Monday, April 30, 2012

The Revenge of Murray the Mantis

One of my favorite episodes of The Real Ghostbusters is "The Revenge of Murray the Mantis."

Murray the Mantis is a popular Saturday morning cartoon character in the Ghostbusters universe with his own balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The crew responsible for the balloon inflates it the night before in a warehouse that was once the city morgue. It becomes possessed by the dead on Thanksgiving morning and goes on a rampage through New York City, kaiju-style.

When the Ghostbusters can't stop it on their own, they release the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from the Ecto-Containment Unit to fight him.

After an epic slugfest, Stay-Puft grips Murray's spiked forearms and holds him in place so that the Ghostbusters can blast him with their proton packs. So that's what's going on in the picture below. Stay-Puft and Murray are not, as my boss believed, dancing.

This is another post in the "stuff on my desk" series. The part of Murray the Mantis is played by Kamacuras, resident of Monster Island and co-star of numerous Godzilla movies.

You can watch the episode on YouTube:

While we're on the topic of Ghostbusters, here's stuff on my desk from a different shelf:

I couldn't find a Kamacuras big enough to fight this particular Stay-Puft action figure, so I added the Stay-Puft Minimate to my gashapon collection instead (see below). Normally I'm not a big fan of Minimates, but I find that some of their "nonhuman" characters like Stay-Puft look okay.

Part of my gashapon collection.

You'll notice a Cthulhu-like creature lurking behind the Empire State Building. That's actually Yasheth of the Lords of Cthul, a Monsterpocalypse game piece (as are the buildings around him). 

 So the part of Cthulhu is being played by Yasheth, which brings me to my other favorite Real Ghostbusters episode, the oddly-spelled "Collect Call of Cathulhu."

The Necronomicon has been stolen from the library, the Stars Are Right, Venkman is hitting on a professor from Miskatonic University, and a bunch of cultists are chanting "Cthulhu fhtagn!" You know what that means.

Great quotes include Venkman's "Anything that looks like Godzilla wearing an octopus hat shouldn't be hard to find," and Egon's "Cathulhu makes Gozer look like 'Little Mary Sunshine'."

This episode is also on YouTube:

Monster Mecca Montage

In reference to this post where I made a reference to New York City being Monster Mecca, here is my "Monster Mecca Montage," celebrating 3 decades of giant monsters stomping on NYC:

This is also part of the "stuff on my desk" series, where I post pictures of the various things I have on display at work, like MechaGodzilla & MechaGodzilla Jr.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Green, Slimy Kind of Day

Haven't felt the urge to get out of bed yet today. Watched The Green Slime on YouTube instead:

I don't care what anyone says, this movie is a masterpiece. It's like Armageddon, Aliens, and Basic Instinct all rolled into one. (Don't believe me on that last one? Check out the tracking shot that runs from about 1:45 to 1:56). And don't miss the awesome theme song that kicks in about 2:55.

Okay, time to get up and do something with my life day.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

King Kong vs. Godzilla 50th Anniversary

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the release of King Kong vs. Godzilla, and they're celebrating it properly in California:
Join Bay Area Film Events and your host Balrok from Creepy KOFY Movietime for the 50th anniversary screening of KING KONG VS. GODZILLA!

And as a titanic second feature see GODZILLA, MOTHRA, KING GHIDORAH ALL-OUT ATTACK!

The Historic Bal Theatre will be transformed into a giant monster battlefield!

BAFE will also be presenting a tribute to Toho Special Effects Designer Yasuyuki Inoue. Mr. Inoue designed some of the most iconic images from Toho's classic films from 1954 through 1985.

Special guests for the evening, live via video conference, will be Godzilla experts Ed Godziszewski and Steve Ryfle. Ed and Steve have been responsible for the extras and audio commentaries on Godzilla and Toho DVDs from Classic Media, Media Blasters and others. Steve has authored the book Japan's Favorite Mon-Star: The Unauthorized Biography of "The Big G" and Ed produced The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Godzilla. Both are working together now on a book about Toho director Ishirô Honda.

We will also have prizes, merchandise, displays and more!

