KONG ISLAND (1968)
posted 02/16/2013

Directed by:
Roberto Mauri

Starring:
Brad Harris ... Burt Dawson
Esmeralda Barros ... Eva, the savage girl
Marc Lawrence ... Albert Muller
Adriana Alben ... Ursula

Country: Italy
Runtime: 92 min
Original title: Eva, la Venere selvaggia
AKA: King of Kong Island
       
         
         

You’ve got a handful of characters, add to that a web of lies and "robot" gorillas and you get Kong Island. The whole thing is boring, boring, boring! There is no island, the whole thing is set in the jungles of Africa, and King Kong is nowhere. The story starts as adventure with sci-fi and moves into a crazy third-act plot twist-fest.

Burt Dawson is a muscular mercenary that gets cheated out of some stolen money by Albert, who shoots him in the back and leaves him for dead. These men have beef, but Burt also has beef with Turk, a guy with a scar on his face. Why does Burt hate Turk and what’s the story with the stolen money? We get no real answers but they are all in Africa with things to do now. Albert turns out to be a mad scientist and he hides away in a jungle cave to carry out experiments on gorillas. He sticks a metal thing in their brains and this makes them his personal army, which he probably wants to rule the world with. The whole project is centered around a giant brain diagram on the wall with pulsating lights, which controls what the apes think.

Burt aimlessly hangs out at a local bar where we meet his friends. Theodore is an important man with a beard. His wife is Ursula and his two grown children are Diana and Robert. Forrester works for Interpol and stares at Burt in the bar. Eva is a savage girl that hangs around the deep jungle with a stupid grin on her face. She is half naked but her hair obscures her boobs. Diana and her brother are planning a hunting trip to a forbidden part of the jungle where there is a sacred wild monkey that the natives are spooked by. The sacred monkey turns out to be Eva. I thought this was so damn stupid! Why is she sacred and why are the jungle men afraid of her? All she does is look at people and then hide behind a tree so as not to be seen.

During the expedition, which proceeds at a snail pace, they look at animals and walk around but never really hunt anything. They make camp at night and two "robot" gorillas attack and abduct Diana. Burt hears about this when Robert makes it back to the house, but he doesn’t want to help at all. He’d much rather drink and hang at the bar all day. But when he hears that Turk may be involved he’s gung-ho. Burt leads a new expedition and they walk around and look at more animals again. Forrester the Interpol guy is tracking Burt as he moves around the jungle. They make camp and Eva, the sacred monkey goes into Burt’s tent, looks at his sleeping face and sneaks out quietly.

I’m going to jump into the third-act and fast-forward because I’m sick of this nonsense. Burt takes off his shirt and goes for a swim and finds a banana dinner Eva left for him. Turk blackmailed Robert into enticing Burt to head out into the jungle, promising he would return his sister Diana. Robert is killed by the gorillas and Burt finally makes it to the secret cave laboratory where Albert is holding Diana captive. It turns out that Theodore (the important man with a beard) was funding Albert’s stupid experiments. Turk is also at the lab and gets killed by Burt. Ursula (Theodore’s wife) then kills her husband because she wanted to run away to Paris with Albert. Albert then kills Ursula for no real reason. Burt frees Diana and shoots the brain control panel that controls the gorillas and they go ape shit and kill Albert. Believe it or not this all happens at once in the cave lair. It’s weird because everyone shows up, explains their intentions, and then die one after another. What kind of stupid shit is this?!? Eva, who had absolutely nothing to do in the movie but prance around topless heads back into the jungle. Burt, well, he walks out into the open and the credits roll.

This movie is a combination of boredom and confusion. The pacing is way off. We have two long, slow treks through the jungle that takes up a lot of time and then everyone just does their stuff. The "robot" gorillas are also useless. The whole movie could have been dubbed a jungle adventure and pulled out the gorillas. But they wanted to slip it in and try and fool us into thinking this was a sci-fi or horror flick. And how it manages to be so boring is beyond me. I didn’t care about Burt and his muscles and the gorillas are barely onscreen. You can skip this piece of crap and live a better, much longer life.

And what about Forrester, the Interpol guy? I was unable to locate his whereabouts so he is probably walking the African jungles as you read this…

- Jorge Antonio Lopez

 

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