The Mighty Gorga (1969)

Nomination Year: 2014
SYNOPSIS:  Mark Remington's circus is slowly going bankrupt. He's visited by an agent from Consolidated Circus with a buy-out offer, but Mark won't sell to them. Consolidated has been locking up all the high-drawing circus acts into long-term contracts, and relentlessly driving small circuses out of business. Unfortunately for Mark, Consolidated has purchased his bank note, so he can't even go bankrupt without them winning.

His wild animal trapper in Africa (Tonga Jack Adams) told him about an "overgrown gorilla" once, and Mark is desperate enough to take what cash he has remaining, and mount an expedition (a very moderate expedition) to Africa -- to capture the beast, and return it to civilization!

When Mark gets to Africa, Tonga Jack has disappeared, but his daughter (April Adams) knows that her father disappeared while hunting ... a giant gorilla!

Tonga Jack's old business partner (Dan Morgan) tries to muscle April out of her father's business ... but she's not selling! He holds her bank note, though, and threatens to make things difficult for her ... until Mark buys him out. The $6,000 won't make a difference to him, but he needs her in order to possibly find this "overgrown gorilla."

To make a long trek-through-the-jungle short, they climb to a high plateau, and discover large purple eggs. Large warm purple eggs. Dinosaur eggs! In an appalling greenscreen sequence, they're menaced by the mother. She then is beaten down by The Mighty Gorga.

The Mighty Gorga is, indeed, overgrown. He's also slightly cross-eyed, and one iris is ringed with white, while the other is not, giving him a slightly-concussed look throughout the movie.

Our heroes are captured by native people, rescued by Tonga Jack (who has been kept hostage as the tribe's medicine man ever since he cured the chief's son of malaria with some quinine tablets), and barely escape the plateau when the volcano underneath erupts.

Sadly, the whole plateau is destroyed. Fortunately, they find some treasure on their way off the plateau. They keep referring to it as The Treasure of King Solomon for no reason that I was ever able to discern. Unfortunately, Dan Adams is waiting for them before they can re-enter civilization. He's intent to waylay them, kill them all, and take the treasure for his own.

If only The Mighty Gorga had somehow survived the volcanic explosion, and just happened to show up in time to wipe a smudge off the greenscreen (where Dan happened to be standing).

Ah, if only.

Deus Ex Machina

I hate a smudged greenscreen.
Logan (the animal hunter's former partner and current competition) has gotten the drop on our treasure-laden heroes, and is in the process of stealing their treasure. He kills George (the native assistant). He even kills Brandon (the guy he brought with him as backup - "I got no partners"). He's about to kill Remington, when ... out of nowhere, Gorga shows up. Logan shoots at Gorga, and Gorga sees a little smudge on the greenscreen and leans in to clean that off ... right where Logan had been standing. Exeunt Logan, flattened by an overgrown gorilla's thumb.

Stupidest-Looking Monster

Rumble in the Jungle it's not.
In a "battle royale," The Mighty Gorga (the world's pantingest, most concussed-looking, slightly-cross-eyed giant ape) dukes it out with The World's Dumbest Dinosaur. It's like The Rumble in the Jungle, except they're atop a plateau.

Smithee Award Winner! Worst Special Effect

Goofy-assic Park.
Mark and April find a nest with purple eggs in it. The eggs are still warm! The mother might still be around. It is! Something which looks like a cross between a homemade dinosaur costume and a bitey toy against a greenscreen shows up. They shoot at it, April runs off, and Mark even throws an egg. This combines the goofiest of the dinosaurs (it's a terrible lizard all right, but not in the way the Latin means) with some of the worst green screening that I have ever seen.

Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame
Anthony Eisley  
Megan Timothy  
Scott Brady  
Kent Taylor  
Greydon Clark writer and director of such Smithee classics as Psychic Killer and Angels Revenge 
William Bonner  
Director Claim to Fame
David L. Hewitt  

Kevin Hogan

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© 2011-2019 Bryan D. Cassidy, Greg Pearson, Matthew Quirk, and Kevin Hogan. All Rights Reserved.