It is an evening to celebrate everything Godzilla, with a certain giant ape crashing the party!!
Tickets are available now at Ticket Leap!
Note: I made some factual and spelling corrections to the press release above, and added the hyperlinks to provide background and context.

Here's a cool fan-edited trailer for King Kong vs. Godzilla:

And the trailer for 2001's Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack:

Looks like good times.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Kaiju Big Battel

Today on Playbook: The Wired World of Sports, Sol Neelman writes about Kaiju Big Battel:
When I’m asked what my favorite weird sport is, I always say Kaiju Big Battel. Always. And what is Kaiju Big Battel, you ask? Well, it’s the world’s only live monster fighting spectacle. Hello!

“Kaiju Big Battel is a modern conflict of epic proportions,” reads the official Kaiju site. “Evil villains, menacing alien beasts, and giant, city-crushing monsters threaten to destroy the planet Earth. Who will save the helpless humans from total ruin?”

Who, indeed? A few heroes, of course. And some heroines. They must contain the havoc and minimize the damage as they fight within the arena of Kaiju Big Battel. Think Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah in the WWE with scaled-down papier-mâché buildings perfect for blindsiding opponents when the ref isn’t looking. Watch out for the Empire State Building, yo! 
Check out the article for pictures and video: Godzilla's Got Nothing on Live Monster Wrestling

King Kong - Live on Stage

In early 2013, a King Kong musical will premiere in Melbourne, Australia before moving to Broadway later in the year. King Kong: Live on Stage is being produced by Carmen Pavlovic, CEO of Global Creatures, the Australian company behind Walking with Dinosaurs and How to Train Your Dragon Arena Spectacular.

It will feature a 23-foot-tall animatronic Kong created by The Creature Technology Company, along with a cast of more than 40 actors, singers, dancers and puppeteers.

Animatronic Kong under construction

From The Guardian:
Steve Tilders, who has worked as an engineer for the Jim Henson Company's Creature Shop, will design the robotic Kong. "We are making huge leaps from what we created for the dinosaurs," he said. "King Kong is the key character, who will have to command the stage and act alongside actors. When he scratches his nose, for instance, it will have to be done in one fluid, controlled motion where all the muscles up his arm will move at once and he has enough control not to accidentally punch a hole in his face!''

 From The Australian:
From a producer's point of view, titles such as King Kong... are "huge brands", and the reason Pavlovic's company is keen to bring them to the stage is that "they embody certain values that you think are going to appeal to the public. So for me, it's not about saying, 'These are well-known titles so my shameless commercial side thinks we'll make money.' I think they actually have the potential to capture what was the essence of that brand to begin with and find new ways to embody those values on stage."

She believes the classic 1933 Depression-era film King Kong has a lot to say today. A beauty and the beast romance, it tells of a giant ape taken from its tropical island home and displayed in a New York vaudeville theatre, only to escape and go berserk. The city is saved by King Kong's love for an actress.

"There are a lot of layers to the piece intellectually," Pavlovic says. "I think it's got a lot of messages for us in 2013: ideas about the environment, culture, power and racial politics. The added bonus is a love story that people know and characters that people recognise. To be able to portray all that in a fresh way is a very exciting challenge creatively."
"But it's not enough these days to just make a musical from a film or whatever; you need a point of difference," Withers argues. "Audience expectations just continue to grow for what you can do on a stage with three walls, hence why we're seeing the development of something like King Kong, for example, where it's larger than life. It's about trying to come up with something new."
"The downside of having a well-known title is that it can also make people come with a huge preconception about what it is. I'd say that's more so for King Kong..." Pavlovic says there are people who think: "They can't do a monkey on stage that's believable." (Although anyone who saw Walking with Dinosaurs or How to Train Your Dragon won't doubt it.) "People say, 'tell me King Kong doesn't sing, please tell me he doesn't'," she adds. "So people have preconceptions before you start. It can give you a lot of negative stuff that you have to counter."
According to the official website, "the music in KING KONG will feature several new songs by Marius de Vries who is also writing the incidental musical score, as well as arranging the classic period songs that will be featured in the production."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Godzilla Stomps New York

On this day in 1956, Godzilla, King of the Monsters premiered in New York City.

