|“||Not to be confused with King Kong||„|
A*P*E (킹콩의대역습?, lit. The Great Counterattack of King-Kong) is a King Kong eui daeyeokseup1976 tokusatsu kaiju film co-created by Kukje Movies, the Lee Ming Film Co., and Worldwide Entertainment. It was released to South Korean theaters on July 23, 1976 and to American theaters in October of 1976.
A 36-foot-gorilla escapes from an oil tanker off the coast of Korea. After battling with a giant Great White Shark, the ape reaches land and destroys several buildings as well as attacking a giant Python before finding and kidnapping an American actress named Marilyn. The military eventually corners and kills the ape, prompting one observer to comment, "He was just too big for a small world like ours!"
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Paul Leder
- Written by Paul Leder, Rueben Leder, and Richard Leder
- Produced by K.M. Yeung and Paul Leder
- Music by Bruce Mac Rae and Chung Min Sup
- Cinematography Tony Francis and Daniel L. Symmes
- Edited by Paul Leder
- Production Design by Bong-seon Lee
- Assistant Directing by Mimi Leder
- Special Effects by Park Kwang Nam
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Rod Arrants as Tom Rose
- Joanna Kerns as Marilyn Baker
- Alex Nicol as Colonel Davis
- Nak-hun Lee as Captain Kim
- Yeon-jeong Woo as Mrs. Kim
- Jerry Harke as Lieutenant Smith
- Larry Chandler as First Mate
- Walt Myers as Seaman
- J.J. Gould as Soldier in Jeep
- Charles Johnson as American Tourist
- Paul Leder as Dino
- Choi Sung Kwan as Film Producer
- Bob Kurcz as American Actor
- Jules Levey as Reporter
- Josh Luckritz as School Child #1
- Giant Great White Shark
- Giant Python
The movie was created very quickly and was meant to capitalize on the upcoming release of King Kong. Several plot elements, such as a giant gorilla's relationship with an American actress, are essentially lifted from the King Kong story. In fact when the film was announced it was going to be called The New King Kong as it was advertised by a teaser poster. When RKO got wind of this, they filed a $1.5 million dollar lawsuit against the company. Because of the lawsuit the title was changed to A*P*E and the tagline "Not to be confused with King Kong" was added to the theatrical posters and movie trailer. However the company was able to get away with using King Kong's name not only in its native South Korea but also in some international markets where it was known as Super King Kong and King Kong Returns respectively.
- Main article: A*P*E/Gallery.
- Main article: A*P*E (Soundtrack).
- The Great Counterattack of King-Kong (킹콩의대역습; South Korea)
- The Gorilla Attacks (El gorila ataca; Spain)
- Attack of the Giant Horny Gorilla (America)
- Hideous Mutant (America)
- Super Kong (America)
- The New King Kong (America)
- South Korea - July 23, 1976
- America - October 1976
- February 15, 1978
- Turkey - August 1979
- Portugal - September 29, 1982
A*P*E has been described as one of the worst movies ever made, even appearing on the cover of The Official Razzie Movie Guide. Much of the commentary on A*P*E focuses on the film's low-quality special effects. For example, John Wilson claims that the ape suit used in the film "looks more like your grandmother's lamb's wool coat collar than an actual simian." He also remarks that "a five-year old could spot the model buildings and vehicles as phony." Other critics have noted that the size of the ape appears to change throughout the film, and that the ape actor's t-shirt is visible through holes in his costume.
The film suffers from other problems besides poor special effects, however. The Korean extras, who are supposed to be fleeing in terror, can sometimes be seen with smiles on their faces, and the film's dialogue is occasionally chopped off by poor editing. Wilson even describes the film's music as "one of the worst movie soundtracks of all time."
In a scathing review, monster movie critic Mike Bogue states that "A*P*E may not be the worst giant monster movie ever made, but it would have to chart high on any Top Ten Worst list." Citing such things as the ape vomiting and the ape dancing to the film score, Bogue states that "as the genre magazine Castle of Frankenstein used to say in its movie reviews, this one is so bad it has to be seen to be disbelieved."
In reviewing A*P*E, along with other King Kong parodies, Roy Morton states that the film "is extremely cheesy" and that while it "begins with a reasonably serious tone," it "quickly degenerates into a dreadfully campy spoof." He speculates that on realizing the low quality of their production, the producers deliberately tried to make an already bad film worse in the hope that moviegoers would laugh with them, instead of at them. To that end, Morton states that while cinematically inferior to The Mighty Peking Man, A*P*E does have an "it's so bad it's good" cult film appeal the aforementioned film lacks. Nevertheless, he closes his review stating that a scene where the titular ape turns around after a victory to give the audience "the finger" sums up the entire film.
- Released: October 30, 2001
- Region: Region 1
- Language: English
- Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
- Other Details: 87 minutes run time, 1 disc
- The film's title: A*P*E stands for Attacking Primate MonstEr and was to spoof the acronym title of M*A*S*H, a show that was based in Korea where this film was produced.
- The movie pitted the titular giant ape against a huge great white shark, meant to take a shot at Jaws, a movie made a year earlier about a giant shark. A famous cover of Famous Monsters of Filmland even addressed this scene.
- This movie was made for the purpose of cashing in on the 1976 remake of King Kong.