Directed by John Lamont
Written by Kaben Kandel and Herman Cohen
Merton Park Studios
First viewing/Netflix rental
Every person’s comfort viewing is different. Mine is apparently bad movies featuring men in ape suits.
The movie begins with an airplane exploding in a ball of flames as it hits an African jungle. The accident appears unsurvivable but one year later the passenger, botanist Dr. Charles Dekker (Michael Gough), makes his way back to London. His year in the Heart of Darkness and study of carnivorous plants has given him the key to the link between plants and humans. He also has Konga, a cute baby chimp, in tow.
Dekker begins growing specimens in his greenhouse with the assistance of his faithful housekeeper and frustrated girlfriend Margaret. He is quickly able to distill the serum and test his theory on Konga, who grows up to be a man in a gorilla suit. He hypnotizes Konga and then “tests his obedience” by sending the ape out to kill his enemies. Margaret is rapidly wise to the doctor’s scheme but keeps quiet in exchange for a proposal of marriage. But Dekker is mad in every sense of the word and soon is making a fool of himself over blonde co-ed Sandra.
This movie is thoroughly bad but has plenty of goofy charm. It is kind of a bargain basement combination of Frankenstein, King Kong, and The Murders on the Rue Morgue. The cross-eyed ape is irresistibly silly. The special effect miniatures are endearingly terrible. And Gough’s overacting is the icing on the cake. Only for fans of this kind of thing.
I also enjoyed all the stock footage of Papua New Guinea tribes, here standing in for exotic Africans!