Movies-A-Go-Go: The Mighty Gorga

1969 Kong rip-off

Rating: 4/20

Plot: The owner of a struggling circus ventures to whatever part of Africa has giant gorillas and dinosaurs in order to retrieve a new attraction.

Watching previews of the newest King Kong movie where the big guy fights other monsters and helicopters got me in the mood to watch giant apes. And if you don't think a character like Gorga is worthy enough for a Movies-a-Go-Go, you deserve to be tossed off the Empire State Building.

What follows are my uncensored and unedited meandering thoughts as I watched this gem. So hold on tight!

Hard-to-see circus action during the credits isn’t a good way to start. But that circus music is certainly lively enough.

Whoa! That character almost walked straight into the camera. That could have been a costly mistake.

“Elephant Tickets”: Children 35 cents and adults 50 cents. Isn’t that really cheap for 1969? No wonder the boss, despite the sheer bulk of the cash box, is unhappy about his profits. I mean, how much would an elephant even cost? How many adults and children need to see this elephant show (I assume it's a show) for the guy to break even?

I think the part of the pessimistic clown is being played by one of Patton Oswalt’s relatives.

There’s something devastatingly depressing about hearing a clown whine about circus monopolies while removing his make-up.

And a sad clown with half-removed make-up sadly staring at a hippo. That's also devastatingly depressing.

I think the makers of this movie have circuses and zoos confused.

Bankrupt? You’ve got like eight hippos. Just sell one of them for meat, and you can buy yourself a few more months.

I have no idea why I’m Movies-a-Go-Go’ing this. There’s almost no way anybody could be interested in this.

Wait a second. You bought rare animals from a guy named Tuba Jack?

Maybe they said Toucan Jack.

It’s entirely believable that a circus that sells tickets for 35 or 50 cents can fund an expedition to the Congo to capture an oversized gorilla. This movie just jumped the ape.

I just ate a potato chip off my bedroom floor. I realize that has nothing at all to do with The Mighty Gorga, but I thought the reader might be interested regardless.

A potato chip--not the one that I found on the floor and ate. 

There’s some pretty dramatic music going on for what is essentially just an airplane-riding montage.

Smoking on a plane looks so strange in these movies. Do you think Trump might find a way to bring that back? Make flying to the Congo great again!

The Congo apparently has payphones Americans in bad suits can just walk right up to and plop a dime into.

I can’t wait to meet Tuba Jack. I can't remember the last time I was this excited about a character.

And now our character is at some sort of zoo. Why else would you travel to Africa unless you wanted to see giraffes and elephants behind fences?

I’m actually a little unsure whether the Congo is a real place or not. And I didn’t even grow up learning in schools during Betsy Devos’s leadership. [Note: As evidenced above, it is a real place.]

There’s a little too much of this movie devoted to the main character watching a breakdancing gorilla.

I thought this character wearing something that kind of looked like a safari jacket was going to be Tuba Jack, but it’s just Bill. That’s good because I was about to be disappointed. I really have my hopes built up for Tuba Jack.

Main character: Fake “African” talk asking for the whereabouts of “Boss Man” (“Wakka launi chackilo buena boss man.”)
Black Guy: I’m sorry but I don’t understand you. Do you speak English?
Main character: Yes, I speak English.
Black Guy: Well, I speak English also. My name is George.

My Roku just stopped working, and now there will be more of an agonizing wait before I get to meet Tuba Jack.

Ok, there’s not going to be a Tuba Jack. And it’s Tonga Jack anyway.

April, however, is Tonga Jack’s daughter, and she’s got great hair and an interesting figure. And an unidentifiable accent. And some sort of kinky whip thing. And a water buffalo. So I’m intrigued.

If April ends up being Gorga’s love interest, it’s going to be because of her irresistible bangs.

“The idea of a giant gorilla intrigued me.”

Similar to my confusion with alligators and crocodiles, I couldn’t tell you the difference between a gorilla and an ape. They’re using the words interchangeably here, but I’m not sure they’re the same thing.

 My fifteen seconds of research shows that a gorilla is an ape. This is probably common knowledge to nearly anybody else. 

“There’s a big fire in the animal cage!” And somehow it’s night in that part of the property! Lousy special effects here, by the way.

Dan Morgan, Tonga Jack’s competition. He’s like a Humphrey Bogart who gave up on life and ate a whole lot of taffy.

More very dramatic music, this time accompanying the characters driving off in a Jeep thing and a shot of some random flamingos. This director sure thinks travel is exciting.

A flamingo’s ability to scratch his own ass with his beak is grotesque and uncouth, but I’m a little jealous.