Here's the trailer, with one of the worst voiceover narrations in movie history. At least it won't let you forget the title...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Godzilla vs. MechaChicken

Never having seen this "Godzilla Sex Toys" clip from Robot Chicken, I went looking for it on YouTube after my kids told me about it:

I found a couple of others while I was at it. "Godzilla Returns" I remember seeing on Adult Swim, and it pretty much sums up my feelings on Devlin & Emmerich's 1998 Godzilla movie:

But I was not prepared for... Preciouszilla:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Avengers!

Speaking of my childhood in the '70s, this Avengers trailer reminds me of way too much of it. Someone needs to make this movie happen, J-Men Forever style. Okay? I'm waiting.

Giant Monsters vs. Alien Invaders

This is the June 1978 issue of Space Wars, the first science fiction magazine I ever laid eyes on. I can remember my mother -- knowing what a huge "Star Wars" fan I was -- bringing it home from the store to surprise me when I was nine. Though I'd seen a handful of Godzilla movies by then, an article by Tom Rogers, "Giant Monsters vs. Alien Invaders," was my introduction to most of the monsters in the Toho pantheon, not to mention those outside it, like the giant turtle Gamera.

As this was back in the days before we had cable TV, much less VCRs, DVD players, or Netflix, I did not have the luxury of watching whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it. No, back in the dark ages we had to watch what was on, while it was on, or miss it altogether. As a result, I recall spending countless hours studying the pictures and rereading the text of the article to get my monster fix, imagining movies that I have only recently managed to see (and many I still haven't).

Although the article sometimes reads like a 6th grade English assignment, is filled with lame attempts at '70s-era snark, and takes a derisive view of Japanese cinema in general, with the writer wishing more than once that the movies would just go away and never return, it was nevertheless a goldmine of information for 9-year-old me (despite containing dubious spellings of a number of monsters' names). And my elementary school friends were equally enthusiastic about it, because when I brought the magazine to school to show it to them, it was passed around the playground at recess like porn. (Which is in no way meant to imply that we were sharing porn in elementary school.)

The hallowed pages are posted below. Click to enlarge...


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Jirassic Lark

Might as well wear a "Kick Me" sign.
Apparently Godzilla was in desperate need of a paycheck in 1966, because he agreed to appear on an episode of the TV series Ultraman in drag (wearing a giant frilly collar and a yellow stripe down his belly) and get taken out like a bitch.

Appearing under the alias "Jirass," Godzilla plays a dinosaur (who might have been relocated from Loch Ness) living peacefully in a lake eating fish, until the Science Patrol comes nosing around with their S-21 submarine (which looks like the illegitimate love child of a shark and a Colonial Viper) and starts some shit.

Though he had been trained by a mad scientist to eat fish at night and sleep during the day so as not to arouse the suspicion of the local fishermen, this intrusion by the Science Patrol rouses him to appear in broad daylight, meaning Ultraman was going to have to kick his ass. Especially after the Science Patrol gets him riled up by shooting him in the face a few times with the atomic Spider-Shot gun. (Why do they always aim for the face? It's not like they're fighting giant zombies).

Ultraman and Jirass begin their confrontation with a bit of a pissing contest, each of them tossing a boulder into the air and blasting it to pieces -- Jirass with his breath weapon, Ultraman with his Spacium Ray -- as if they were shooting skeet. Then the wrestling begins, with Ultraman eventually tearing the collar from Godzilla's bloody neck and using it to taunt him like a bullfighter with a red cape. This understandably pisses Godzilla off, and the fight is on.

Ultraman eventually takes Jirass/Godzilla out with an Ultra Chop to the abdomen, and like the end of a big boss battle in a martial arts film, Godzilla stands in place, stunned, as blood dribbles out of his mouth before he pitches forward onto the ground, stone dead. Ultraman picks up the collar and drapes it over the monster's head before flying away as sad music plays.

