Sunday, June 15, 2014

Junesploitation Day 15: Apesploitation!

Torn from their jungle paradise...betrayed by those they trusted!

Halfway there! We just want to thank everyone for taking time out of their busy days to watch movies and post about them this month. We know it's difficult to find time each day, so we're especially happy to see so many people take part this year. It's a slog, but it's a FUN slog (because we're doing it TOGETHER). We're a community of film lovers, and it shows how much we care about movies when we do events like this. Some movies might not be the best, but aren't you a little glad you watched them? All of them? The good, bad, Italian horror?

Please keep up the great work, continue to watch, and let us know your thoughts. I promise that by the end of the month you will feel not only a huge sense of accomplishment, but you'll also be SAD come July 1. I know I will.

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there (and to Doug, Mike, Heath, Adam Thas, JB and Erich). Hope you guys like monkeys.


  1. King Kong (1976)

    Quick Thoughts: I have never seen this Kong completely and while it definitely has its problems (little too long, uneven performances, and some dated fx work) I really enjoyed this movie. You can really feel it when Kong is smashing through things (especially his island fence) and I love his stealth like quietness when he picks up his lady. Also at one point in the movie he picks up a woman who he thinks is Dwan but once he realizes its not her, he throws her down to the street- Kong is a one woman ape ladies. Great work by Rick Baker too and I think I like this better than the Peter Jackson remake. Does Charles Grodin ever play a nice guy?

    8 Word Review:
    Gotta love Kong's roomba clean monkey arms #apegroomsploitation

    Kong's arms are cleaned from

  2. KING OF KONG ISLAND (1968) on Amazon Prime for the first time.

    African mercenary Burt Dawson (Brad Harris) refuses to go on a rescue mission to save Diana (Ursula Davis), daughter of his old friend Theodore (Aldo Cecconi) that was kidnapped by two smart apes while on safari. Our "hero" changes his mind when the girl's brother (Mark Farran) tells Burt that Turk, (Paolo Magalotti), the scarred sidekick/henchman of Albert Muller (Marc Lawrence, who looks like a cross between Michael Caine and Edward G. Robinson), the evil scientist nemesis that shot Burt in the back, was present at Diana's kidnapping and that the smart apes were following Turk's orders. Then Burt and his rescue crew stumble into Eva (Esmeralda Barros), a supermodel-gorgeous girl that was raised in the jungle by apes since birth that not only communicates with the animals but fills our "heroes" about Muller's plans to surgically alter the brains of all jungle apes and start a new race/war to eventually take over the world. Oh, and the last act features more double and triple-crosses of characters acting completely against type than "The Departed" or "Reservoir Dogs," only with big-game shotguns pointed at each other instead of guns and men dressed as apes occasionally stumbling about in the background to justify the movie's misleading title.

    Dear God, what a Billy Mitchell-sized piece of cinematic dung! Get it? ;-) There is no life, no joy, no sign than anyone cared about anything but cashing a paycheck they were all ashamed to have worked for. An Italian flick so terrible I was sure it was a Philippine-made production when I was watching it, this under 90-minute movie would be less than 30 if every individual scene/moment didn't seem to go for double, triple and sometimes quadruple its normal length set to hypnotic quasi-African music that hypnotizes and/or puts viewers in a trance. Walking from A to B in the Nairobi forest? Characters (all types, none likable) walk, talk a little, walk, stare at stock footage, walk some more, talk a little, more stock footage, more walking, etc. Repeat ad nausium for dancing scenes, chasing scenes, traveling scenes, exposition-dumping scenes, mad scientist sewing ape's surgically-altered brain scenes, etc.

    I swear that I just finished watching "King of Kong Island" but there are huge chunks of it that I've already forgotten, and for some scenes that were ending I'd forgotten how they started just a minute before! It's fitting that the quality of the stream was below-VHS poor to match the movie's instantly-erasable non-staying power. This joins "Ride With the Teacher" as my Junesploitation low points so far. :-(

  3. Disney's Tarzan (1999)

    Very good (largely forgotten?) Disney animated musical.
    This movie gets me to tolerate Phil Collins for 90 minutes, so it must be good.

  4. The Mighty Peking Man (1977)

    *english dub translation*
    A nice over the top King Kong imitation, which at the same time is completely different from King Kong because its Hong Kong not New York, so shut it Universal. Very B-grade in its special effects and ape costume/mask which really adds to the exploitation fun of it. The first five minutes show you everything you need to know about they type of movie you are in for, so if that intro puts a smile on your face, then enjoy. If not, you might as well stop watching, seal up the windows and doors, turn the gas oven on high for a couple hours then light yourself a cigar because if you cant experience joy when watching a man in a giant ape suit projected onto a green screen behind miniature sets, half heartedly running extras and giant rocks which turn into medium sized rocks between cuts, then I dont see the point of going on.


  5. Son of Kong (1933) - First Viewing

    There may have never been a bigger drop off in quality between an original and a sequel. Having said that as a big fan of the classic original King Kong, this was an interesting watch. Such a cheap cash-in sequel though, none of the soul of the original. Makes me think Hollywood hasn’t changed that much in 80 years. This was green-lit, made, and released THE SAME YEAR as King Kong!

    1. My first thought when I put the disc in: "how in the world did they get this out the same year as Kong when stop motion takes so long to film?" Then I realized they worked around it by having so little time spent on monsters.

  6. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)

    Tough, violent film in the Apes series has Ceasar (wonderfully played by Roddy McDowell) lead an ape revolution against a human fascist state. This movie should be a model on how to make a low budget film look fantastic. There is obvious evidence of last-minute studio tampering with the ending, which is disappointing, but overall this is a great movie.

