24th Mar2021

‘Konga TNT’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: John Migliore, Chance Kelly, Grayson Kelly, Sébastien Godin, Steve Kasan, Ellen Mildred, Trevor Payer, Jordan Randall, Jennie Russo, Simon Wheeldon | Written by Trevor Payer | Directed by Brett Kelly

Where to start with Konga TNT? How about the same place I started with when reviewing director Brett Kelly’s Ouija Shark… in that you really have to be in the right mindset to watch Kelly’s particular brand of low-budget genre fare. Or ridiculously drunk and/or wasted!

Like Ouija Shark, Konga TNT harkens back to the shot on video era of filmmaking, where friends got together to make films that remarkably made it to video stores, thanks to a film-hungry rental market. Of course here we’re obviously dealing with mofre modern technology but the ethos behind it still feels very old-school. In this case Kelly apparently shot footage with his kids during lockdown to keep them occupied and then expanded it to a feature which has been picked up and released by the purveyors of shot on video schlock, SRS.

Surprisingly Konga TNT is also based on an old Charlton Comic, making this particular slice of low budget genre fare a “comic book movie” but just try showing this to your mainstream Marvel movie-loving fan! The film tells the story of a lab gorilla who escapes from his containment, after becoming injected with a formula derived from an alien ship, which crash landed in the Amazon jungle (where the tribeswomen have tattoos and wear make-up FYI). Befriending two young boys, the alien formula eventually causes the gorilla to grow to gargantuan size and rampage throughout the city – leaving the boys to find a way to save their simian friend before the army takes him down.

Whilst the film has that aforementioned old-school feel the film IS shot on digital and even moreso the film is shot on the cheap, with a cast who seemingly performed for little to no money (hey, it helps if you’re using friends and family to make a film right?). And like Ouija Shark, the titular creature here, a giant ape, is nothing more than a kids toy and a man in a rubber suit… No expense spared yet again. But that’s honestly the appeal of Kelly’s films (for those unaware, Kelly also shoots films under a pseudonym, Scott Patrick, when he’s making REALLY cheap films!) – to have fun with the inherent ridiculousness of them. And boy, is Konga TNT ridiculous. But it knows it too. Each and every one of the cast hams it up considerably, acting out a script that is, honestly, hilarious, Hilariously funny and hilariously bad, in a The Room kind of way, at the same time.

However if you’ve seen Ouija Shark you’ve probably seen the pinnacle of Kelly’s particular brand of filmmaking. Here the film suffers from being too cheap, too amateur-hour. Perhaps because it was expanded from what’s essentially a home movie? Perhaps because of the climate in which it was filmed? Whatever the issue, Konga TNT just isn’t as much fun as the aforementioned killer shark flick. Which is a shame, because who doesn’t want to love a giant killer-gorilla movie?!

Konga TNT is out now on DVD and Digital from SRS Cinema.

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