Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (1952)

Director: William Beaudine

Starring: Bela Lugosi, Duke Mitchell, Sammy Petrillo, Charlita, Muriel Landers

More info: IMDb

Tagline: A horror film that will stiffen you with laughter!

Plot: Entertainers Mitchell and Petrillo parachute into the jungles of the Pacific island of Cola-Cola, where they meet primitive tribesmen, the chief's sarong-clad daughter Nona, and mad scientist Dr. Zabor conducting experiments in evolution. Jealous of Mitchell's relations with Nona, Zabor has just the thing to make a monkey of him...

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Why not?

There are only three reasons why you need to see this: Bela Lugosi, Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo. Bela Lugosi is the obvious one. He really looks like he's having a good time which is nice to see him so relaxed and happy. Then you've got Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis clones, Mitchell & Petrillo. When I first saw the trailer many years ago I couldn't tell that Petrillo wasn't Lewis. He's uncanny. Not only does he look like him but he's got the voice and mannerisms down pat. Petrillo only made 3 more pictures (if you include a cameo as one). Mitchell, on the other hand, made many more films, a total of 7, including one of my all time favorite mafia movies, THE EXECUTIONER (1978). He was a successful lounge singer/crooner and Frank Sinatra's favorite singer (so it's been said).

Now then, this movie. I liked it. It's dumb and goofy, much like some Martin & Lewis pictures, but there's not really a dull moment (i.e. there's always some silliness about in every scene) in it's very short 74 minutes. Admittedly, the short length helps. Lugosi is having fun and so did I; only I didn't get paid. The biggest asset, besides Lugosi, is Mitchell & Petrillo (especially the latter) as they goof their way from scene to scene. It's a shame the pair only did the one film. I could sit through another.

No comments:

Post a Comment