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Konga (1961)

Grace Arnold , George Barrows  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Grace Arnold, George Barrows, Nicholas Bennett, Herman Cohen (II), Jess Conrad
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (PCM Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: December 6, 2005
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BITV0Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,573 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Konga" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Lost in the African jungles for over a year, Dr. Charles Decker (Michael Gough, Horror Hospital) has returned to England with Konga, a baby chimpanzee. Disappearing into his lab, the mad botanist begins work on what he believes will be his greatest achievement. Having witnessed a Baganda witchdoctor’s use of a rare carnivorous plant to produce accelerated animal growth, Decker injects Konga with the same serum. Using the gorilla-sized chimp to brutally murder his enemies, Decker himself soon becomes victim to Konga's uncontrollable rage. Grabbing the scientist, the berserk chimp – who's grown to monstrous size – breaks out of the lab and rampages through London, a city whose salvation rests with the military, who's been ordered to destroy Konga at all costs.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "What you have done will startle the world!" January 15, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
In the last of the successful co-productions between American International Pictures (AIP) and producer Herman Cohen comes Konga (1961), which Herman not only co-producer, but also shared in the writing credits. Some of their most famous collaborations included I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957) and I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957), neither of which, as I write this, are available as of yet on DVD, but should be (Konga was produced with the working title I Was a Teenage Gorilla)...anyway, directed by John Lemont (The Frightened City), the film stars Michael Gough, who appeared in a number of Cohen's features including Horrors of the Black Museum (1959), Black Zoo (1963), Berserk! (1968), but many movie goers will probably recognize him from some of his later films, including his appearances in the various Batman films as Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth. Also appearing is Margo Johns (This Is My Street), Jess Conrad (The Assassination Bureau), Claire Gordon (Beat Girl), and George Barrows, as Konga...interestingly enough this wasn't George's first (or last) time donning a big, hairy gorilla suit, as he appeared in Robot Monster (1953), as Ro-Man, the alien with a gorilla body and a diver's helmet for a head, along with Gorilla at Large (1954), as Goliath the Gorilla, Black Zoo (1963), as The Ape, and finally in Hillbillys (sic) in a Haunted House (1967), as Anatole the gorilla...

As the film begins we see a small plane crashing into the African jungle, one carrying famed, English botanist Dr. Charles Decker (Gough), thought to have perished in the accident.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Part of Kong-mania - it's finally on DVD October 9, 2005
Format:DVD
This was originally put out on VHS as part of the Midnite Movie series, but in order to cash in on Kong-mania, Sony is putting it out as a solo release.

Dr. Decker comes back from Africa with a secret way of growing plants and animals to huge sizes. He decides to make a chimp huge so that he can take care of his enemies. Konga becomes enormous and attacks London. That's right - giant ape rampages in London.

If you're going to go Big Ape crazy on DVD in the season of the Kong, this is essential for your collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Two Movies In One. November 6, 2009
Format:DVD
Leave it to B movie mogul Herman Cohen (I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF) to give us two movies for the price of one low budget effort and that's what KONGA is. The first hour of the film is remarkably well done with an intelligent script (under the circumstances) and a creative use of color for the background sets. The unique carnivorous plants are cleverly done and the movie is professionally shot by celebrated cameraman Desmond Dickinson (HORROR HOTEL/CITY OF THE DEAD). Add to that an increasingly demented performance by Michael Gough as the mad doctor and a study in feminine frustration from Margo Johns as his assistant and you had the makings of a true classic. However once the "gorilla" enters the picture, it, as the Brits would say, "goes straight into the crapper".

I don't have any qualms about them using a guy in a gorilla suit but this is the worst gorilla suit I have ever seen. It was borrowed from celebrated "apeman" George Barrows who should have been hired because whoever they got had no idea how to act like a monkey. Once KONGA was introduced , it's as if the filmmakers knew the jig was up and they just threw in the towel. The special effects become increasingly substandard and there isn't even a pretense of disguising how bad they are. The last fifteen minutes of the film left the audience in hysterics according to people who saw it in 1961 and it's easy to see why. That's what makes KONGA such a guilty pleasure. Adding to the fun is the fact that the cast plays it with an incredibly straight face with no hint of camp. The final shot of the poor little chimp lying dead in the street has to be seen to be believed.

