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A*P*E

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Kaiju Film
432px-APE Korean poster
A*P*E
Directed by                   Produced by
Paul Leder

K.M. Yeung
Paul Leder
Written by                       Music by  
Paul Leder
Richard Leder
Rueben Leder
Bruce Mac Rae
Chung Min Sup

Distributed by                       Rating      
Worldwide Entertainment PG
  Budget                           Box Office
$23,000 $???,???,???
Running Time
87 minutes
(1 hour, 27 minutes)
Designs Used
DaeyeokseupKongu
Not to be confused with King Kong „ 

— Tagline

A*P*E (킹콩의대역습,   King Kong eui daeyeokseup?, lit. The Great Counterattack of King-Kong) is a 1976 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.


Plot

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

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

Cast

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

Appearances

Monsters

  • Ape
  • Giant Great White Shark
  • Giant Python

Production

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.

Gallery

Main article: A*P*E/Gallery.

Soundtrack

Main article: A*P*E (Soundtrack).

Alternate Titles

  • 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)

Theatrical Releases

  • South Korea - July 23, 1976
  • America - October 1976
  • February 15, 1978
  • Turkey - August 1979
  • Portugal - September 29, 1982

Reception

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.

Video Releases

Image Entertainment (2001)[1]

  • Released: October 30, 2001
  • Region: Region 1
  • Language: English
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Other Details: 87 minutes run time, 1 disc

Videos

Trailers

Trivia

  • 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.

References

This is a list of references for A*P*E. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

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