My wife summed up this epic monster battle very concisely: "Ultraman is an asshole." Seriously, our hero comes across as a major bully in this episode, persistently taunting Godzilla and laughing at him whenever he falls down or gets hurt. He shows no remorse about having to kill this one-of-a-kind prehistoric beast until after it is dead, and then he just takes off. Who's going to bury this thing? A 150-foot-long reptilian corpse? Do you have any idea what it's going to smell like when it starts to decompose?

This is not sportsmanlike behavior:

 God I love this show.

Happy Earth Day from Godzilla!

He's so cute when he's peaceful.

"Let's Plant" available as a T-Shirt here.

Saturday, April 21, 2012



NEW YORK – SHIELD's Deputy Director, Timothy "Dum Dum" Dugan, has been implicated in the controversy over liability for property damage caused by Godzilla's 1998 rampage through New York City.

Damage Control, a Manhattan-based construction company, is set to begin restoration, but there is much contention about who should get stuck with the repair bill.  The damaged buildings are covered by Extraordinary Activity Assurance policies, which most New Yorkers know simply as Superhero Insurance.  But the McDuffie Insurance Company is not willing to cover Godzilla’s swath of destruction, insisting that the ongoing threat posed by the monster is entirely the fault of SHIELD.

Decades ago, when Godzilla first arrived on American shores, SHIELD was charged with the responsibility of capturing or destroying him.
Above: Godzilla as he appeared in the 70s, when he destroyed the Alaskan Pipeline, the Hoover Dam, and the city of Las Vegas before being released on his own recognizance by SHIELD agent  “Dum Dum” Dugan.
Officer Dugan was placed in command of SHIELD’s Godzilla Squad, but after pursuing the creature for months as part of an operation that cost taxpayers billions of dollars, he allowed Godzilla to escape into the Atlantic Ocean.

Some time after that, Godzilla was captured by Doctor Demonicus, an international terrorist most infamous for using giant monsters to attack oil tankers during the energy crisis of the 1970s. By exposing Godzilla to the Lifestone, a radioactive meteor Demonicus used to mutate animals into monsters, the terrorist was able to mutate Godzilla into a form that was smaller, weaker, and easier to control.

Demonicus used Godzilla to attack SHIELD's Avengers Initiative. Billionaire playboy Tony Stark was able to free the monster from Demonicus' control with the Stark Industries Iron Man Armor, but allowed it to escape again.

McDuffie Insurance now claims that Godzilla’s recent attack on New York, which was apparently motivated by spawning instincts, was a direct result of the government’s failure to deal with the hazard posed by the radioactive monster in the first place. They further speculate that the majority of the damage done to the city was caused by the military’s botched attacks on the beast, rather than by Godzilla himself.

Above: Godzilla, mutated by Demonicus to the point of unrecognizability, is seen here dryhumping a New York skyscraper. Damage was done, but who’s responsible?  

Top executives at the insurance company allege that classified SHIELD documents reveal the agency’s attempts to cover up the debacle and to reward Dugan with a promotion to Deputy Director. 

New York property owners are not interested in McDuffie's conspiracy theories. Nor have they been swayed by the insurance company's claim that the "Acts of God" exclusionary clause in their policies is actually an abbreviation for "Acts of Godzilla."

According to insurance claim estimators who are familiar with Extraordinary Activity Assurance policies, Godzilla's Manhattan Island hopping was the most expensive monster attack on New York City since those carried out by the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in 1984 and King Kong in 1976. 

“What is this, Monster Mecca?” asked one exasperated property owner. “Does every super-sized creature on the planet have to make a pilgrimage here before they die?”

 A-Team Repels Giant Lizard

When the armed forces were unable to stop Godzilla’s assault on NYC, the situation looked bleak until the monster made a critical error. It stepped on the A-Team van.

A crack commando unit sent to prison in 1972 by a military court for a crime they didn't commit, the members of the A-Team -- John "Hannibal" Smith, Templeton "Faceman" Peck, B.A. "Bad Attitude" Baracus, and H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock -- promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Because they were still wanted by the government, they were forced to survive for years as soldiers of fortune. When someone had a problem, and no one else could help, and assuming they could find them, they were encouraged to hire the A-Team.

