Review: Konga


B movies are a hard genre to get your head around. They were pioneers back in the 60's/70's paving the way for unique stories with (sometimes) ground breaking uses of effects, not constrained like other films at the time with higher budgets. However they were met with plenty of resistance, most critiques at the time refused to review the B-Movies if they were a single release and not a series and the general perception was that B movies were inferior to the highly budgeted headliners. A shame really when some of them are true gems and have a massive influence to this day.

Watching a B movie now is like going back in time, and if you are willing to look at other reviews they get truly slated by people who just don't understand that at the time if you didn't have the backing of a major studio this is what was produced, and for all of the 'dodgy' effects and acting the one thing that always shines through is the charm that they posses.

Personally I love B movies, to me they are easy watching and thoroughly enjoyable. No I'm not saying they're all good, of course in all genres there are stinkers in there too, however I always have a certain respect for their efforts. With little to no budget and without the promise of good reviews or even any attention at all the producers would still persist and give it their best efforts!  

The plot focuses on a Dr.Decker (played by the award winning Michael Gough - better known for his performances as the butler Alfred from the Batman films), who returns from Africa after a year when everyone presumed he was dead. In all fairness his plane did explode in the middle of the jungle but in true B Movie style he managed to survive. While away for the year he talks about discovering a way of growing plants and animals at an accelerated rate, with him he brings a baby chimpanzee which he will test his theory on. Whilst Dr.Decker starts to make enemies at home, enemies that don't agree with his work he decides it's time to inject his chimp with his new found serum and use him to get rid of anyone that gets in his way.

Now it's not all rosy, if you are used to B movies you will know that sometimes they take a while to get going, and usually the fact that they have a 60-70 minute runtime you don't really notice it, however with Konga it has a 90 minute runtime meaning that the first 45-50 minutes turn out to be pure padding, other than crazy Dr.Decker talking science. Not to take anything away from Michael Gough his performance is truly outstanding and thoroughly convincing as a scientist that has literally taken his ideas to a new extreme.

Now the 'Konga' itself is utterly ridiculous, in true B style fashion, simple put its a man in a gorilla suit. Some scenes are laugh out loud funny (by today's standard) and one thing that is massively noticeable is how wrong all of the scaling is, take a minute to appreciate how small the people look when being held by Konga! Its worthy of a pause! Even when Konga is on his rampage through London scaling is to put it lightly, ridiculous.

Now I'll be brutally honest, if you don't like B Movies, you will not like Konga. It won't sway your decision either, you have to be a fan of the genre. Its slow paced, there's an awful lot of padding, and not enough action for most casual horror fans. On the other hand acting is never at fault, albeit a little cheesy, the finale is interesting to say the least and personally I think it shares a lot in common with all B Movies from the era, charm.

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