Film: Congo (1995)

Cover image


Director: Frank Marshall
Distributor: Paramount

Heads up for all you stoners out there: some Saturn Award screenings are obviously preceeded by one helluva mind-bending party. This is a terrible movie.


This is a terrible movie. Frank Marshall (Arachnophobia) demonstrates no control over story, actors, effects, or general presentation in this adaptation of a Michael Crichton novel about an expedition into deep, dark Africa that runs into an unknown race of killer apes. The big monkeys attack and attack and attack and have to be fought off with machine guns and lasers—that’s pretty much the story, except there’s probably an even better one behind “fourth Ghostbuster” Ernie Hudson’s bizarre decision to speak with a British accent. While Marshall wants us to root for the human characters, they’re all so obnoxious and unbelievable you can’t help but feel lousy for the poor apes when they get chopped to bits just for defending their homes against these twerps. If you’re not feeling enough environmentalist ire these days, watch this and get angry. —Tom Keogh

Related Works

Book:Congo (Michael Crichton)


Michael Crichton

Deep in the African rain forest, near the legendary ruins of the Lost City of Zinj, an expedition of eight American geologists is mysteriously and brutally killed in a matter of minutes.

Ten thousand miles away, Karen Ross, the Congo Project Supervisor, watches a gruesome video transmission of the aftermath: a camp destroyed, tents crushed and torn, equipment scattered in the mud alongside dead bodies—all motionless except for one moving image—a grainy, dark, man-shaped blur.

In San Francisco, primatologist Peter Elliot works with Amy, a gorilla with an extraordinary vocabulary of 620 “signs,” the most ever learned by a primate, and she likes to fingerpaint. But recently, her behavior has been erratic and her drawings match, with stunning accuracy, the brittle pages of a Portuguese print dating back to 1642…a drawing of an ancient lost city. A new expedition—along with Amy—is sent into the Congo where they enter a secret world, and the only way out may be through a horrifying death…

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