And for the second time, we’ve got jungle beats. I think they’re supposed to be diegetic.

After a lot of walking and slaps at grass with machetes, there’s a conversation that I can’t hear because the bird sound effects are oppressive. I doubt this movie won any awards for sound.

Well, here’s some natives played by white actors doing their best impression of 1930’s Hollywood Native Americans. And nobody’s fooling me because I’ve already checked the credits. This witch doctor is played by the same person who played the clown earlier.

The extremely versatile Bruce Kimball! 

Our first shot at Gorga, and it doesn’t take very long before you’re distracted by how his eyes and mouth don’t move at all.

Yeah, I want to see this witch doctor and that clown in the same scene together.

Another revelation from taking a peek at the credits: Gorga is played (uncredited) by the writer/director, David L. Hewitt. I wonder what the “L” stands for.

One of the natives, embarrassed by his role in these shenanigans, is very obviously hiding his face from the camera.

A virgin was just sacrificed or something, and it’s become clear that Hewitt has stopped trying. That was a pitiful display.

These quick zooms to close-ups of skulls seem a little cheap. It’s not working, Hewitt. I carry one of those around with me every day, so why would I be scared of it?

I just saw the most embarrassing attempt to make something look like quicksand that I’ve ever seen before. At least I think that’s what was going on. Maybe it was just dampness.

One of my cats seems amused by all of this.

More natives--they look more South American to me. I think it’s either a continuity error or a complete lack of effort, and I'm guessing it's the latter.

This witch doctoring clown’s performance is pretty fucking amazing. Bruce Kimball is his name, and he had a nice little career if you count being in a bunch of bad movies and having an uncredited role in The Sting as a nice little career. That's right--I'm doing research while watching a movie.

Ok, it isn’t just shots of vehicles that get dramatic music. Walking and rock climbing get it as well.

It’s either the accent or the bad acting, but Megan Timothy intrigues me. I was going to type that she has the look of an actress who could be in a Russ Meyer movie, and her first film was his Good Morning. . .and Goodbye! 

I’m really confused about how they think they’re going to get a giant gorilla back home. They’re struggling just getting to wherever Gorga is.

A theremin just made an appearance!

April: Hey, what kind of trees are those?
Guy: Those aren’t trees. They’re some kind of mushrooms.
Note: We don't get to see the mushrooms at all.

Her answer of “Stay close to me” with “I was going to anyway” combined with a peck on the cheek earlier after she told the guy she didn’t know any other men except her dad and her antagonist makes April seem a little whorish.

“Keep your eyes open” followed by a shot of Gorga’s eyes. It’s funny because Gorga can’t actually close his eyes.

This guy’s good. He can tell that a human skull isn’t April’s father’s skull because it’s an Indian’s skull.

Giant purple eggs in a bed of straw.

Oh, holy hell, get a load of this dinosaur.

Its mouth is moving like it’s one of those chattering teeth gag things.

Did he just attempt to shoot the dinosaur twice and then throw an egg at it?

That was one glorious fight scene between Gorga and the dinosaur thing, complete with lots of prehistoric bitch slapping. And now I’m not sure what Gorga is doing. Lots of twitching and what appears to be hyperventilation.

He’s sort of acting like he’s got a hangnail.

“That’s no legend; that is him!”

So he has a tranquilizer that will knock him out for half a day. But it took two days to find him. I’m still not sure what the plan is here, guys.

April: “I can’t believe this thing’s real.” That’s exactly what we’re all thinking, April.

Two things I haven’t seen in this movie: 1) Anybody playing percussion instruments even though there’s a ton of drumming. 2) The bottom half of Gorga. Is Hewitt wearing only the top half of a cheap gorilla suit?

We finally meet Tonga Jack, and it’s about as disappointing as can be. His boring story is interrupted by a shot of Gorga looking at his finger again.

“The Indians are pretty worked up” or “The idiots are pretty worked up”? I couldn’t tell what Tonga Jack said there.

Two great native reactions to seeing Gorga. Those extras really took advantage of their limited screen time to shine.

I guess I expected the treasure to be more than a chest stuffed with Mardis Gras beads. The characters seem awfully excited though.

Great scene where the native guy runs off with the only torch while the others gather up the plastic trinkets. Then, they somehow are able to run through the corridors of the cave without any light. They must have owl vision or something.

Some sort of stop motion dragon thing. It’s about as realistic as the dragons in the old Atari game Adventure.

And now for some stock footage of lava.

Brandon probably shouldn’t have had any speaking parts. What was going on with his voice?

“How do you thank a gorilla for saving your life?”

No comments: