Bringing with it a new breed of awfulness, A*P*E is a classic example of a knock-off film. It doesn't seem to know what it wants to be, and since it's so pathetic it should be straight camp. At times, it acknowledges this, and other points, it's all played straight. It doesn't matter how the audience takes it as A*P*E is unquestionably awful and possibly the most grating giant monkey "epic" we'll ever see.
Instead of leading audiences onto a mysterious island to find the giant beast, the movie starts with the creature pre-loaded onto a boat. After some excruciatingly bad dialogue, it escapes, blows up the ship for no apparent reason, and fights a shark that never moves on its own (since it's quite obviously pre-killed). Through this, you'll be able to catch a few glimpses of the actor inside the ape suit since the armpits are torn.
All of that happens in the first five minutes, and amazingly, it gets worse. Produced jointly between the US and Korea, this film never should have been green-lighted, even if it was only to capitalize on the big-budget Kong remake the same year. As if a giant monster wasn't enough, the movie was shot in 3-D, and as expected, there are countless shots of items flying by on strings at the camera. Utter hilarity ensues as soldiers approach the camera to fire a gun (at an audience that likely stayed home), smiling the entire time. Not exactly the appropriate action for someone fighting a 30+ foot monkey (then again, maybe they could see the suit on set somewhere).
A*P*E's few moments of camp are funny. The classic clip is the one where he gives the finger to a squad of helicopters. The forgotten one is the sequence where the monster plays with a hang glider and then claps as his new toy disappears onto the horizon. It's unimaginable just what the director, writers, or suit actor was thinking. Most of the movie shows the ape walking around aimlessly, flailing arms at the air, and occasionally pounding on a cheaply constructed building.