GORILLA AT LARGE.....
Mark Norvell | HOUSTON | 09/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This review is for "Gorilla at Large", the reason I bought this disc. In 1954, the 3-D craze was at its' peak--especially with horror films and this included the gorilla movie as scare factor. 1954 saw "Phantom of the Rue Morgue" and "Gorilla at Large" pawing their way into theaters in 3-D and Technicolor, with better than average budgets. "Gorilla at Large" is set in a seedy carnival around a lurid sideshow called "The Garden of Evil" where beautiful trapeze star Mlle. LaVerne ( a young and beautiful Anne Bancroft paying her starlet dues) swings seductively over a gorilla pit where mankiller ape Goliath reaches for her, threatening to yank her down at any moment. LaVerne's troubled and hot-tempered husband (a stoic Raymond Burr) jealously oversees her act and LaVerne. He also manages the carnival. Two problematic things occur: a hunky new stuntman for LaVerne ( a young, hunky Cameron Mitchell) for a dangerous new thrill in her act and a brutal murder. The murder shuts the carnival down and brings in a hardnosed cop (Lee J. Cobb). Everyone suspects Goliath and his sinister trainer when another murder occurs. But there's more than meets the eye in the "Garden of Evil". This is a well made, enjoyable thriller with two gorillas. One a stunt man in a bad gorilla suit and the other being Goliath. The stunt man is supposed to step in at key moments in LaVerne's act when the ape gets too close to thrill the audience. The carnival atmosphere is colorful, lurid and vivid. The acting is above par as is the cast---a young Lee Marvin has a comedy relief role as a dumb lanky cop. The 3-D effects are noticable with Goliath and the dizzying carnival rides. And there's a wonderful scene where Goliath goes on a rampage through the deserted carnival one night inadvertantly setting off the rides, causing the whole park to come alive like a haunted fairgrounds. Later, he reaches through a window for a screaming Bancroft as she lies seductively clad in a sexy negligee. The cheesecake factor with Bancroft is rampant throughout. This IS a beauty and the beast tale afterall but one with a twist---it's also a murder mystery. Who's committing the murders Goliath or someone in the stunt suit? And will Goliath finally have at the teasing seductress LaVerne? See this for cheesy but fun 50's thrills and watch as soon-to-be-stars pay their dues in a gorilla movie. "Gorilla at Large" is a genuine time capsule from the 3-D 50's complete with a better than average cast, in gorgeous Technicolor and preserved in a nice print on this disc. Worth owning for old Hollywood star watchers. Enjoy. And don't make Goliath mad...."
Good to see these movies again...
Andre Villemaire | Canada | 09/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Midnight Movie Madness continues with great stuff from the past. The movie
mystery on Monster Island is so well preserved that it looks like it was
just recently made. Saw this movie as a kid, and one of the characters is
as stupid as i remember him...but was well worth seeing this movie again.
Nice to see Peter Cushing again...Enjoy"
GORILLA AT LARGE deserves a better double billing!
Brian T | Canada | 05/04/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A real mixed bag here. One awesome flick, one horrible flick. The awesome: GORILLA AT LARGE, a solid circus noir with Raymond Burr, Cameron Mitchell and a very volutuous young Anne Bancroft--who routinely scoffed at the film once she became a "serious" actress--caught up in a clever puzzler involving a killer in a gorilla suit settling old scores on the fairgrounds and an actual gorilla that escapes its handler at suspiciously opportune times. This film, original in stereoscopic 3-D, gained a small second life in the early 80's when it was broadcast on many local American affiliate TV stations in anaglyphic 3-D (ugh!) much to the delight of kids like myself who were armed and ready (for headaches, mostly) with our specially purchased paper 3-D glasses. BWANA DEVIL also got this treatment, but GORILLA's a far more engrossing experience. The Spanish production THE MYSTERY ON MONSTER ISLAND (1981), on the other hand, is an utter waste of time. Peter Cushing and Terence Stamp each take top billing for about eight minutes screen time apiece, although one can't blame the producers for using such a ruse to lure audiences to this undeserving junk. Stamp's "character" appears for most of the film's climax, but he and his men are conveniently clad from head to toe so the producers can simply loop in Stamp's voice while some unnamed schmoe waves his arms around! The real stars are the lamentable non-actor Ian Sera, a regular for director Juan Piquer Simon (PIECES), and British vet David Hatton. Their adventure stranded on an island with an assortment of ridiculous creatures (including one dinosaur thingy that looks rather . . . inflated), an oh-so-clever monkey and a beautiful girl causes so much eye-rolling it hurts."
Bizarre Double Feature:Gorilla at Large(1954)/Mystery on Mon
James Simpson | USA | 01/30/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one sloppily put together Double Feature.
While the packaging is nice,offering two seperate DVDs instead of the usual dual layer format,and both prints for the films are beautiful,re-mastered latterbox prints,neither film goes together with the other.
Gorilla at Large(1954) is a VERY fun timewaster with a great cast,and deals with murders committed at a sideshow.
The second is a 1981 US/Spanish production that features Peter Cushing in a small role in a film,supposedly based on Jules Verne.
Of the two,Gorilla at Large is a very well made thriller about a person committing murders in an ape suit!
Cameron Mitchell is the hero,Charlotte Austin(who will be involved in more monkey business in the Ed Wood written,Bride of the Beast(1958) is his girlfriend.
Raymond Burr plays a red herring,Lee J.Cobb plays a hard boiled detective(very well,too!),Lee Marvin(!) plays a cop on the case and Anne Bancroft steals it as a very sexy lady who has an interesting act with an ape.
Check this one out!
Mystery on Monster island(1981) is a bogus adventure film,set in the turn of the century about ship wreck survivors who get involved in high jinks on a mysterious island.
The film tries to be funny,and while pleasane,becomes something of a chore to sit through.
Before you complain about the monsters on the screen,understand that they are MEANT to be bogus,however,that just causes more problems with the plot.
Despite top billing,Peter Cushing is only in the film in the beginning and end,and dosen't have much to do.
Spanish Horror great,Paul Naschy,is wasted in a two minute cameo in the beginning,getting shot several times before blowing up a cave!(His name is credited as "Flint"!)
The locations are beautiful,but the film is overlong and has no real drive and feels like a waste of time.
Really not much more than could be said about this film.
Buy the double feature for Gorilla at large,but only the curious need see the latter.