Kong Island

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Kong Island

Sci-Fi, Drama, Adventure | 85 mins | Released: 1968
Director: Roberto Mauri
Starring: Brad Harris, Esmeraldo Barros, Marc Lawrence, Adriana Alben, Mark Farran, Aldo Cecconi, Paolo Magalotti
Our Rating: 3
Color

The story takes place in the jungles of Kenya and its capital city Nairobi. Despite the title, there is no island (and no “Kong”). Mad scientist Albert Muller is experimenting with small radio transmitters implanted in the brains of gorillas that control their minds. These are test subjects with the ultimate goal of doing this to humans.

Diana, daughter of bar owner Theodore (no last name is mentioned) is abducted by apes under Muller’s control during a safari. A rescue team led by mercenary adventurer Burt Dawson heads into the jungle to find her. Along the way, his group is attacked by hostile natives and Burt is captured. After he escapes, Burt meets a legendary white jungle girl the natives call the Sacred Monkey (In the English dubbed version, he first calls her Eve, but later everyone refers to her as Eva).

Eva is a Tarzan-like orphan who grew up alone in the jungle. She wears only a leather loincloth and her waist-length black hair covers her breasts. She does not speak English but can communicate with animals and has a pet chimpanzee. She has one of Diana’s bracelets and eventually leads Burt to a cave where she is being held prisoner by Muller.

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Movie Notes:

Kong Island (Original Italian title: Eva, la Venere selvaggia; translated as Eve, the Wild Woman) is a 1968 exploitation film directed by Roberto Mauri.

It stars Brad Harris, Esmeraldo Barros, Marc Lawrence, Adriana Alben, Mark Farran, Aldo Cecconi and Paolo Magalotti.

The film was promoted in the U.S as King of Kong Island.

Contrary to popular belief, this film has nothing to do with King Kong and doesn’t take place on an island.

Notable Quote:
Albert Muller: [to Burt Dawson] “You’re an excellent specimen of the human race – strong, clever, brave. That’s why I’ve chosen you for my first experiment on a human being. You’ll have the honor of being the first man to become my slave.”

Soundtracks
Eva’s Beguine, written by Roberto Pregadio, performed by Edda Dell’Orso
Jungle Shake, written by Roberto Pregadio, performed by Roberto Pregadio

Review
Standard mad scientist story with some additional subplots:
For camp fans – A+, everybody else – D

7 June 2007 | by mstomaso (Vulcan)
“Kong Island, or Eva the Wild Woman is a little difficult to rate. From the point of view of campy b-movie fun, it’s goofy and good, but basically, the film isn’t really good. It does make more of an effort than a lot of similar films and is, at times, actually interesting.
Burt (Brad Harris) is double-crossed by Albert (Marc Lawrence, who gives a career-low performance) after a payroll heist in Africa (not an island). After an undisclosed time, Burt returns to Africa to reap revenge. But, as it turns out, Albert is waiting for him, with a small army of remote controlled gorillas. Add a few subplots and season with a generally attractive cast then half-bake for a few hours.
Let’s start with the worst aspects:
With the exception of Esmeralda Barros and Mark Farran, the acting is abominable. Of course, the script didn’t give any of the actors much to work with, and Ms. Barros (Eva AKA the Sacred Monkey) has a non-speaking role). Brad Harris is ripped, that’s about all. I am sure he could have carried the production equipment, but he didn’t carry the film. Marc Lawrence has done some interesting work, but his performance here is remarkably bad.
The gorilla costumes are hilarious, and the actors in them are not particularly good at aping apes. The stock footage of African animals is not very well integrated into the action (especially the animals that are obviously living in captivity).
And now, the OK:
The story line is a bit better thought out than most b-grade mad scientist movies, and some of the characters actually seem to have personalities (though not necessarily consistent ones).
The directing is OK. There are some pacing problems – with a few lengthy and unnecessary scenes of people walking through the jungle and safari trucks driving about. The camera work and editing are both pretty good, but there are a couple of rather glaring errors.
And the good:
I liked Esmeralda Barros’ character and felt that she should have been introduced into the film earlier than she was.
Generally, the film keeps moving, and, with the exception of the ridiculous Brad Harris swimming scene (which happens just after one of his companions is murdered – always take a dip immediately after watching somebody get eviscerated, that’s what I say), stays focused on the main story.
Ursula Davis has very nice eyes.
Campy B-movie buffs WILL LIKE THIS. Can’t recommend it for anybody else.”

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