Torn from his jungle home, this brutal 36-foot-tall monster unleashes a furious attack on the metropolis and people of Seoul, Korea. Nothing can withstand his rage. Buildings crumble to his touch. Armies cannot stop him. H... more »is only weakness: he has fallen for gorgeous American movie star Marilyn Baker (Joanna Kerns). Can she escape from his iron grip? Will the military be able to end his reign of destruction? A gargantuan spectacle... a heart-stopping adventure... a guy in a monkey suit... It's A*P*E!« less
A*P*E is the Worst (and Best) Giant Monkey Movie Ever
Robert I. Hedges | 04/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had seen 'A*P*E' on VHS years ago, and loved it immediately. Fortunately, it is now available on DVD, and it is still as rancid as ever. Filled with atrocious acting, horrible dialogue, the, without question, lamest ape costume ever, and bizarre time consuming subplots, what more could a lover of Grade Z cinema want? 'A*P*E' (I don't know what the asterisks are for) starts on a boat on which the 36 foot tall monkey is being taken to Disneyland. Contrary to the box art, this boat is not the 'Titanic'. He escapes, and immediately springs into action battling a big rubber shark. During the course of the movie he also does battle with the following: a snake; a student hang glider; a guinea pig (possibly hamster or gerbil) dressed up as a cow; the South Korean army; and some kung fu fighters armed with garden shears. Of course he falls for the only blonde in Korea; a visiting American movie star named 'Marilyn' (Hmmmmmm...), gives her some lustful eye rolls, and pursues her into Seoul. Along the way she talks to him with such amazingly bad lines as "Be gentle, big fella", which makes him positively swoon. In the opening the producers thank the US Army, but I am thinking that after watching the pathetic "Colonel Davis" attempt to match wits with the monkey, the Army might want to reconsider future support of giant ape films. We do get to see (seemingly) hours of the same stock footage of helicopters, tanks, and soldiers advancing, which yielded an observation about the helicopters. Interspersed with stock footage of real Huey and Cobra helicopters were, of course, the plastic miniatures that A*P*E swatted at. This is probably the worst example of model use ever seen on screen, and I am including Ed Wood's flying saucers from 'Plan 9' here. The strings are clearly visible, and the helicopters apparently do not require their rotors to spin to provide lift during the battle scenes. All of which brings me to my very favorite moment of the film: after downing a helicopter, A*P*E flips the unlucky chopper crew the bird. That is the scene that will stay with me forever from this film, and just by itself makes watching 'A*P*E' worthwhile. The movie also has lots of other bonuses scattered throughout: nightmare inducing scary Asian puppetry; repetitive Russian dance music playing loudly enough to drown out dialogue during all of Marilyn's acting scenes; revolting make-out scenes between Marilyn and 'Tom Rose' an annoying reporter who is on the spot to cover the A*P*E; and wonderful reaction shots when people stumble into the path of the 36 foot tall monkey without noticing him until they are in his paw (Marilyn specializes in this.) One further cinematic device that the director, Paul Leder, skillfully uses is having the A*P*E dance a free-form, seemingly drug induced dance throughout the entire film, including during the fight scenes. Genius, pure genius. In summation, this movie is not to be missed by anyone who adores the absolute bottom of the barrel dregs of filmmaking. An anti-masterwork if ever there was one. It would be perfectly suitable for everyone, except for swearing, which earned it a 'PG' rating. And oh, by the way, it is totally unlike that other, better known giant ape movie. That movie was in black and white, this one is in color! At the conclusion of the film, Tom Rose sums it up (in a very Ed Wood sounding way) thusly: "He was just too big for a small world like ours." Oh, the humanity!"
A feast for any bad movie buff!
Kelly Kincy | Raleigh, NC United States | 10/31/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""A*P*E" is one of the all-time great Bad Movies. I first read about it in some long-forgotten fantasy film magazine from the 1970's, but didn't actually see the film until it was released on VHS in the mid-90's. I proceeded to watch it twice within the next 24 hours and have since forced most of my friends to watch it at least once. "A*P*E" is an astounding example of inept filmmaking transcending its limitations to achieve a form of greatness undreamt-of by its director. The film begins with the Ape of the title escaping from the ship which is transporting it from its island home. (Sound familiar? It isn't the last "King Kong" reference you'll hear, as the movie clearly tries to capitalize on the then-upcoming remake of "Kong.") The Ape then encounters a great white shark and the viewer is treated to slow-motion footage of a man in a shoddy ape suit thrashing about in a tank of water with a very dead shark. These sequences are howlers; deliriously bad. But the beauty of "A*P*E" is that the film gets geometrically worse, climaxing in a mind-numbingly horrible confrontation between the Ape and the South Korean army. If you like Ed Wood movies; if you covet your DVD of "Attack of the Giant Leeches"; if Doris Wishman is your idol; then you will adore "A*P*E"!"