The remarkable thing about this DVD (as mentioned in an earlier review) is how good it looks. I had never seen KONGA in color before much less in widescreen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Readily competes with Hammer horror films (details) April 28, 2010
Format:DVD
No, this is not a Hammer film but the terrific set decorations, locations, cinematography, and multiple buxom actresses certainly live up to Hammer horror film standards. Actually, this is an American International Pictures [AIP] production and an especially great one at that.

THE STORY: A renowned English botanist, Dr. Charles Decker, crashes while being flown over a secluded Ugandan jungle region where he is ultimately rescued by a Bantu faction, members of the Baganda Tribe. The local medicine man much advances Decker's botanical knowledge. The scientist returns to civilization a year later bringing along lots of unusual meat-eating plants and a chimp named Konga. [Yes, of course this is a King Kong rip-off, set in London, but just keep reading because it's a great film.]

Dr. Decker has discovered how to instantly amplify the growth of animals by injecting them with a derivative of a plant-based serum, (from the plants he brought back from Africa which have "human characteristics".) He becomes more than a little narcissistic as he resolves to test out his serum on intelligent little Konga whom he hypnotizes to do his evil bidding. He validates his theories in his Konga experiment by having the swiftly growing critter to liquidate anyone who bars his route to scientific fame and grandeur. [It's at about this point in the film that Decker snuffs his own pet cat with a revolver, apparently with no remorse about having done so!]

In any case, certain of Dr. Decker's associates begin to grasp that he is a ruthless scoundrel and such spoken observations subsequently lead to their respective demise. This film has plenty of forward momentum and never drags.

What do I chiefly love about this film? Almost everything!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars but the story line is great. Its moral is two fold
The special effects are.....not that special (well, it was made in the 60s), but the story line is great. Its moral is two fold. Read more
Published 6 days ago by William I. Faler
2.0 out of 5 stars An Old Horror Movie
I watched this movie after having watched the new show "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I can sum this movie up in 2 words, Corny and nostalgic. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Bearhughes
5.0 out of 5 stars Stupendous......Michael Gough delivers my favorite over-the-top...
During my first viewing of this delightfully absurd and outrageously fun and funny film (Christmas eve) , I bought the Midnite Movies double feature which contains this jewel and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Hammer + Jazz
2.0 out of 5 stars "King Kong Goes to London"
Any horror movie with Michael Gough can't be all bad. The British character actor delivers a classic mad-scientist performance in this low-budget "King Kong" knockoff. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Scott T. Rivers
5.0 out of 5 stars British SciFi
This is an early British entry into the SciFi genre. A scientist is believed killed in a plane crash in the jungle, but comes back a year later with a small chimpanzee and the... Read more
Published 16 months ago by D. Duggan
5.0 out of 5 stars Konga, Konga, how do I love thee...?
Let me count the ways (spoilers, if you don't mind):

1. MICHAEL GOUGH - If you only know Michael Gough's work as that one scientist that briefly showed up in "Top... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Otto Correct
5.0 out of 5 stars "Just testing!"
The best part of this dopey movie is Michael Gough as the fabulously evil Dr. Charles Decker who turns his pet chimpanzee into a killer gorilla (no small feat!). Read more
Published 18 months ago by Einsatz
3.0 out of 5 stars Science Without Morality
Konga, 1961 film

English scientist Charles Decker traveled to Africa and brought back a serum used to increase growth. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Acute Observer
4.0 out of 5 stars KONGA is King Korny!
Not a big fan of King Kong but love old horror
and sci fi movies. I like Michael Gough and
thought how bad could it be. Read more
Published on July 1, 2012 by Bela
5.0 out of 5 stars Killa Go-rilla...
A mad botanist (!!) named Decker (played by Michael Gough from HORROR HOSPITAL) returns to England after disappearing for a year in Africa. Read more
Published on December 11, 2010 by Bindy Sue Frřnkünschtein
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