Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bride of the Gorilla |
Actors: Barbara Payton, Lon Chaney Jr., Raymond Burr, Tom Conway, Paul Cavanagh
Director: Curt Siodmak
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Deep in the South American jungle plantation manager Barney Chavez (Raymond Burr) kills his elderly employer in order to get to his beautiful wife (Barbara Payton). However, an old native witch witnesses the crime and puts... more »
"The heart is deceitful..., and desperately wicked..."
Robert S. Clay Jr. | St. Louis, MO., USA | 07/05/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Infidelity and murder on a jungle plantation lead to supernatural consequences. Veteran writer/director Curt Siodmak weaves a magic spell, and transforms a modest film into good entertainment. In addition, a strong cast is an asset. Raymond Burr suffers jungle hocus-pocus courtesy of a female shaman. His simian urges appear as the brooding night settles in. The initial metamorphosis has a dreamlike quality that transcends typical B movie standards. Lon Chaney, Jr. is the perceptive police commissioner that respects the native superstitions, and believes that Burr is a murderer. For a change, Lon is not the hirsute beast stalking the darkness. Barbara Payton is Burr's treacherously beautiful bride. Unaware of his gorilla alter ego, she is puzzled why he would rather swing through the trees at night instead of swinging with her. Familiar faces in the supporting cast include Tom Conway and Woody Strode. The production values are meager and rely on jungle movie stock-footage. Overall, the movie has a low budget look. Regardless, this is a minor gem. It is better than the sensational title might suggest. Good fare for genre fans. ;-)"
A must-see for some, a maybe for others
James W. Harris | 01/29/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For a certain kind of person, and I'm one, this is a film you have to see. First there's the lurid title. Second, Lon Chaney Jr. is in it, and for many fans of classic horror films that makes this an automatic must-see. Third, Curt Siodmak is writer and director, and this guy commands respect: after all, he wrote The Wolf Man, Donovan's Brain, Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, I Walked With a Zombie, The Beast With Five Fingers...
Unfortunately, though, this movie is pretty pedestrian. It is rather slow-paced, and never fully takes off. Nor is it remotely scary, suspenseful, gory, or lurid. And Lon Chaney's dull role as a native policeman is disappointing.
Understanding that, this movie still has strengths. Tom Conway, brother of the great George Saunders, is very good in his supporting role; I think he really carries the movie. He's onscreen a lot, and always good. Raymond Burr truly gives his best. Barbara Payton is beautiful and sincere. In general, the supporting cast is good-heartedly earnest. And the film does have its moments - some evocative, moody shots and scenes, some strangeness, some surrealistic charm. It is fun, and doesn't drag. It's not painful; it's just ultimately too familiar, too ordinary.
Bottom line: If you love this kind of old, oddball, no-budget horror, there are a lot of titles you should see first. But eventually you will work your way to Bride of the Gorilla, and there is a good chance you will enjoy the 66 minutes and regard it with affection.
Trivia PS: I love these desperately deceptive taglines from the original garish ads (not on this dvd, unfortunately), which have absolutely nothing to do with the film! Indeed, selling a ticket with such promises was downright larcenous. But that's all part of the sideshow-style fun of the world of b-movies and exploitation films, Enjoy.
"Her marriage vows were more than fulfilled!"
"Her clothes torn away in screaming terror!"
"A blonde beauty and a savage beast... ALONE IN THE JUNGLE!"
Richard J. Oravitz | 05/16/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Despite its established (and well-deserved) B-movie status, "Bride of the Gorilla" is a surprisingly effective, entertaining, and well-done movie. I was particularly impressed by the intelligent and original variation on a theme that was tried-and-true (indeed, rather exhausted) even a virtual half-century ago. Oh, to be sure, all the usual B-movie trappings are here -- e.g., the inevitable stock jungle footage. But wouldn't you be disappointed if it weren't?Recommended."
BARBARA PAYTON CAMP CLASSIC !
Richard J. Oravitz | 06/06/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not sure what it was, but when I first saw this film on TV in the early 1960's I was prepared to like it. At that time I was hooked on steamy studio jungle sets & lots of stock footage. All the local TV stations were playing Tarzan, Jungle Jim and Bomba movies in some sort of JUNGLE LARRY(?)THEATER type program. It was great & all the kids loved it!
Now BRIDE OF THE GORILLA comes along with much of the same mix but with a more adult/slanted agenda. Yes, the familar stock footage was there, the fear of a gorilla monster, a witch/voodoo woman, Lon Chaney Jr. and a deadly curse made this absolute viewing, but...this B-horror/thriller had something else going for it: BARBARA PAYTON!
Even as a kid I knew she was much much more.., than Maureen O'Sullivan (Jane/ June Cleaver of Tarzan fame)!
BRIDE OF THE GORILLA is probably Payton's most memorible camp classic, and she's very good in it. She draws sympathy in a role that twists and curves from cheating wife to loving, devoted wife. Raymond Burr (pre Godzilla & Perry Mason), Tom Conway & Lon Jr. are also very good as is Siodmak's pacing & direction. He directed Chaney 10 yrs. eariler in THE WOLFMAN!
Alas, poor Barbara...
Her life tumbled downhill...I won't dwell on all the sleaze, you can look it up.
However, this is just one fun chiller/thriller, a few curses, a monster thrown in, some good acting and even a bit part by a young Woody Strode.
As for the whole gorilla thing...
I believe it was all in Barney's head, always have, always will.
The ALPHA dvd is pretty good. Quite clear with good audio. Very watchable. I was happy with it.
So for a good time in the jungle you really can't go wrong here.
Recommended to all lovers of fake jungle sets!