Thursday, July 15, 2010

Congo (1995)

Congo is probably best described as a Hollywood’s brain fart based upon a Michael Crichton novel. Made in the wake of the success of Jurassic Park I don’t think the studio heads really thought about what they were making, namely big budgeted action film where the villains were men in monkey suits. Its an unintentional throw back to the poverty row films of the 1940’s and 1950's though done on a huge scale with the effects, but not monkey suits, from the 1990’s

When the film came out it garnered horrible reviews and a twistedly loyal fan base, of which I am one. There is something about a grandly classic “so bad its good movie” that gets to me every time.

The plot has a mad industrialist sending a second expedition to find out what happened to the one headed by his son. They were looking for pure diamonds which they could power a new laser with. Filling up the team with a bunch of stock (and over acted) characters they head into Africa where they find not only an ancient city and the diamonds but also the genetically manipulated gorillas that killed the previous inhabitants and took over the place for themselves. (Where’s Gorilla Grood when you need him?)

Lets be real, this is the sort of film that is now considered camp when viewed in the black and white versions that were prevalent in the 1940's and 50's. Had this been made back then it would be in every bad movie book imaginable...hey wait I think that's the case now...

All kidding aside I like this movie. It has Tim Curry and Ernie Hudson over acting and chewing scenery, Joe Don Baker being so unrestrained and over the top that you can't understand why he was a minor star in the 1970's (and it makes you completely understand why Mystery Science Theater picked on him), there are men in gorilla suits, okay special effects, a fleeting cameo by Jimmy Buffett and a plot that is so out there that you can't believe that well paid adults came up with it.

It's basically a film you make fun of all the while you enjoy the rip roaring "kids own" adventure quality to it (and I do mean kids own since it's the sort of thing a six year old would come up with). This is a real rainy day movie. Its one of those films you sit down with and watch with a huge bowl of popcorn and a soda on those days when you want the world to go away. (Its proof that no matter how serious we think life is, its clearly not)

This is mindless fun of the "highest" order and heartily recommended.

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