Your cries have been heard, hotdog children. You demanded that I return to my roots and rate Tim Curry’s faces in the movie Congo for Ape Week. I wish rating Tim Curry’s faces wasn’t my greatest talent. I wish the space in my brain that I keep for Tim Curry face rating would hold something useful like math or CPR, or how to make a diamond into an ape-killing laser. I’ve now watched Congo twice in two years, thanks to 1900HOTDOG. A government employee should be sent to check on me any minute now, and I will tell them, “I’m fine; Hotdog made me do it!”
After watching Congo entirely focused on Tim Curry, I’ve come to realize this movie underutilized Tim Curry. His face isn’t even featured on the poster! What a whiff. He’s doing what he does best here, playing both a villain and a bit of comic relief. Funny villain is actually difficult to pull off and he is the master of it. We love him, but when we see a gorilla bash his head in with its fist, we’re like, “Yeah, that seems right.”
Tim Curry’s acting in this movie is downright subtle. He’s letting the accent do a lot of the heavy lifting, and boy is it lifting. I made a note of some of my favorite pronunciations Herkemer Holmolka made in this movie, but it doesn’t translate well into writing. If you want, you can listen to our extensive, perfect impressions on the Dogg Zzone 9000 Podcast episode about Congo. Or, you can picture Count Chocula over pronouncing every syllable in the word diamonds, and that’s basically it. When we first see Tim Curry, he’s doing a gentle evil smirk that is so restrained I barely recognise him. One out of a million Tim Curries. What is happening to our boy?
Congo doesn’t linger on Tim Curry’s little smiles. It doesn’t pan in on his evil scowls. It’s taught me to appreciate Curry in a new way. Ignore the main characters in the scene; ignore the plot; it’s laser gorillas anyway; watch the Curry! His usual brilliance is in there; they just don’t want you to know. Why would you hide this 3.5 out of five Tim Curry face from us, Congo?
A human/gorilla hybrid has to throw a decapitated human head at Tim Curry for us to get that reaction out of him, and it’s so underplayed. It’s a quiet little moment between Tim Curry and that skull where he has to show so many emotions with one quick expression. Yet when you see that face, you know immediately that man is looking at a human skull that’s been torn off at the hands of a super ape that can only be killed by lasers or volcanoes. This is a two-second clip where they quickly cut to other actors reacting to the head. Who cares! Tim Curry is there.
The worst thing that happens in the movie Congo is that a man has to burn a leech off of his dick as a comedic bit, and we never get to see Time Curry’s reaction to it. He’s not in that scene at all, so that face is lost to history. Instead, we’ll have to be sustained by Tim Curry, sadly contemplating a little snack. Timmy loves a snack! I give four out of nine Tim Curry’s.
Did that sesame cake kill his mother? The man looks devastated, absolutely crushed by a pastry. A Congo congoisseur might recognize this as the scene where a soldier screams at him to “STOP EATING MY SESAME CAKE.” On closer rewatch, this is the look right before Tim eats the cake. It makes me realize he knew he shouldn’t eat the cake, but he did it anyway. What a scamp, how perfectly in character. He’s tortured by his love of that sesame cake. Then, after he gets yelled at for his love of cake, he turns to Ernie Hudson to see if he’ll fight for his right to eat cake, and I give that face four Tim Curries, plus a secret fifth one (he’s hiding).
This scene is the most we get to see Tim Curry being Tim Curry before the heads start to come off. He was made for the drama and intrigue of the last fifteen minutes of Congo and not for understated wandering-through-the-jungle-and-joking-about-a-guy-fucking-a-gorilla middle of Congo. You might wonder what the heck Tim Curry’s character is doing there for most of the middle of the movie, and the answer is he’s waiting around to make this face.
Woah, I’m so sorry that was far too powerful of a face this early in the article. It almost overloaded our system, but I managed to use some diamonds I found in the jungle to reconfigure a few things. Let’s take it down a notch and appreciate Tim Curry’s subtle anger at Ernie Hudson for outing him as a Romanian con man who is somehow not faking that accent.
A mere seven Tim Curries for that one. I’ve seen the kind of rage this man harbors for Kermit The Frog. I’ve seen the darkest depths of his soul reflected in the black button eyes of a Muppet, so I can’t buy this burst of rage at Ernie Hudson. However, when Ernie Hudson absolutely destroys Tim Curry later in the movie, I do believe his utter despair. Three Tim Curries, BUT they’re all smoking cigarettes.
Uh oh, I just accidentally released the title of my Congo fan fiction early. Nobody take Ernie Hudson Absolutely Destroys Tim Curry from me, I called dibs. Tim Curry is so hot in this movie; like physically, he’s sweaty a lot, and it makes me wonder if there was an intern specifically in charge of dampening Tim Curry between takes. Here’s a sweaty Tim Curry in a Walt Disney World cave, realizing he might not get to see any diamonds on this Congo trip and will, therefore, never get to make the perfect face he was hired for. A solid five Tim Curries, one of them is smoking even though I specifically asked him not to.
During the last half of the movie, we get my second favorite genre of Tim Curry faces, which I call Scream Queen Tim Curry. We usually know him as a snide, cocky man, making indistinct British noises of joy, but his indistinct British noises of despair are just as good. Here’s Tim Curry realizing he’s in the movie Congo, a meta king, seven out of 12 Tim Curries.
What face would you make if you were about to be punched to death by a human/ape hybrid? Would it be something that reads as, “not this again?” Because that’s what I take from Tim Curry’s absolute exhaustion at the appearance of the murder monkey. What is the backstory on this? Tim Curry has created such a rich history for Herkimer Homolka we’ll never fully understand his complicated relationship with death and killer ape-men, nine very confused Tim Curries.
After a gorilla mauling, you are about to be smashed into liquid Tim Curry here in the Lost City of Zinj. Action.
The power of Tim Curry has been disseminated to a subatomic level. I am Tim Curry. You are Tim Curry; just kidding. None of us are cool enough to be a Tim Curry. It would be a great reveal if Lydia Bugg was a pseudonym for Tim Curry this whole time. Let’s say that’s how I end this article. You don’t get to be Tim Curry. Only I am Tim Curry! Yeah, I like that better.
This article was brought to you by our fine sponsor and Hot Dog Supreme: Hambone, who is the sixth secret Tim Curry hidden… in our hearts.