CONGO (1995)

Screen shot 2011-02-21 at 12.11.58 PM (editor’s note: Just to be clear, the above picture is for real a thing that happens in this actual for real movie.)

Christopher

I remember this movie coming out as a kid. And I’m pretty sure all I remember is everyone loving this. The first time I saw this I remember being so proud of myself because I thought it was going to give me nightmares for weeks. But seeing it now I have absolutely no idea what the people involved in this movie were thinking. It has a talking monkey! Well not really talking it’s just using sign language.

But now that we’re on the subject that monkey and her intense romance with her care taker is the best part of that movie. It will probably make you tear up or terror in fear more that the actual story. First of all their love is forbidden! Second, She can’t even make friends let alone land a Silverback! Third the sad good-bye.

Netflix again!

Elizabeth

Have you seen Congo? Did you know how insane and (I hate to throw this word around, but I need to . . .) retarded it is? Did it blow your mind? Let me back up. Congo terrified me as a child. I was 7 when it was released in theaters, so I was 7 when the trailers were playing on TV and in movies. And the trailer fucking terrified me. Monkeys always scared me, and I know Congo is about gorillas but I’m lumping all primates in one group here, because they’re all horrifying to me and always have been. So when a movie came out that was about killer gorillas (which, let’s face it, all gorillas potentially are), I absolutely wanted nothing to do with it. I couldn’t watch the trailer, I couldn’t hear about it, and after a few years I sort of forgot that it even existed.

But then it came out on Netflix Instant. When I realized that Chris had a similar fear of it has a child, it was obvious that this was something we needed to see. And I’m so glad we did, because it’s an insane mess.

I’m not even entirely sure how to summarize this. Okay, so, Bruce Campbell and Laura Linney work for some kind of communications company that’s looking for some kind of very pure diamond, which will supposedly alter future communication. This doesn’t make a ton of sense because A.) Do we need diamonds for communication? and B.) Once Bruce Campbell finds said diamond(s), he immediately puts it into a laser and starts destroying stuff, and also potentially lighting the jungle on fire. So I guess it’s for a laser? I don’t know why they work for a communication company and not an arms dealer or something. But anyway.

A pack of unseen creatures kills everyone with Bruce Campbell’s party, so now Laura Linney has to go to Africa to find out what happened. Meanwhile, there are two scientists (I’m assuming), Dr. Peter (Dylan Walsh), and his sidekick that doesn’t do anything for the movie. Dr. Peter and his sidekick own (I’m assuming) a gorilla named Amy. They claim Amy can talk because they’ve developed some kind of robot glove that goes on her hand when she uses sign language and in a gross, creepy, little girl robot voice, speaks what she’s signing. Everyone freaks out about this talking gorilla. But no one seems to notice that Amy is not a talking gorilla. She can communicate with sign language, which we all know is possible for gorillas and has been possible for a long time. This robot hand just makes it so people who don’t know sign language can understand her. It drove me totally crazy that during the whole movie people talked about this talking gorilla but THE GORILLA CAN’T TALK. What’s even more insane is that no one also mentions the fact that Amy does not at all act like a gorilla but rather a human child. She can apparently understand English and problem solve on a really high level. She drinks martinis. She smokes cigars. And no one thinks that this is fucking crazy? I also want to point out that all the gorillas are clearly people in gorilla suits. I’m not saying I would rather CGI or something, but it really doesn’t make Amy seem less human.

Anyway, the gorilla people want to release Amy back into the wild, because that’s clearly the smart and humane thing to do to a completely domesticated animal. Laura Linney wants to find out what happened to Bruce Campbell and get some diamonds. Tim Curry wants to fund the trip, and offers to, but then can’t and still comes along anyway because he’s some kind of treasure hunter. And then they meet up with Ernie Hudson in Africa. We know Tim Curry wants to get to some kind of ancient diamond mine, but other than that I have no idea why the party travels so long. Laura Linney finds Bruce Campbell’s dead body and then keeps moving. The gorilla people want to return Amy to the wild but take forever to drop her off. Why didn’t they just make everyone have to go to these ancient ruins? Once they all get there, which is apparently inside (I think) a volcano and has cut diamonds scattered around the ground, which is convenient, they run into the species of killer gorillas. Horrifying, sure. Would humans possibly need to defend themselves here? Maybe, if the time called for it. But instead of just leaving this habitat undisturbed, these “scientists” MURDER THE ENTIRE SPECIES OF PREVIOUSLY UNDISCOVERED GORILLAS. Laura Linney even says, before she starts slicing the gorillas in half with her diamond laser, that she’s putting them on the endangered species list. Which is a total lie, because she’s actually making them all extinct. I’m sure any scientist would do the same.

The ending of Congo is sort of fantastic though, because nothing really gets resolved. Laura Linney doesn’t keep her diamonds because she finds out her evil boss is evil. The gorilla people leave Amy behind. Tim Curry dies. Everyone else gets on a hot air balloon and just . . . floats away. THE ENDDDDDDDDDDD.

I cannot believe how insane Congo is. It’s fantastic because of that.

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