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Konga TNT (2020) Review

According to its credits, Konga TNT is based on the Charlton Comics series of the same name which is in the public domain, not the 1961 film which is still under copyright. That’s despite the first issue being an adaptation of the film, published the year before its release. Whatever the inspiration, it’s a film about a giant gorilla directed by Brett Kelly (My Fair Zombie, She-Rex) and written by Trevor Payer (Jurassic Shark). Which for most people will be enough to decide if they want to watch it or not.

A UFO crashes in a remote jungle that looks like a Canadian forest, and its power supply is retrieved by a tribe of Amazons. White, professionally tattooed Amazons who wear lipstick and refer to the alien device as “gazongas”. Skipper Smith (Peter Whittaker) and Marion Kind (Candice Lidstone) retrieve it and bring it to General Mills (John Migliore, The Heretics, Bloody Ballet).

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This apparently has something to do with Professor Mills (John Migliore) who is doing experiments with alien substances and DNA which involve a baby gorilla named Konga. The professor is killed by unseen intruders voiced by Sébastien Godin (Ouija Mummy, Lycanimator) but Konga escapes. He’s found by Chance (Chance Kelly) and Grayson (Grayson Kelly) who befriend him. But the general is already looking for him, and experiments are making him grow to giant size. Can they find a way to save him before the military can destroy him?

Konga TNT started out as a short, something Kelly decided to shoot to keep his sons busy during quarantine. He decided to expand it with some additional footage and footage shot in isolation by several friends, as well as stock footage of assorted military hardware. The result is, to put it mildly, a mess that is too childish for most adults but is full of jokes that will go over the heads of most kids.

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The film is supposedly a comedy, but it’s simply not funny. Even my inner adolescent rolled its eyes at Skipper’s jokes about getting his hands on the Amazons’ gazongas. Other highlights include General Mills eating Cheerios, a hunter who mistakes Konga for Bigfoot and characters named Megan Bacon (Ellen Mildred) and Major Bummier (Trevor Payer). Major bummer indeed.

If you’ve seen any of Kelly’s other films, then you know not to expect anything very special in the way of effects, and Konga TNT is no exception. Konga is an obvious puppet who grows into a cheap Halloween gorilla costume and walks in front of a green screen. There’s no attempt to integrate the creature into the footage either, it’s obvious he’s simply walking in front of projected stock footage.

A scene with Jennie Russo (Return to Splatter Farm, Fang) parodying King Kong and Fay Wray obviously uses a Barbie as a substitute for the actress. And that looks good compared to the film’s model work and CGI.

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Considering how many films he’s made, there must be an audience for Brett Kelly’s films. But I suspect even they will be disappointed by Konga TNT. It’s so bad I’m tempted to add another star to his last film, Ouija Shark’s, rating because this makes it look that much better. Maybe if I was a kid, or seriously wasted, I might have found this funny, but somehow I doubt it. There is a post credit scene, but it’s not worth sitting through the song “Boys Will Be Boys” to see it.

SRS Cinema released Konga TNT in a limited edition late last year. It’s now available in a regular edition and to stream. You can check the film’s Facebook page for details.

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