s bomb-dropping anti-war antihero Robur a pretty dull one and the film wears out its welcome around the halfway point… Continue reading

Random Film of the Week: “X”- The Man With The X-Ray Eyes

 

X-TheManWithTheX-RayEyesMPOhhhh-kay... I’m having a SERIOUS case of déjà vu here. I know for a fact that I’d written up a review of this great 1963 Roger Corman “B” flick a few years back and posted it either on the old blog, here or somewhere else, but it’s nowhere to be found as far as I’ve checked. Crazy! Or perhaps I had such a vivid dream about writing this up that I merely THOUGHT that I’d run a review. Hey, it happens. But only to me, it seems…

Anyway, I despise rewriting stuff, so it could be that I did a draft that was close to completion but somehow was deleted or accidentally overwritten thanks to that oddball WordPress flaw where if you have two “Add New Post” tabs open and make the mistake of using them for new posts, you overwrite the first post with the second. Anyway, this is one of those really surprising low-budget films that, thanks to some great casting and some genuinely tight direction, manages to be much better than it should be… Continue reading

Random Film of the Week: The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane


video courtesy of Youtuber rynnjacobs.com – Thanks!
 

While it hasn’t got gallons of blood spilling all over the place nor a high body count to rival later and much more exploitative genre flicks, there’s a constant and nicely weird vibe that runs throughout Nicholas Gessner’s 1976 film The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane that makes it one of those slow burning “horror” flicks that lingers in your brain after the credits have rolled. The movie is more of a mystery/suspense hybrid than an actual horror film, but it’s easy to see it falling into that latter classification because of one particularly sudden death and part of one or two other scenes. Then again, it’s also one of those great oddball movies where the people who do die get their just desserts and probably won’t be missed even by the most pacifistic film fan.

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