DIRECTOR John Lemont WRITER Aben Kandel; Herman Cohen STARS Michael Gough; Margo Johns; Jess Conrad DVD 13 May
Featuring terrible performances and hilariously bad effects, Konga, a delightfully bad King Kong rip-off, is a hoot from beginning to end. Sporting its absurd story with unashamed pride, the film delivers a campy fun that is refreshing in this age of monosyllabic monster movie mash-ups. Factor in a ludicrous script — “There is a huge, monster gorilla, that’s constantly growing to outlandish proportions, loose in the streets!” — and this is a release that screams for purchase.
It’s likely the film would be far less entertaining if not for Michael Gough’s performance as Dr. Dekker, the monomaniac botanist drunk on power. The actor delivers a cold, yet camp villain, wisely bringing a deadpan seriousness to his dialogue that serves to underline just how silly Konga really is. Admittedly, it runs out of steam come the climax, as Konga slowly lumbers around London as opposed to rampaging through the city, but there is still fun to be squeezed here courtesy of the aforementioned bad effects — few will not laugh out loud on viewing an obviously reluctant performer in a patchy gorilla suit holding in his hand a doll that represents a fully grown man.
The transfer itself is very good, the lurid colours and phallic, carnivorous plants as clear as can be expected of a 1961 film, however the disc itself is nothing particularly special, the extras thin, although a gallery does provide some amusing stills. Still, one is not purchasing a film of this ilk for filmmaking insight. Konga is sheer B-movie lunacy of remarkably bad proportions, and all the more essential for it.