Review: Konga (1961)

kongaNetwork DVD ‘British Film Collection’

Out now


A mad scientist devises a way to make animals huge…

Depending on your generation of geekdom, Michael Gough is possibly either the Celestial Toymaker, from the William Hartnell Doctor Who story, or Alfred the Butler from the 1980s/1990s Batman film series. The role that probably doesn’t spring immediately to mind is that of Dr Decker in this amalgamation of Attack of the 50 Foot Woman and King Kong, done on a shoestring budget.

You can’t really take this 1961 B-movie that seriously: from the start, it’s clear that Decker is completely nuts, and his plans don’t even stand up to five seconds’ thought. Gough chews his way through scenes with carnivorous plants, giant apes and madly lustful assistants, accompanied by Gerard Schurmann’s score. But there’s something fun about such shape-changing nonsense – as fans of The Goodies’ adventure Kitten Kong will attest – and you are almost glued to the screen to see just how much worse it can get. The effects are… well, they are there. Just. Although apparently they took eighteen months to complete!

Verdict: Never the sort of film to trouble the Academy Awards, Konga gets a decent transfer for this Network DVD – so you too can gasp in horror!  6/10

Paul Simpson

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