    1. This is where convoluted continuity and fan devotion meet for 90 mins of joy.
      None of it makes sense, but it all makes perfect sense because Apes!

  7. NABONGA (1944)

    An embezzler is on the run from police, with tons of cash and his young daughter in tow. Their plane crashes in the jungle and only the daughter survives. Cut to years later and she’s… a jungle girl! With an ape bodyguard! Ahh, jungle girls. So strong-willed, so independent, and yet so longing for LOVE. Anyway, some guy travels into the jungle in search of the missing money, only to fall for our leopard-skin-clad heroine. Unfortunately, the movie is way too preoccupied with the stolen money plot, and a lot less interested in the jungle girl and her ape bodyguard. There are a ton of crazy King Kong and/or Tarzan ripoffs out there, but this is a more middle-of-the-road one.

  8. Link (1986)

    Serial Killer Chimp! Actually it's an orangutan but the filmmakers don't care; from reading up on this they said fuck it and died the poor guys hair black. Dicks. The ape acts his ass off in this! Elizabeth Shue and Terance Stamp; not so much. Way too long (1:45 minutes) but the score to the film by Jerry Goldsmith keeps things suspenseful enough. Glad I get to check this one off of my Cannon list of films I've seen.

  9. Son of Kong (1933)

    Those who complained about how long it took before the title creature showed up in the most recent Godzilla movie take note: this movie is less than 70 minutes long and the son of Kong doesn't show up until well over 40 minutes in. He's great but the movie needs more of him, or at least more exploration and adventure. It never quite settles on a tone, and it's clear to see why it doesn't have the reputation of its predecessor. Cute monkey, though.

  10. Escape From the Planet of the Apes (1971): I bought this box set a few months back for £4/$6.79 in a DVD shop, sorry I love a good deal! Slowly working my way through it, I came to the third one today for the first time. (The second one is so crazy I feel I have to re-watch it because I was slightly baffled it) This one was quite moving. I was very invested in Zera and Cornelius by this point, who really make this film. Kim Hunter and Roddy Macdowald still manage to have some beautiful facial expressions underneath all that make-up. I like the idea the film poses, which is whether we really should mess with the future and what is morally right when our fate hangs in the balance.

    1. I find it hard to watch Escape - it has such a light, humorous tone before it goes totally dark. It's a real tragedy, because we've grown to love Zira and Cornelius over the course of 3 films. I'm just glad a certain arrogant human gets his before the final credits.

      I wouldn't try too hard to understand Beneath the Planet of the Apes. It seems the story was written in such a way to convincingly persuade Charlton Heston that there was NO WAY he could be brought back for a sequel. I do love those mutants and their weird religion, however - who can hate on a movie that features a mutant priest talking about "the holy fallout"?

    2. I agree there. I was so sad to see that ending!

    3. This movie is great. It really drives home the concept of these ape movies as having real down endings (an idea the studios ruined with the next one).
      The change in gears half way through is awesome. It really works. And it's commentary on "modern"society and celebrity culture is quite well done.


  11. Ape 1976 trailer / full movie

    Joanna Kerns (the mom from Growing Pains) plays Jessica Lange in this South Korean knock-off of the De Laurentiis King Kong. Characters jokingly call the ape King Kong several times, and a film director character is even named Dino! The man in the gorilla suit wrestles a real dead shark, throws a large live snake directly into the camera, and even flips us the bird. imdb says the budget was only $23,000!!! It kind of feels like what you'd get if you tasked the population of a small town with producing a Hollywood disaster epic. The dialogue is nonsense and the characters are all crazy. An American colonel launches an attack on "Kong", and says "Let's see him dance for his organ grinder now!" It's all pretty baffling.

  12. Congo

    I had heard a lot about this movie. Mostly that it is bad, but still fun to watch. I have to disagree with that. I was surprised by how boring the movie was. The crazy ape stuff does not happen until the last 30 minutes. And there's not that much of that. The special effects are terrible even for the time period. There's also weird performance from Joe Dan Baker. I have no idea what he is trying to do. I'm still laughing at his delivery of “DID YOU GET THE DIAMONDS?” I recommend watching some YouTube clips instead of the whole movie.

  13. A*P*E* (1976, dir. Paul Leder) I know I went deep on this one if I watched the same thing as @manwithpetgull (dude's hardcore). I'll just echo everything he said. It should have been fun and bad; instead, it's shockingly cheap and boring. The only things holding my interest were the terrible 3-D effects. Every wire was showing all the time. How was this not more fun?

    1. Hey, thanks Patrick! Just trying to keep up with everyone else on the site!

  14. Congo

    Alright! Bruce Campbe--ah, shit. Hey - Laura Linn--ah, mom pants.

    I thought this pick was a bit of a cheat as far as an exploitation movie goes, but it is so amazingly bad yet surprisingly enjoyable that I think it fits the bill perfectly. The first 10 minutes are as bad as it gets and then it doesn't get much better - it contains some of the worst performances by recognizable Hollywood actors you'll ever see, but somehow it was watchable as hell to me.

  15. King Kong (2005)

    I know I'm getting this in late, but it's a long movie that I finished post-Game of Thrones, so cut me some slack!!

    I make no apologies for liking Peter Jackson's King Kong. It's long, ridiculous and uneven, but I really love it. It felt weird, however, watching it in June because this a movie I always throw on around Christmas.

  16. King of Kong - 2007

    Okay so I might have been stretching the theme a little far here, but I couldn't be happier I chose this one.

    Here director Seth Gordon takes a look a the world of competitive gaming and more particularly competitive Donkey Kong gaming. It's the story no one wants to know but somehow manages to be completely interesting and engaging.

    There's a narrative between the two main characters who essentially duke it out trying to top each other's inhuman kong scores.

    Loved it and thoroughly recommend.