Our next event is roughly a month away, but in the meantime, let’s look at some facts about our upcoming film to get people in the mood:
- John Wilson’s book ‘The Official Razzie Movie Guide‘ which covers the Golden Raspberry Awards celebrating the worst in film has the ape from A*P*E on its front cover.
- The movie was a quickie production meant to capitalize on the release of Dino DeLaurentis’ King Kong around the same time. Several plot elements, such as a giant gorilla’s relationship with an American actress, are essentially lifted from the King Kong story. In fact when the film was announced, it was going to be called The New King Kong. When RKO got wind of this, they filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against the company. Because of the lawsuit the title was changed to A*P*E and the tagline “Not to be confused with King Kong” was added to the theatrical posters and movie trailer.
- In latter years the film has gone under the titles of Attack of the Giant Horny Gorilla (for its 1982 grindhouse re-release), and Hideous Mutant (for its original home video release).
- The film’s title A*P*E stood for (Attacking Primate MonstEr), with the deliberate intention to spoof the acronym title of M*A*S*H, a popular 1970 film and subsequent TV series of the same name that was based in Korea where this film was produced.
- The film’s special effect budget for the miniature buildings was only $1,200. The entire budget for A*P*E was $23,000.
- The movie pitted the titular giant ape against a huge great white shark, meant to take a shot at Jaws, a movie made a year earlier about a giant shark.
- The film hit North American screens in October 1976, merely two months before the release of King Kong.