31 Days of Guilty Pleasures – ‘Congo’

Jason McDonald

A few years ago I did a daily countdown to Halloween that featured some of my favorite scares from 31 different horror movies. This year I’m bringing back the feature, but this time we’re taking a look at some of my favorite guilty pleasures.

There’s no rhyme or reason to how these movies are being listed, so the placement on the countdown doesn’t denote any sort of ranking. Also, my definition of guilty pleasure is a movie that ranges from either being not very good to outright bad, but there’s something about it that still makes it endearing to watch.

In 1993 “Jurassic Park” stormed on to the scene and changed the game forever.  So naturally every studio wanted to be the one to release the next box office hit based on a Michael Crichton novel.  Paramount was the lucky bunch that got their hands on “Congo.”

In “Congo” a telecom company sends a rescue team to uncover what happened to a crew of researchers and workers operating in the Congo.  It turns out they were there on a secret mission to find a rare blue diamond, but instead they found an ancient city filled with crazy albino gorillas. Along for the ride are Ernie Hudson, Tim Curry, and a talking gorilla named Amy.  They’re not even the main stars, but the actual stars of the film are so utterly forgettable they aren’t worth mentioning.  Oh, but Bruce Campbell pops up for a nice cameo where he gets murdered by gorillas.

Personally, I really love Amy.  She’s a terrifying looking practical effect, but she’s got a lot of personality. I love her power glove accessory that gives her the ability to speak and I like her self-confidence.  “Amy pretty!”

In that clip you can hear Tim Curry’s amazing Romanian accent. He just sounds like the most diabolical eastern European ever.

“Congo” is a mostly forgettable movie, but it makes it to my guilty pleasures on the action packed ending alone.  After Amy delivers a verbal beat down on the bad gorillas, the scientist lady in the group concocts a crazy laser weapon and proceeds to murder all the gorillas in spectacular fashion.

And the lava shows up to eradicate the rest of the gorillas.  So man invades their home so they can steal a diamond and then the gorillas get wrecked in the worst way imaginable.  Not sure what the lesson is here.  Stay out of man’s way, nature!

“Congo” is a stupid fun movie where you care more about a horrible looking gorilla than you do the main stars of the movie.  You don’t come to this movie for scientific analysis of gorillas, you come to it to see monkeys get lasered.


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