Ten Tons of Animal Fury Leaps from the Screen
NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH KING KONG
— English taglines
A*P*E (킹콩의大逆襲 is a Kingkongui Daeyeokseub, lit. King Kong's Great Counterattack)1976 special effects monster film co-produced by Kukje Movies and Lee Ming Film Company. The film was released to South Korean theaters on July 23, 1976 and to American theaters in October of the same year. It was created in order to cash in on Dino De Laurentiis' then-upcoming King Kong remake, and borrows several elements from the film's story.
Off of the coast of South Korea, a giant ape captured from Holland escapes an oil tanker and fights with an oversized great white shark. After ripping the shark's jaw apart, the giant ape makes landfall and continues his rampage. He advances onto an oil field and throws barrels about before escaping into the Korean wilderness.
Actress Marilyn Baker and her journalist boyfriend Tom arrive at the set of the new movie they are filming in South Korea. Reports of the giant ape reach the military, but they just pass it off as a hoax. Upon discovering giant footprints, they conclude that it's a fake giant ape made by the production team for the movie. When phoned about the giant ape, which is seen roaming the countryside, a skeptical general mockingly asks if anyone asked him if his name is King Kong.
Startling people as he passes through a farmland, the giant ape finds a giant python climbing a tree, which he picks up and throws. After he stumbles upon the set of a period piece martial arts film, the scared actors brandish their prop weapons to attack the giant ape. Their attempts are futile and they only manage to anger the beast after shooting flaming arrows at his face. He continues his rampage in various locations, though he leaves a group of children that break into a theme park playground unharmed. The U.S. military and Captain Kim of the South Korean police become more convinced about the legitimacy of the reports, but decide to keep them secret from the public, fearing panic if they let the truth out. Tom tries to figure out the answers anyway.
Tom goes to the set of the film as Marilyn is filming a scene involving rape. He explains to Marilyn that the reason he came is because he heard reports of a giant ape roaming the area; Marilyn can't tell if he's being serious. Meanwhile the ape is destroying entire villages and the military is forced to evacuate rural areas. The giant ape stomps onto the set and Marilyn accidentally runs into his hands. The ape carries her into the mountains to continue his rampage while the army gives orders to capture him alive. After dispatching a squadron of helicopters, he gives his opponents the finger. Tom rescues Marilyn while the ape is distracted. Captain Kim offers to let a shaken Marilyn stay with his family in Seoul. She calms down about her experience while entertaining Kim's children. However the ape follows them to the city and after breaking several buildings to check inside, he locates and abduct Marilyn. She discovers, however, that the giant primate is only fascinated with her and doesn't harm her. Enraged at the destruction, the South Korean government orders the ape destroyed and the American military lends aid in the hunt. The military corners the ape on a hilltop and attack as Marilyn manages to get back to Tom. After being fired upon by all angles the ape dies of wounds, leaving Marilyn to ask why it had to be this way. Tom sadly laments that the giant ape was just too big for the small world of men.
- Main article: A*P*E/Credits.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Paul Leder
- Written by Paul Leder, Reuben A. Leder
- Produced by K.M. Yeung, Paul Leder, Tony Francis, Reuben A. Leder, Yang Tseng-Hsiu
- Music by Bruce Mac Rae, Chung Min Sup
- Cinematography by Daniel L. Symmes, Tony Francis, Miriam R. Leder
- Production design by Lee Bong Sun
- Assistant directing by Miriam R. Leder, Choi Young Chul
- 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 (billed as Joanna de Varona)
- Alex Nicol as Colonel Davis
- Lee Nak-hun as Captain Kim
- Woo Yun Jung 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
- Main article: A*P*E/Gallery.
- The New King Kong (Initial title)
- Super Ape (Initial title)
- Attack of the Giant Horny Gorilla (1982 American grindhouse re-release title)
- Hideous Mutant (American home video title)
- King Kong's Great Counterattack (Literal Korean title; 킹콩의大逆襲)
- King Kong Returns (France; King Kong Revient)
- The Revolt of Kong (French home video title; La Révolte de Kong)
- The King Ape (Philippines)
- Super Kong (Portugal)
- New King Kong (Soviet Union; Новый Кинг Конг)
- The Gorilla Attacks (Spain; El Gorila Ataca)
- Super King Kong (Turkey; Süper King Kong)
- South Korea - July 23, 1976 [view poster]
- United States - October, 1976 [view poster]; 1982 (Re-release) [view poster]
- France - February 15, 1978 [view poster]
- Turkey - August 1979 [view poster]
- Portugal - September 29, 1982
Image Entertainment DVD (2001)
- Region: 1
- Discs: 1
- Audio: English
- Subtitles: Unknown
- Special features: None
Kino Lorber Blu-ray 3D/DVD (2017)
- Region: 1 (DVD) or A/1 (Blu-Ray)
- Discs: 1
- Audio: English (DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 for Blu-ray)
- Subtitles: None
- Special features: Audio commentary by Hillary Hess and Chris Alexander, trailers for A*P*E, The Bubble, Gog, The Mask, and September Storm
- A*P*E*'s stylized title references the American film and TV show M*A*S*H, which are set during the Korean War.
- Despite its lawyer-friendly "not to be confused with King Kong" tagline in the United States, other countries included Kong's name in the very title. In South Korea it was advertised under the same regional title as King Kong Escapes.
- The movie's special effects budget was quite small, at $1,200. After finding the final product was too short and serious, producer-director Paul Leder commissioned reshoots to pad the film's runtime and make it campier, likely including the shot of the ape extending his middle finger.
Showing 27 comments. When commenting, please remain respectful of other users, stay on topic, and avoid role-playing and excessive punctuation. Comments which violate these guidelines may be removed by administrators.
- LeMay, John. Kong Unmade: The Lost Films of Skull Island. Bicep Books. pp. 177-178. 12 December 2019. ISBN: 978-1734154627.