Queen Kong (1976) – Frank Agrama

This bizarre, musical number filled send up of the classic film King Kong is the next entry in the Monstrous Apes chapter of DK Canada’s Monsters in the Movies. This British film is so incredibly bad that it does actually come around to good again. In fact it rides it like a merry-go-round racing around and around between the two extremes.

An all female film crew led by Luce Habit (Rula Lenska) heads to darkest Africa (or Brighton) to explore its mysteries and come back with a rumoured creature known as Queen Kong. To properly highlight her film, she needs a love interest, both for her and the camera, and settles on Ray Fay (get it?) played by Robin Askwith.

With tongue planted firmly in cheek and Ray attempting to deliver (half)wit-filled lines, the film hits all the beats of the original classic but without the style, panache, or special effects. Instead it’s all done by a man in a suit… even a fight with some weird dinosaur thing.

Filled with sight gags, terrible one-liners, it’s also very intent on putting its sexist shoes on the other foot to pointed results. But the film never quite proves itself, held back by a script that thinks its smarter than it is (it isn’t) and horrible special effects that can’t even stand next to a film made over forty years earlier.

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Taken on its own, there isn’t much to save it, but if you want to go into it knowing it’s going to be a horrible experience, the film is pretty enjoyable. And you may never get me to repeat that.

The performances are horrid, the production is abysmal. The film, in fact, never saw a theatrical release, and a number of those involved with it have disavowed it.

There’s a whole subplot having to do with Kong’s appearance, and because she’s a female, and this is England, she needs to have a bra and panties on before she can be seen in public…

This one I will just chart up to being bizarre, and as I close in on the end of this chapter, my least favourite so far, because I think for me ape films peaked with the original King Kong and Planet of the Apes franchise, I can’t do much more than look eagerly in the pages ahead to the other cool monsters that are lurking in the pages of…

DK Books’ Monsters in the Movies by famed director John Landis. Pick up a copy tonight and find something truly monstrous to watch!

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