aka It's Hot In
Director “Jaime Nolan”/Fritz Böttger Writers Fritz Böttger, Eldon Howard, Albert G. Miller
Cast Alexander D'Arcy (
In this ever-shrinking world it’s nice to know there are still parts to this planet left undiscovered. Tonight we don our jungle greens and take the pith helmets off the hat rack for our special “
First up is the 1960 West German Horrors Of Spider Island, featuring Barbara Valentin (real name: Uschi Ledersteger), once dubbed the “German Jayne Mansfield”, and a cast of dancing girls who can barely dance, and strippers who do anything but strip. On a plane trip to
The film quickly descends into a burlesque loop cross-bred with Lord Of The Flies as Garry sleazes his way through each sunbleached dance-frau, who all turn into jealous, selfish, bitchy, preening and panting
The racier nudie-cutie, or more like “nudie-weirdie”, version, was released in the
At one point Garry says, “Don’t you think I’d rather be in a bar in
Italy/Spain 1968 colour
aka Eva La Venere Selvaggia, Eve The Wild Woman,
Director “Robert Morris”/Roberto Mauri Screenplay Roberto Mauri Story Walter Brandi, Ralph Zucker
Cast Brad Harris (Burt Dawson), Esmeralda Barros (Eva), Marc Lawrence (Dr Muller), Adriana Alben (Ursula)
I must have denghi fever and it’s my insane imaginings that jungle B-films were the property of the 1930s and 40s: what could be described as “Apesploitation”, or the “Monkeys Going Bananas” genre. And yet in the 1960s, with Planet Of The Apes one of the most popular films of the year (“You dirty rotten stinking apes!”) we have Night Of The Bloody Apes (1968) from Mexico, soon followed by the Italian sexploitation film Queen Kong (1976), and Hong Kong’s Goliathon/Mighty Peking Man (1977). It may be man’s endless fascination with our lesser-evolved simian twins, or we just can’t help but get a cheap laugh out of a guy in a monkey suit.
King Of Kong Island opens with a dastardly scientist Dr Muller using stolen goods to fund his surgical experiments on gorillas. Now, seriously, “gorilla”? Even I own a better monkey suit than this. Cut to a hunting expedition led by Burt (Brad Harris, the American actor who played everyone from Samson to Goliath and Hercules) who is ambushed by not one but TWO “gorillas”, complete with surgical scars, who kidnap Diana, the most attractive of the group. Despite his previous mission’s complete and abject failure, Burt is charged with bringing Diana back, past miles of stock footage - although to be truthful the producers did find a parrot and a cockatoo and a few pink flamingos for a shirtless Burt, who at times resembles a shaved ape himself, to chase around a studio lagoon.
In an amalgam of every thirty-year old jungle cliche, Burt comes across some spooked natives in awe of the Sacred Monkey God, a helpful chimp and a jungle girl called Eva, who can’t utter a word of English but speaks fluent monkese, which leads Burt to look her square in the eye and ask, “Are you the Sacred Monkey?” Unbelievable. The hunt ends at Dr Muller’s underground dungeon-cum-laboratory in the middle of the jungle where the insane megalomaniac - and the King of the title - has turned the apes into radio-controlled zombies, manipulated by an enormous Electronic Brain.
The film was picked up by American producer Dick Randall, an old-fashioned expert in hullabaloo who was as colourful as the characters in his own Z-grade pickups. Born in the
Did I say “turkey”? I meant “gorilla”, and as honorary Great White Hunters we should approach this film tonight with the right spirit, whose concepts are as absurd as the very idea of white colonialism itself. Tonight we present to you the logical successor to Graham Kennedy as the next King of Australian TV, the 1968 King Of Kong Island.