A*P*E, released in South Korea as King Kong's Great Counterattack, is a 1976 monster film. An international co-production between South Korea and the United States, the film was produced by Kukje Movies and the Lee Ming Film Co. (South Korea) and Worldwide Entertainment (U.S.) with 3-D effects. Directed by Paul Leder and featuring special effects by Park Kwang Nam, the film stars Joanna Kerns, Rod Arrants and Alex Nicol. It marked an early film appearance by Kerns, who later moved to TV movies and series.
A*P*E was released at approximately the same time as Dino De Laurentiis' 1976 remake of King Kong. The film is generally regarded by some critics as a campy Z movie. In later years, the film has gone under the titles of Attack of the Giant Horny Gorilla (for its 1982 grindhouse re-release), and Hideous Mutant (for its original home video release).
A 36-foot-gorilla escapes from an oil tanker off the coast of South Korea. After battling with a giant great white shark, the ape reaches land. Shortly after, actress Marilyn Baker arrives in Korea to shoot a film, followed by her lover and journalist Tom. As the United States Military begins receiving reports of sightings of an unknown creature, the commanding officers initially dismiss them as nonsense. They rationalize the evidence, such as giant footprints, as being the work of the film production, joking someone should ask the creature if its name is "King Kong". The ape fights a giant python before a confrontation with archers, who attack but are unable to kill the massive primate. The U.S. military, consulting with Captain Kim of the South Korean Police, become convinced the reports are genuine. However, the officers cover up the truth from the media as Tom prods for answers.
Tom drops by the film set as Marilyn is filming a rape scene; he warns her after a cut that the ape is still at large and has killed people. Though she is skeptical of their relationship and his seriousness, they kiss. As the ape destroys entire villages, the military forcibly evacuates rural areas, and refugees flood the cities. The ape then emerges onto the filming location, where Marilyn, running as part of her performance, unwittingly lands into its paw. It carries her into the mountains, and the army gives Colonel Davis orders to capture the beast alive.
While the prehistoric creature battles helicopters, destroying a handful and giving the others the middle finger, Tom rescues Marilyn. The monster then enters Seoul, following Tom and Marilyn, and begins damaging buildings. After the creature kidnaps Marilyn again, tanks and increased firepower bring the beast down, and Tom and Marilyn are reunited.