14 Factoids about APE the other KONG.
A. C. Cronvich | Planet Zeist | 02/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here are some facts and rumours about this crazy little movie (currently) called APE. #1 When the film was distributed to drive-ins the title was frequently snipped out so theatre owners could call it whatever they wanted. Often the name KING KONG or simply KONG was used in ads. This was an underhanded way of promoting the film as a KING KONG feature without paying royalties. The movie played under titles such as KING KONG GOES APE, KING KONG GOES BANANAS, KING KONG 2, SUPER KONG, SUPER KING KONG, KING KONG AGAINST THE USA, KING KONG VERSES THE SHARK and KING KONG VERSES JAWS. #2 It was also distributed as HIDEOUS MUTANT, 3-D MUTANT, DINOSAURUS 2 and other things. But none of the print s actually bared any of these titles in the US. #3 According to the 1983 compilation film IT CAME FROM HOLLYWOOD!! It has also been called THE ATTACK OF THE GIANT HORNY GORILLA. #4 Characters in the film refer to the "ape" as KING KONG in a half joking, half serious manner. Probably to confuse the audience into thinking they are watching a ligitimate KONG movie. The sarcastic delivery of said dialogue was probably to avoid a lawsuit if anyone complained. #5 "Marilyn Baker" was supposed to be an american porn star trying to break into legitimate pictures. The final edit obscures this. (probably to get a PG rating) #6 When promoted in 1976 It was announced that the female lead would be nude during the scenes when "APE" is holding her. I guess Joanna talked them out of it. (or maybe it was that PG thing again) I recently learned that DeLaurentis said the same thing when promoting his remake. Probably just for publicity. No way he would have let that one out the door with anything harder than a PG rating. Or was it still GP at that time. #7 APE was shot in 3-D. Thats why they are always throwing things at the camera (boulders) or vomiting blood at you. The foreign 3-D version is called Hideous Mutant. #8 Some prints had the shark sequence (originally at the beginning of the film) chopped out and placed closer to the end. ( Its awful. The movie just stops at the part were he is dying and suddenly the APE is in the water at night fighting a shark. apparently the APE survives.) #9 Yes the shark is real. However, it was already dead while the actor in the APE suit was beating it. (So, don't call the ASPCA on Jack Harris) #10 Supposedly a prologue of the APE fighting a giant puppet spider (or crocodile depending on where you hear the story. Probably an already dead crocodile.) on an island was shot, but was not used becouse it looked too fake. So the prologue was cut out. (One wonders what the criteria for "too fake" was on this film. The spider was too fake, but the cow was considered convincing.) The prologue is said to have used stock footage dinosaurs and diving footage from Jack H. Harris' film Dinosaurus! #11 When the furor over Delaurentis' KING KONG was over. Some places promoted APE as a sequel, KING KONG 2, in 1979 around the same time Jaws 2 and Rocky 2 where in theatres. #12 Some posters spell the title as A*P*E, Just like M*A*S*H, to promote the the Korean connection and the comedy aspects of the film. #13 Some prints have the famous "ape finger" scene and the scene where Marilyn flashes her booby snipped out. (possibly TV prints, but I swear I've never come across this movie on tele. Not even once) #14 The editors made the army convoy look bigger by editing the same loop of film together. So the trucks/tanks appear to just keep coming, when in fact its the same tank and truck shown over and over again."
A*P*E is Brilliant
joseph Corey | Raleigh, NC United States | 10/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film is so pathetic, it's a marvel that the crew remembered to take the cap off the camera lens. I can't help, but laugh at the Ape vs. Shark moment. This is what Ed Wood Jr. would have done if he'd had a chance to rip off King Kong. I can almost hear Johnny Depp as Ed directing the guy in the monkey suit to shake the giant rubber shark - make it look fierce! The fake cow moment is also a classic in Wood-ism. It's a shame they didn't hire the same guy who drew the poster to design the effects. The poster is boss.
Well no matter how bad the effects in Dino's Kong got, he could always watch Ape and know he didn't go that cheap.
This is the movie Peter Jackson should have remade.
Plus a very young Joanna Kerns almost gets me to believe that bad furry hand belongs to the ape and not a mardi gras float."
C*R*A*P (unless you love cheese)
jimmy_rants@yahoo | USA | 09/18/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I remember wanting to see this when it came out as it was released right after the 1976 "King Kong" remake and apparently meant to ride the better films coat tails. What puzzles me most about this clunker is that with the size of the cast and the number of locations, this film obviously had an above modest budget. Now I can handle an actor in a monkey suit stomping around model train villages. Seeing however, a ship in what appears to be a bathtub sized puddle, a wrestling match with a clearly rubber and lifeless shark and a camera that fixes way too long on a 1/25th sized toy cow, one has to wonder why the South Korean producers of this turkey could not pony up a few thousand more bucks to make something a little more believable. "