Pardoned in 1987 in return for completing a series of missions for the U.S. government, the A-Team has continued to help the poor and downtrodden ever since. They were in New York on a much-needed vacation when B.A.'s beloved van was crushed by Godzilla.

Stranded downtown, and trapped by debris in a paint & body shop, the A-Team hastily assembled a giant robot from spare auto parts.

The robot drove Godzilla back out to sea, and by the time the roads leading into and out of the city were re-opened, Baracus had his van in peak condition again.

B.A. immediately received a job offer from Stark International, which he agreed to take as long as company business would never require him to fly.

Under the control of H.M. Murdock, “MechaGodzilla” has gone on to become the reigning “Battlebots” champion.

Their commanding officer, retired Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith, attributed their victory over Godzilla to his years of experience playing the B-movie monster Aquamaniac. "It really helped me get inside his head," he claims.

As Godzilla disappeared into the distance, Hannibal was quoted as saying, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Sponsored Advertisement
Notes: This one is from the archives -- a story I wrote in 2002 about the (fictional) return of the Marvel Universe version of Godzilla. For those who are unaware, Marvel Comics published a Godzilla comic from 1977 to 1979, allowing him to crush, crumble, and chomp his way across the Marvel Universe until he finally made it to New York where the Avengers evicted him for good (probably because Marvel lost the license from Toho). After that, any time they wanted Godzilla to appear in the comics (since he was now a part of continuity), they had to use his "mutated" appearance, and not have anyone call him by name, but rather "imply" that it was Godzilla.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Animal Man!

Thanks to the pre-Vertigo Grant Morrison series from the late '80s, I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Animal Man. Here's an original sketch I got from Joe Phillips back in 1990:

Back when wearing a jacket over your costume was a thing.
 I also have a framed original page of the comic by series artist Chaz Truog.
So it should go without saying that I think these DC Nation Animal Man shorts are AWESOME:

Reminds me of this quote from George Carlin's book Brain Droppings:
Here is an anecdote from the writer Patricia Highsmith: "Not so long ago I said to a friend of mine: 'If I saw a kitten and a little human baby sitting on the curb starving, I would feed the kitten first if nobody was looking.' My friend said: 'I would feed the kitten first if somebody was looking'." I would too, Patricia.
Some people seem shocked and say, "You care more about animals than you do about humans!" Fuckin'-A well told!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Wanna see something really scary?

When writer John Scalzi posted earlier today that he had seen a creature on the wing of his plane, it reminded me of this image I made six years ago as an update to the classic Twilight Zone episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" --

---although at the time, I suggested that it could be revealed that this was the real reason that Oceanic Flight 815 went down (a Lost opportunity). 

In the words of Rod Serling: "What you're looking at could be the end of a particularly terrifying nightmare. It isn't. It's the beginning." Good luck sleeping tonight...

King Kong Looks Delicious!

A folktale that quite possibly ate a biologist and a Boy Scout leader

***Spoiler Warning for 16-year-old X-FILES episode***

Bait & Tackle? More like Bait & Switch.
TOR.COM is revisiting one of my favorite episodes of The X-Files today, "Quagmire." Giggity! This is the one where Mulder is in search of the lake monster "Big Blue" and Scully's dog Queequeg is devoured by an alligator.

Poor Queequeg
It reminded me of back when Topps Comics was publishing the tie-in comic series in the '90s, they ran a contest for the readers to write in and suggest what gifts Mulder and Scully should exchange at Christmas. I think they were going to do a holiday issue. Anyway, I never sent it in, but I did come up with my entry:
What's wrong, Scully? Too soon?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nerd Rage!

I saw a picture similar to this bouncing around Tumblr, but because I'm OCD about spelling and punctuation, I had to make my own.

This one, however, I'm fine with:

King Kong vs. Godzilla

King Kong loved New York.
Godzilla was just using it for sex.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Where The Kaiju Are

Apparently my wife wasn't the first person to notice the similarities between "Where The Wild Things Are" and "Godzilla's Revenge." Someone wrote an article on it back when the Wild Things movie adaptation was released:

Is "Where the Wild Things Are" A Modern "Godzilla's Revenge"?

