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Horror - Konga

Buy Konga
Michael Gough, Margo Johns, Claire Gordon
Directed by John Lemont
American International Pictures 1961
MGM Home Video 2005
90 minutes
Filmed in SpectaMotion

If you are an oddball, self-aggrandizing, and willing to sacrifice anyone and anything to prove your scientific theory and show the world what a brilliant man you are and what a bunch of idiots all the other scientists are, you are a mad scientist. Dr. Charles Decker, a British botanist, is the usual mad scientist and Konga is the result of his experiments. Konga is also a verbose and slow moving monster / horror movie with a couple of neat special effects and a guy in a gorilla suit.

Dr Charles Decker crashes his plain in good old dark Africa and comes back a year later with some special fast-growing carnivorous and human-like plants, a scientific theory about using those plants, and a cute chimp he has named Konga. Basically, he injects the growth hormones of the special plants into his chimp and gets an instant gorilla. Why creating a gorilla is revolutionary when there are perfectly good gorillas running around in the first place is not really explained although Konga is more human than your average gorilla. The only credit Decker (Michael Gough) gets is his really cool looking plants.

When Dean Foster of Essex College challenges Decker, the latter sends Konga to kill him. His spinsterish long-time assistant, Margaret (Margo Johns), has the doctor buy her silence about the murder with a promise to marry her. Then, well, the mad scientist goes madder and starts killing off his rivals both in science and love using Konga (the guy in the gorilla suit).

The problem with this movie is that the gorilla only goes on a rampage in London with 12 minutes left in the movie after Margaret injects him with another dose of growth hormones. No horror / supersized beast movie should wait that long before the monster starts destroying things and stomping on Dinky toys and so on. After all, the point of these things is to watch people flee in panic while looking behind them and seeing scale model cardboard and plaster buildings get flattened along with a landmark and a bridge or two.

Unfortunately, Konga is a British guy in a gorilla suit so he only perambulates through London not crushing anything and even manages to die without crushing anything under him. Bummer. Konga is a bad movie in a gorilla suit.

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