A*P*E (1976)

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Image gallery for A*P*E
Credits for A*P*E

See alternate titles
The South Korean poster for A*P*E
Directed by Paul Leder
Producer K.M. Yeung, Paul Leder
Written by Paul Leder, Reuben A. Leder
Music by Bruce Mac Rae, Chung Min Sup
effects by
Park Kwang Nam
Distributor Worldwide Entertainment
Rating PGUS
Budget $23,000[1]
Running time 87 minutes
(1 hour, 27 minutes)
Aspect ratio 2.35:1KR
Rate this film!
(23 votes)

Ten Tons of Animal Fury Leaps from the Screen
See A*P*E
*defy the JAWS of Giant Shark
*destroy a teeming City
*demolish an Ocean Liner
*vanquish Monster Reptile

— English poster taglines

A*P*E (킹콩의大逆襲,   Kingkongui Daeyeokseub, lit. King Kong's Great Counterattack) is a 1976 special effects giant 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 that film's story.


Off the coast of South Korea, a giant ape captured in the Netherlands escapes an oil tanker and fights with an oversized great white shark. After ripping the shark's jaws apart, the giant ape makes landfall and continues his rampage. He advances onto an oil field and throws barrels about before escaping into the South 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 is 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 away. 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 a 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 cannot tell if he is being serious. Meanwhile, the giant 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 giant 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 giant 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 giant ape follows them to the city and after breaking several buildings to check inside, he locates and abducts Marilyn. She discovers, however, that the giant ape is only fascinated with her and does not harm her. Enraged at the destruction, the South Korean government orders the giant ape destroyed and the U.S. military lends aid in the hunt. The military corners the giant ape on a hilltop and attack as Marilyn manages to get back to Tom. After being fired upon by all angles the giant ape dies from his 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.

Alternate titles

  • King Kong (English South Korean poster title)
  • Ape (alternative English spelling)
  • The New King Kong (initial title)
  • Super Ape (initial title)
  • Attack of the Giant Horny Gorilla (1982 United States grindhouse re-release title)
  • Hideous Mutant (U.S. home video title)
  • King Kong's Great Counterattack (킹콩의大逆襲; literal South Korean title)
    • King Kong's Counterattack (alternate translation)
  • King Kong Returns (King Kong Revient; France)
  • The Revolt of Kong (La Révolte de Kong; French home video title)
  • The King Ape (Philippines)
  • Super Kong (Portugal; Italy)
  • New King Kong (Новый Кинг Конг; Soviet Union)
  • The Gorilla Attacks (El Gorila Ataca; Spain)
  • Super King Kong (Süper King Kong; Turkey)

Theatrical releases

  • South Korea - July 23, 1976  [view poster]Korean poster
  • United States - October 1976  [view poster]American poster; 1982 (re-release)  [view poster]American re-release promotional poster
  • France - February 15, 1978  [view poster]French poster
  • Turkey - August 1979  [view poster]Turkish poster
  • Portugal - September 29, 1982  [view poster]Portuguese poster

Video releases

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



U.S. A*P*E trailer
U.S. A*P*E TV trailer
U.S. A*P*E TV spot
Belgian A*P*E trailer


Full movie


  • A*P*E's stylized title references the American theatrical film and TV series M*A*S*H, which were both 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 itself. 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 giant ape sticking up his middle finger at the audience, thus breaking the fourth wall.[1]
  • In 2014, director Wonsuk Chin announced he would be overseeing a mockumentary based on the making of A*P*E tentatively titled Ape of Wrath, although it has yet to be made.[2]
  • A*P*E is one of seven giant monster movies which can be viewed in its entirety within the 2022 video game Kaiju Wars, along with Attack of the Monsters, Destroy All Planets, Gammera the Invincible, Pulgasari, Tarantula, and Yongary, Monster from the Deep.

See also


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]

  1. 1.0 1.1 LeMay, John (12 December 2019). Kong Unmade: The Lost Films of Skull Island. Bicep Books. pp. 177–178. ISBN 978-1734154627.
  2. Levine, Sydney (6 September 2014). "Wonsuk Chin's Korean U.S. Coproduction 'Ape of Wrath'". SydneysBuzz The Blog. Retrieved 26 September 2021.


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