Now I just need a Godzilla book written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Godzilla's Revenge

Watched "Godzilla's Revenge" (a.k.a. "All Monsters Attack") with my wife on Netflix Instant tonight. It's the story of a young boy's imaginary adventures on Monster Island. A few minutes into the movie she commented, "This is the Japanese version of Where The Wild Things Are."

I couldn't argue with that, though sadly, by the end, it had transformed into the Japanese version of "Home Alone."

Here's the trailer. It kicks off with the scene that had me yelling, "Godzilla, you need garlic butter for that!" at the television screen.

Highway to the Monster Zone

Top Creature! I hadn't seen this since it aired on TV back when I was a teenager. For some reason it popped into my head yesterday and I decided to see if I could find it online. According to the person who posted it on YouTube, it was made by WTBS in 1987 for its Saturday Monster Movie, which sounds about right.


Now I really want to create an updated version of this, with Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer competing to see who the best pilot is when in actuality they're both about to be pwned by Rodan.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

KONGA: King Kong's British Cousin

Look, I understand why Netflix Instant would feel justified in recommending some giant gorilla movies to me after all the Godzilla flicks I've watched this week, but I'm still holding a grudge over this Konga debacle...
Dear Netflix: Consider this my report.
 Konga is a 1961 British movie about a mad scientist and his giant gorilla, and is exactly as thrilling as one would imagine a 1960s British monster movie to be. The tag line on the poster (see above) is “Not since ‘King Kong’ has the screen exploded with such mighty fury and spectacle!” It should read, “The most polite and well-behaved giant monster in movie history awkwardly mugs for the camera before becoming mildly irritated and standing around waiting to die,” but I suppose honesty isn't considered a virtue among movie merchandisers.
I don't recall Mothra having quite so many tentacles.
 The tediously slow story begins with a botanist, played by Michael Gough (who decades later would become Alfred the Butler to Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, and George Clooney’s Batmen) returning to America with his chimpanzee, portentously named Konga, and announcing a breakthrough in his research: By injecting animals with a serum made from plant cells, he can make them grow to many times their original size. Everyone tells him he is insane, and they are correct, but everyone is so British and proper about it that this conflict contains no entertainment value whatsoever. 

"Master Bruce, there appears to be a giant ape wandering aimlessly about Gotham City. Perhaps you could have it stuffed and mounted in the Batcave. The taxidermist could pose it like it's fighting the T-Rex."

The pace picks up ever so slightly when he injects Konga with the serum, transforming him from a 3-foot-tall chimpanzee into a 6-foot-tall gorilla (or an actor in a gorilla suit to be more precise). Yes, that is correct... the serum not only makes him larger, but causes him to change species. No one in the movie remarks on this turn of events.
Knowing what the movie has in store for him, Konga assumes the position.

Rather, what follows is an extremely mild series of violence. Konga does not go on a rampage, as one would expect from this sort of film, as such behavior would be considered bad form. Instead Konga remains completely obedient to the mad scientist, who sends him out to murder a handful of people on his shit list, including an old scientific rival, and a male student who is cockblocking his attempts to seduce a young blonde female student. Really, the whole thing plays out like a typical English drama about a college professor’s midlife crisis, except that every now and then a man in a preposterous gorilla costume ambles on screen, strangles someone, and leaves.

"Tonight on Masterpiece Theatre... gakk!!!"
So no rampage, just a small pile of corpses for the police to investigate and puzzle over their cause of death. One probably wouldn’t expect the wake left by a chimpanzee/gorilla/plant hybrid on a killing spree to require the efforts of a Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple to get sorted out, but as I have already mentioned, this is a very British monster movie. The only thing Konga is missing is a giant cup of tea to sip while extending his pinky finger.

"Colonel Mustard in the Conservatory with the Gorilla."

Finally, in the last few minutes of the film, the mad scientist’s wife has had all she can take of her husband’s pursuit of the young blonde student, and decides that the best course of revenge is to inject Konga with a massive amount of the growth serum. Konga grows a few more feet in height and, enraged, proceeds to... gingerly sweep some of the scientific equipment off the lab table in front him. Konga then picks up the wife (who momentarily screams in front of a still-green green-screen before being transformed into a stiff child’s doll with a completely different haircut), and throws her to the floor of the lab, where she dies and reverts to human form.

