The legend travelled far: from an unknown tropical island all the way to the heart of London. It told of a great beast, fifty feet high, ruling a jungle where time stood still. It told of a bizarre native sect of monster-worshippers. It told of savage rites and human sacrifice. The team of explorers set out to film the mythical giant. They found that the truth was even stranger than the legend. For the beast was an ape. A lady ape...
"There's this sixty-four foot gorilla on the loose, sir. A female sixty-four foot gorilla, sir. She's just destroyed London Bridge because she's in love with a Portobello Road hippie queer, sir."
A short break from classy Goth and posh Victorian ghost lit to belt through 172 pages of the real slime!
"Leaning forward to let her magnificent breasts neatly fill her brassiere cups, Luce fettered the exciting globes and straightened ...."
Luce Habit, successful American movie director, has a guilty secret. For all her brassy campaigning on behalf of Women's Lib, what she really wants is a bloke, a handsome, gentle, caring soul who can nonetheless be relied upon to "exhibit his manhood" when the circumstances demand. Filming a jungle scene in Kew Gardens, her latest protege, playing a heroic explorer captured by savage Amazons, has just ruined the shot by screaming "I'll sue!" if they drop him into the boiling cauldron. As her sex-mad assistant director, Ima Goodbody puts it: "Your screen-tests are too hard, Luce. Men are frail little beings .... they are so helpless, damnittohell, they can't stand the rigours of a Luce Habit film!" But Luce clings to her dream ....
On the eve of setting sail to darkest Africa with her all-female crew, Luce spots Ray Fay, an ultra-camp young hippie pick-pocket, swiping a King Kong poster from a Portobello Road antique dealer. Rescuing him from the irate shopkeeper, Luce leads Ray to a pub where she spikes his drink, sacks him up and dumps him aboard ship.
The Liberated Lady sets off for the island of Lazanga-where-they-do-the-Conga but hardly have they set foot ashore than Ray is abducted by a bikini-clad tribe who worship a sixty-four foot gorilla. Stuffed inside a huge cake and left as an offering to the great beast, it looks like the end for gay Ray, but, like Luce Habit before her, Queen Kong is instantly smitten and carries him away to her cave.
Luce isn't about to let him go so easily and leads her crew in a daring rescue attempt. Finally, after surviving attacks from dinosaurs, sharks (including 'Lady Jaws'), a woman-eating rose-bush and a scary set of prehistoric bagpipes, Luce, Ray and the girls drug and capture Queen Kong, hitch her to The Liberated Lady and tow her back to London .....
Queen Kong is presented before a sell-out gala performance at The Palladium, but the manager, "fat, leering, lecherous" Mr. Woolf, an uptight Male Chauvinist Pig, fatally insists she can only appear in jumbo bra and knickers as Her Majesty will be present and besides, "There ain't been a bare boobie shown on stage in the Palladium's history". Ray feels "queer all over" at such an offensive suggestion and who can blame him? Terrified by the mocking audience and jealous when Luce shamelessly throws herself at Ray, the Gorilla breaks her chains and goes on the rampage through the city ......
Naturally, this being a feminist take on King Kong, it required the combined talents of three men to pull it off, and as with all the very best made in '70's Britain sex comedies, it's almost gloriously unfunny, offensive on just about any level you care to mention, yet somehow utterly compelling. Much of the credit for the diabolical dialogue ("Enoch's right, ain't he? Those wogs don't know anything - I mean, 'ave you ever seen an English gorilla behavin' like this?") and song lyrics (don't even go there!) surely belongs to the screen-writing team of Ron Dobrin & Frank Agrama (later responsible for something called Dawn Of The Mummy: "A group of fashion models disturb the tomb of a mummy and revive an ancient curse ...."), but i suspect Moffat brought something of himself to the novelisation, even if the *ahem* social comment is far more subdued than his 'Richard Allen' stuff.
"She walked up Haymarket to where Eros surveyed his changed scene. What a different parade he glowered on nowadays. Where there had been bowler hats and empire-builders proud of serving Queen and Country, an assortment of drop-outs and drug addicts waiting for the next shipment to Boots the chemist now loitered beneath this symbol of English sobriety."
a grade A listed read-it-between-your-fingers guilty pleasure.
Steve already posted a selection from the photo-insets on the Everest thread (where pulphack explains how come the film was banned in the UK). Queen Kong has finally made it to DVD in the US and here are some tasters.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty. - Christine Campbell Thomson