Now I’m as much a fan of B-Movie horror films as the next guy and am not averse to the cheap budget and effects on show. If anything I welcome the discrepancies of these kinds of movies, not afraid to show its flaws which almost become a character in the film.
Konga was something of a passion project for American producer Herman Cohen, the man responsible for the successful 1957 feature I Was A Teenage Werewolf, and was keen to unite this idea with a colour version of King Kong, hence why the production was initially going to be called I Was A Teenage Gorilla. The chance would come when American International Pictures would collaborate with Anglo Amalgamated to work on an exploitation film together.
The problem I have with Konga is that it relies too heavily on the premise and both character and plot are neglected. There’s not a lot that British veteran Michael Gough can bring to the film to lift it out of this quagmire of a poorly written script. It is a little too familiar and formulaic to resonate in any way.
Gough would play Dr. Charles Decker, a man who has survived living in a remote part of Africa, believed to have died, and through his study of botany has come across an amazing discovery where he can grow animals and plants to an enormous size. Gough slips easily into the magnanimous scientist role and projects the God-like narcissist manner of a man, who believes he is greater than all he encounters.
This characteristic is heightened when he is able to use a serum that turns a chimpanzee into a ferocious gorilla, and when anyone crosses his path, has a perfect killing animal at his will.
Of course things inevitably go awry when love intervenes, and Decker persues one of his students, Sandra (Claire Gordon) which ignites jealousy from his colleague, Margaret (Margo Johns). Margaret then enacts revenge by injecting the chimpanzee with a huge dose of the serum, transforming the ape into Kong-like proportions and carnage ensues.
There is no hiding the flaws though, especially when you have a man dressed up as a giant-sized gorilla supposedly bringing the house down.
Mark this down as a curious entry into the horror scene and one that doesn’t necessarily hit the right points and takes a big plunge off Big Ben into obscurity.
- Saul Muerte