My hat's off to the set photographer. All of the promotional stills look better than any scenes in the actual movie.
Punching through the ceiling, Konga proceeds to grow to a few stories in height, crashing out of the mad scientist’s cardboard home altogether. Now we're talking! Moving around to the greenhouse in back, he watches through the glass roof as the young blonde student struggles to pull away from the mad scientist’s lecherous advances. Seeing Konga looking down on him, the terrified scientist releases the girl, who stumbles into a giant flesh-eating plant that swallows her arm up past her elbow.

It could be worse, she could have stumbled into one of these:
It's like Little Shop of Horrors with... you know, I'm just going to stop there.
This is the last we see of her, so we have no idea if she escapes, having only lost an arm to the monstrous Venus flytrap, or if it eventually managed to swallow her whole. Instead, we have more pressing concerns, such as Konga grabbing the mad scientist and going on a leisurely stroll through town with him.

"Not now, you big dumb ape, I was about to score! Chicks can't resist my giant penis plants!"
In Konga’s grasp, the scientist is sometimes a doll in an unconvincing black suit, sometimes a superimposed human being held by a nervous-looking, frozen-in-place gorilla, and sometimes, for close-ups, a human surrounded by perfectly still fur against a perfectly still city skyline. Regardless of his form, the scientist’s only dialogue for the rest of the movie is a brief list of variations on the phrase “Konga, put me down!” As Konga meanders through London, he absently swipes at a few panicked citizens on the ground below him, who continue to run away until they realize he’s come to a complete stop in front of Big Ben for no apparent reason, and stop to gawk at him. I say “no apparent reason” because nothing in particular seems to have caught the monster’s attention, nor does he seem to have any King-Kong-ripoff-style plans to climb the famous clock tower. No, he just stands and awaits his fate, as cops pull up in patrol cars and get out and stare at him for awhile (which reminded me of Robin Williams’ stand-up routine about how police in England don’t carry guns, so if you commit a crime, all they can do is shout, “Stop! Or I’ll say stop again!”)

"Hmmm, I wonder if I can reach any of those people down there. No? Oh well. At least I didn't drop this mannequin."

But then the military arrives and sets up a machine gun turret. Disgusted, Konga throws the doll of the mad scientist down to the street below, which like his wife’s before him, reverts to human form in death. Konga then stands in place and allows the military to fire thousands of rounds of ammunition into his chest which, while doing no visible damage, does eventually result in him dropping dead and reverting to chimpanzee form a few feet away from the scientist.

Above: The Monkey Shot.

And that’s it. The most unintentionally entertaining part of the movie for me was Konga’s facial expressions, since even though his gorilla mask was predictably goofy, it did allow the actor within to convey a range of emotion with his eyes. And these emotions were consistently bizarre and in-Kong-ruous to the scene at hand. If one were actually trying to make sense of the movie, it would be easy to imagine that the size-and-species-changing serum that Konga was subjected to had side effects that included mental and emotional derangement. But since there is no sense to be made, I will wrap up this review by saying that I think a video editor could get a lot of comedy mileage out of dubbing in Konga’s thoughts to match the ridiculous, and quickly shifting, expressions on his face. And of course editing out all the boring British conversations that make up most of the movie.

"It's the rhythm of the island, and like the sugar cane so sweet
If you want to do the Konga, you've got to listen to the beat"
Having lost 90 minutes of my life to this movie monstrosity, I was unable to just put this affront behind me and get on with my life, so I followed my usual course of action and began to Google all the information I could find about it. Amazingly, I discovered that this movie spawned a couple of Charlton comic book series, so of course I immediately set out to find a complete set on eBay

Konga vs. the Hermit Crabs?
Until that arrives, check out these awesome Konga images from hollywoodgorillamen's Flickr photostream. Personally, I'm going to see if Peter Jackson can help me scrub this memory from my brain.