January 31, 2014
Movie Night: Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla.
Review #535: Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla.
Bela Lugosi (Dr. Zabor), Duke Mitchell (Himself), Sammy Petrillo (Himself), Charlita (Nona), Muriel Landers (Saloma), Al Kikume (Chief Rakos), Mickey Simpson (Chula), and Cheeta (Ramona the Chimp) Directed by William Beaudine (#463 - Billy the Kid vs. Dracula)
The title alone tells all you need to know about the film. Lugosi's in it, and there's a gorilla, though the only one from Brooklyn is actually one of the main characters who just happened to be from Brooklyn who is transformed into a gorilla half way through. The title came because the producer decided it would be foolish not to exploit Bela Lugosi's appearance in the film. When the only way to attract people to watch your movie is by shamelessly put the actor's name in the title, there isn't much hope. The only other reason this film was made was take advantage of the success of Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis films at the time, made (of course) on a cheap budget. Is the movie funny? Laughable to look at, but not really funny. Lugosi looks tired, though maybe he's tired of Petrillo's screaming, or the fact that he agreed to a movie with a gorilla in it. Maybe it's Petrillo's voice that bugs me so much, because it always sounds like wailing, which gets tiresome quickly. It is sad to see Lugosi be in a film as low as this, in a film that feels so soulless and so rushed. There are many words you could use to describe this movie: Stupid, rushed, idiotic, campy, non-funny, insolvent, irrelevant, but my favorite one is: Bad. While it may be easy to find, it's hard to tell if you want to find it. Take this film...forget it, you don't want to take the risk. The movie won't get a 0 because I do have some pity for Bela Lugosi. The only question you can ask about this movie is which is better, the next film on this week, or this film? What is the next film, you ask? Glen or Glenda. Stay tuned.
Overall, I give 1 out of 10 stars.