King of Kong Island (1968)

Booze: Yonana Old Fashioned
2 frozen bananas
3/4 cup frozen cherries
¾ cup orange segments, frozen
1 cup Kohler Dark Chocolate Brandy
1 oz mini chocolate chips

You’ll need a Yonana machine for this one, as well as some advanced preparation. I adapted this recipe from one on the Yonana website. They advise soaking your bananas in bourbon. Our bananas were already frozen (which was what prompted the Yonana drinks) so I opted to soak our orange segments in the brandy for about 8 hours. Then we froze them for another day. Fruit should be removed from the freezer about ½ to 1 hour before serving. Feed through Yonana machine, alternating bananas, cherries, oranges, and chocolate chip. Mix and serve. The concoction is more similar to a bowl of frozen yogurt than it is a cocktail, but we improvised and topped with another shot of brandy.

B-Movie: Kong Island

This plot is a little hard to follow, and not just because of all the interchangeable white guys in khakis running around the jungle, er, island. There’s a bad guy, Albert, and he’s experimenting with mind control devices that he’s implanted in gorilla brains. If this pans out, his next step is, of course, world domination. Sounds like a solid plan. Meanwhile, back in some bar in Nairobi, Diana is begging her brother to take her big game hunting. Their target? Sacred Monkey. Our hero, Burt Dawson shows up, with a mysterious scar and a thirst for vengeance. Or something. This all comes out later. In the beginning, there’s just a bunch of people heading to the island. To hunt monkeys. By jeep. Then Diana gets kidnapped by gorillas that act like ‘some kind of robots.’ That and the promise of a buttload of money entice Burt Dawson to head to the island/jungle to rescue Diana. Cue the wildlife stock footage, native stereotyping, and double-crossing, all leading up to the exciting twist ending in which all your questions may or may not be answered. Who shoots whom? Who survives? Where did those other random jungle women in the cages come from? Is no one looking for them? If Diana and Robert are Theodore’s children and Ursula is Theodore’s wife, does that make Ursula Diana and Robert’s mother? Which one of the khaki guys is Ursula’s lover? And, most important of all, who is the Sacred Monkey???

Best Line:
“Malik. Malik. Malik! I call him Malik.” Followed closely by, “You don’t know how to talk. Or do you? It doesn’t matter.”

Biggest Laugh:
Burt Dawson goes swimming, fully clothed from the waist down. He even leaves his boots on. But don’t worry- he takes off his shirt. Gotta keep the smokes dry.

Best Time to Freshen Your Drink:
Either the Jeep ride or the boat ride. Though very different trips, both are long and boring and somehow get you to exactly the same campsite. On an ‘island.’ Near Nairobi.

Take a Drink Whenever:

  • Someone lights a cigarette
  • Someone says the name of the person they are speaking to, ala ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People.’ “Listen, Burt.” “Burt, are you listening?” “I’m listening, Robert. But I don’t understand what you’re saying, Robert.” It’s annoying, but I have to admit it occasionally comes in handy when trying to identify the multitude of middle-aged men wandering around this jungle. I mean island.
  • Someone mentions the Sacred Monkey
  • You think they’ve found the Sacred Monkey
  • A new animal appears on screen. This jungle—I mean, island—is rife with wildlife.
  • The gorilla scar gives off the electric sizzle that can only mean one thing: MIND CONTROL.

Finish Your Drink When:
Albert realizes it might have been a bad idea to implant a device in his own brain. Don’t feel bad, Albert. We all make mistakes. It was for SCIENCE.

Cocktail Rating: 
Yummy! More dessert than drink, but in the immortal words of Burt Dawson, ‘it doesn’t matter.’

Movie Rating: 🐝🐝
I wanted this to be funnier than it was. It had its moments, but they were few and far between. There’s a Rifftrax version of this, and I’m going to go out on a tiny limb and say: watch that one! You’re going to need some kind of laugh to carry you through those long, silent walks through the jungle. The Yonana buzz just isn’t going to cut it.