Our Film Review:
Konga, a 1961 British effort from director John Lemont, is an unashamed King Kong clone but not without some original elements that do provide some level of entertainment along the way.
The main plus point going for this film is the delightfully OTT performance from Michael Gough as the ‘mad’ Dr. Decker. Hamming it up to great effect, it’s his take on this character that saves the film and his delivery of some truly awful dialogue gives the film some laugh out loud moments (whether these were intentional remains to be seen). The supporting players though should hang their heads in shame, Jess Conrad as Bob Kenton is frankly dreadful and whilst amusing initially you will be waiting with glee for his inevitable death at the hands of the oversized ape!
So what of the story, well its utter guff to be frank but very entertaining, thankfully the writers have decided to not rip off the plot from King Kong. Dr. Decker returns from Africa with some Insectivorous plant samples that seem to have some link to human DNA. Taking extracts from these plants he discovers they accelerate growth and injects his pet chimpanzee (the titular ape)… it doesn’t take a genius to see where it goes from there.
Special mention needs to go to some of the effects work on display here, the plants themselves look decent enough for a film of this age and the fact the Konga is clearly a man in suit can be forgiven and indeed gives the film some of its aforementioned charm. What is notable is the use of model work in the films finale is not the best, the dummy used to substitute for Margo Johns could not more obviously be a child’s doll and will have you close to tears with laughter.
In all honestly you will have made your mind from the title and DVD cover if this film is for you or not, fans of cheesy B-movies will take pleasure from a seeing a giant ape terrorise London, anyone need not apply.