Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla

Weekly Alibi

DIRECTED BY: William Beaudine

REVIEWED: 08-28-96

You wanna talk screwed-up movies? Here ya go. Gorilla is a vehicle for Martin-and-Lewis wannabes Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo, directed by the infamous William "One-Take" Beaudine. Our boys accidentally fall out of a plane (!) and land on a jungle island. They're found by a bunch of natives, including a saucy babe. Said babe works for Dr. Zabor (Lugosi, who I swear to God looks exactly like Secretary of State Warren Christopher), and since Duke and Sammy are the "only white men on the island" (except for the actors playing the natives), she decides they should meet the doc. However, Zabor is in love with the babe, who in turn is jonesin' for Duke, so the doc injects Duke with his de-evolution serum, turning Duke into a singing gorilla! OK, now that that's outta the way, let's talk about Duke and Sammy. Duke does the Dean Martin shtick (poorly, I might add) while freak-of-nature Sammy takes the Jerry Lewis role, and holy old sheep shit is he frightening. I can't begin to describe how disturbing this guy is, you just have to see for yourself. Jerry Lewis sued Sammy, pretty much saving the Earth in the process. (Admit One Video, 1952)

--Scott Phillips

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