January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

It has been said that the world has no hidden corners left, as man has explored the globe many times over and surveyed all the lands. But of course, a new area could be stumbled upon even now and as far as animals, new ones seem to surface on a regular basis. Although the species are often insects or smaller creatures, sometimes larger specimens are discovered and this case, the discovered beast is massive in all respects. This find happens to be a thirty-six foot tall primate with a bad temper, which was uncovered in a lush tropical paradise. Of course, those who found this behemoth decide to take him with them, so they load the huge beast onto a freighter and head off to unveil their find to the world. But the creature has other plans and soon escapes from his captors, just off the coast of Korea. He soon makes his way to the shore and begins to smash up the place real good, as well as quickly find a romantic interest. An American movie star (Joanna Kerns) is in Korea on a production and once the ape sees her, it is love at first sight and there’s no turning back for the beast. Can anyone stop this rampaging terror before he kills the woman, perhaps even wipes out Korea’s population?

As a fan of monster movies, I was pleased to see Image release A*P*E and while it isn’t a classic, it is a fun flick. This is not some kind of computer graphics enhanced monster movie either, instead an old fashion “guy in a monkey suit” picture, which I think is cool, but of course, some people dislike. I don’t recommend this as a selection on drama night, but if you’re mood for some offbeat, laughable antics, A*P*E would be a wise choice. You’ll see a downright hilarious massive ape as he smashes through obvious models and the like, leaving a path of sheer destruction behind him. I happen to like seeing miniature towns and buildings smashed up a dude inside a poorly designed ape costume, especially when Joanna Kerns is involved. Of course, this was Kerns’ solo trek into the monster movie genre, though she did find fame on the television series Growing Pains some years later. Add in tons of stock footage & a rubber shark and if you ask me, A*P*E (Attacking Primate Monster) is worth a look, to those interested in cheese laden monster movies. I wish this disc had some extras, but even so, it’s a welcome release to genre fans.

The most notable star in this American/Korean production is Joanna Kerns, who in truth, doesn’t pack much in terms of star power. Her career started off well enough, with a couple of cult level projects, but she was never able to break into the power base. Even so, she found moderate fame as Maggie Seaver on the popular series Growing Pains, though she never followed that up with much either, as it turned out. Kerns has some talent and back in these days, was pretty easy on the eyes also, which enhances her presence. Her scenes with the giant ape are very touching & memorable, even if only because of how humorous they are, at least I think so. Other films with Kerns include Coma, Tv’s V, She’s Having A Baby, Emma’s Wish, Not In My Family, and Girl Interrupted. The cast also includes Rod Arrants (Helter Skelter, Tv’s California Dreams), Alex Nicol (Bloody Mama, The Savage Guns), and Paul Leder, who also directed here.

Video: How does it look?

A*P*E is presented in a 2.00:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. As this is an older, low budget movie, I was pleased to find a solid, but flawed presentation here. I expected nicks, marks, and grain, but they’re not too bad in this case, much better than I had counted on and for the material, not bad at all. The image is soft and worn, but you can’t expect a pristine transfer here and I doubt this movie will ever be restored, due to limited interest. The colors look stable, flesh tones are normal, and contrast is well balanced, so the basics are in order. It won’t dazzle the eyes, but all things considered, I’m glad it looks as good as it does.

Audio: How does it sound?

A clean, consistent audio option is what I wanted here and thankfully, that’s what I found on this disc. The included mono track won’t be the buzz with the audiophiles, but it sounds clean and never falters much, which is great news. I had feared that hiss would be an issue here, but even when I cranked up the volume, it was minimal at all times. I noted a few spots of distortion, but given the age & nature of the film, nothing to be concerned about. A nice, more than acceptable audio treatment and as such, fans should be satisfied.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc contains no bonus materials.

Disc Scores