The above poster definitely got my attention, not only because of its appallingly amateurish design but also because it hinted at the existence of a thrill-packed Bollywood take on King Kong that I would have to track down. I should’ve known it was a con job; the signs were there:
A giant gorilla movie financed by a shirt manufacturer? Too good to be true…
A low-res film logo, which looks like it was thrown together by someone’s teenage kid with the faintest knowledge of Photoshop. The ‘King Kong’ text is in higher resolution than the ‘The Giant Ape’ text, which means the latter along with the rest of the oval background has been ‘borrowed’ from an another source.
A URL that links to an unrelated website.
What exactly is this ‘Sound Effects’ logo doing here?
Isn’t that Jessica Lange?
Google offered no information on any producer named Sanjiv Mundhra who might have been behind what would have been India’s first Kongsploitation film. This led me to the disappointing conclusion that most likely this was merely a re-dubbed version of Dino De Laurentiis’ 1976 remake of King Kong with Lange, released on unsuspecting Kongophiles to cash-in on the success of Peter Jackson’s remake which was an Indian box-office smash.
But there’s more to this funky monkey tale. Apparently Mr. Kundhra was not the only con-artist attempting to turn a fast buck on Jackson’s coattails.
King Kong Ki Waapsi (or “King Kong Returns”) also promised a locally produced Kong film from Neha International and producer Raju Bahruz. Again, there’s no record anywhere of a giant-ape movie by a Mr. Bahruz, but at least this time they listed a director: John Guillermin who helmed De Laurentiis’ 1976 remake as well as 1986’s cheesy King Kong Lives of which this is probably a Hindi-dubbed version.
I found a post and photo on the Uberdesi blog which confirmed my suspicions:
“In reality, what the bug-infested theater will be showing is a poorly dubbed version of the any of (the) previous King Kong movies.”
(click on photo to read the full Uberdesi blog post)
I don’t know how many Indian moviegoers were duped by these misleading posters, but I’m happy that the marketing tactics of the old exploitation-film mavericks are still being used today to squeeze bucks out of schmucks. even in the remotest parts of the world.