BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Frank Wilkins
Holy Hell, Horror Hounds, does this flick ever stink! And by stink, I mean exactly that. Oh, don’t misinterpret me A*P*E is hysterical (and if drunk enough, I’m sure its even more of a riot), but mostly in the manner that suggests you’re actually laughing AT it instead of alongside it.
If the sight of a man in a gorilla suit wrestling with a rubber shark in a pond doesn’t make you laugh or remind you of Bela Lugosi wrapping octopus tentacles around him in Ed Wood’s Bride of the Monster, then this isn’t the d-grade flick for you.
Add to all the bad acting is the fact that this 36-foot tall gorilla is incredibly pissed off. Or at least the man inside the suit is. Poor guy. This film from South Korea actually has an interesting history thanks to RKO suing it before it was even released. The name of the film has been changed like one hundred times, with Attack of the Giant Horny Gorilla being the best title. Super Ape was another.
Either way, RKO made damn sure no one got to thinking this was anywhere near the level of King Kong. I mean, $23,000 isn’t going to get you much and when you spend it all on toy boats (not kidding) and toy tanks (again, not kidding), there’s little joy to expect.
A*P*E gets started with a BIG THANKS to the help of the U.S. Navy. Maybe because the filmmakers got to shoot the opening sequence on board on their vessels, but – when the first shot AFTER the shout-out is of a cheaply crafted boat floating on what is supposed to be the sea (but, really, it’s way too wavy to be any bigger than a bathtub) – you really just have to laugh.
Here’s the story: you got this big gorilla, right? The United States Navy has it held captive on one of its ships. They are going to Disneyland. They say they caught in Harlem, but the damn thing gets out, blows up the boat, dives into the ocean, wrestles with a great white, and then heads to land where he falls for an actress, gets in the middle of his own movie, and then is killed by one too many helicopter attacks.
Of course, not before he flips off the camera in a classic expression of gorilla vs. guns. If you think that is the only WTF?! moment in the film, you’re mistaken. The big gorilla attacks a snake in a tree for no apparent reason, has words with a toy cow, plays with a man on a hang glider, and saves an actress from a rape scene she’s filming only to later fall in love with her.
Yes, that is funky rip-roaring atmosphere of this man in a suit production. Heavy on the use of models and firecrackers, this one is solely for bad movie enthusiasts.
There’s a romance shoehorned into it, but none of that compares to the acting talents of Alex Nicol as the dumbfounded military general who “phones” in everything. He’s hilariously awful, as he grows more and more annoyed about having to deal with a gorilla on the loose.
This is one A*P*E who gets “hammed” to death. It’s not a good film. At all.
MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime: 87 mins
Director: Paul Leder
Writer: Paul Leder, Reuben Leder
Cast: Rod Arrants, Joanna Kerns, Alex Nicol
Genre: Adventure | Sci-fi
Tagline: Not To Be Confused With KING KONG
Memorable Movie Quote: "Let's see him dance for his organ grinder now!"
Theatrical Distributor: No theatrical distribution
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: February 27, 2017
Synopsis: A freighter peacefully glides the still waters of a soft Pacific night; their cargo: a recently captured 36-foot ape. A giant fist comes up through the deck sending the sailors sprawling and in a matter of seconds, the A*P*E (Attacking Primate monster) is loose! After battling a very large snake and a giant white shark, A*P*E defies the JAWS of the great white and is the victor.
Home Video Distributor: Kino Lorber
Available on Blu-ray - February 28, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Region A
Kino Lorber’s 1080p transfer does the best it can with this South Korean production. Colors are a bit faded and there’s obvious damage to the original negative. Black levels are decent, but fine details are a bit lacking. Blame the budget because this blu-ray release is the best the film can ever look. The sound is presented in an English DTS-HD MA 2.0 mono track and sounds about as good as you’d expect it to sound.
Fangoria’s Chris Alexander delivers a commentary that is far more entertaining than the film itself. If you must buy this one, buy it for the commentary.
Kino Lorber Studio Classics has issued the blu-ray with both the 2D and 3D version of the film. Of course, to watch the 3D version you must have the right player, so be warned. Now, if you do have the right player than – oh yes – there is great fun to be had with the lame 3D effects.
- Theatrical Trailer