Congo, I Love You

On this Valentines Day, it's time for me to give some love and tenderness to the overlooked but essential part of my world, terrible d-grade movies. More importantly, Congo Happy Valentine's Day, sweetie.


Perhaps my Valentine's Day tribute to the gray gorillas of Michael Crichton's world is in part due to the two-hour argument I had with editor Graeme about Congo's amazing ability to capture our minds and hearts when novelist Crichton passed away last year. Maybe I'm bitter that I couldn't convince him of its contributions to the film going public - or maybe he just doesn't understand our love. Either way, I still love this movie. You gave me so much, Congo: a terrible accented Herkermer Homolka, hand-talking Amy the gorilla, and sweet sweet eyeball extraction. I love you, Congo, and I'm not afraid to say it.

I've been called out more than a few times by commenters for dubbing movies "bad, but good," because I didn't want to be dubbed stupid or silly for loving said terrible flick. To those people I say, sorry, but there isn't anything secret about it. Perhaps I have not made myself clear. My love for bad movies knows no bounds. I adore Congo for the seriousness with which this ridiculous movie got made. I love that, at one point, filmmakers pitched a movie that contained giant diamond protecting gorillas, a laser gun with the ability to shoot down satellites, talking robot hands and then went out and convinced Laura Linney, Ernie Hudson, Tim Curry and Bruce Campbell that this was a good idea. That alone took some sand. I imagine Linney looking at Hudson and saying, "OK so is this the part where we set up the laser perimeter of automated guns to protect us from the super smart white gorillas?" without flinching and it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

Congo is just one delightfully absurd thing heaped on top of the other sprinkled with dancing jungle people and delivered in all seriousness by talented actors. What's not to love about a so-obviously-fake talking gorilla with the voice of a two-year-old and not one character was really ever that fazed by it. If that was me, I'd be walking around screaming, "shit, there's a talking gorilla in our group." I love Congo because it unabashedly tackled the insane subject matter trying so hard to be realistic and, in return, delivered hilarious entertainment that is always rewarding no matter how many times you view it.

Congo is my b-movie watermark. They can't just be bad (ahem, Death Race) they have to truly excel in shittiness so far that you find yourself screaming, "STOP EATING MY SESAME CAKE," to your friends in near hysterics at the end of a long night. Sure the AVP buddy cop/alien movie was great, but was it Congo great? I mean, it's not like they had to escape aliens and a volcano at the same time? Can it live up to watching Tim Curry running around screaming "Ze Diamooonds!"

Congo is sugary mind candy that give you a little pick-me-up. Movies like this get me through sad times, happy times or even just late nights of insomnia. I always feel good after getting a glimpse of Dylan Walsh's hair. Movies like this are there for you, delivering layer upon layer of insanity and asking nothing else in return... Just that you turn on TBS or TNT and check in from time to time.

While there are many, many things I love about this genre, I have to give special attention to terrible movies today because I'd be lying if I didn't admit it's halfway through my weekend and already I've popped in Titan A.E. and Deep Impact. Don't worry, I've got a romantic night of candles, roses, chocolates and lasers all planned for a private screening of Congo because you deserve it baby. Thanks for always being there.