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The Bride and the Beast (1958)
Topic Started: Mar 26 2017, 07:25 AM (163 Views)
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The Bride and the Beast (1958) Dir. Adrian Weiss
Written by Edward D. Wood, Jr.
Released by Allied Artists Corporation
78 min. / B&W / 1.66:1
DVD from VCI/Kit Parker Films

ITB Strange Science Cinema #116

A guy who captures African animals for a living marries his dream girl, only to discover that she's a reincarnated gorilla who prefers the company of apes.

"I wasn't going to do the film, it had the worst dialog I'd ever read, but I'd just bought a new house and needed to make the mortgage payments." - Leading lady Charlotte Austin, in the bonus commentary track

Thunderously boring "jungle thriller"; if shooting took ten days, then two and a half, three days tops were actual filming and the rest was stitching together the endless reels of stock footage, including tigers. Lance Fuller is the dull leading man who keeps a gorilla named Spanky(!) in his basement and who chooses wives badly; Miss Austin wears a promising angora sweater in the film's opening (note who wrote this thing, "angora sweater" was probably in the script) and underwear for a lot of the time after that, and she's STILL dull. I was praying for Duke Mitchell & Sammy Petrillo to show up and inject a little life into this thing.

Million-dollar Dialog:
Scientist's explanation for Mrs. Fuller turning into an ape: "Basically, we're all animals. So a reversion just can't be ignored."

If it makes you feel any better, VCI did a great job with the DVD, proper aspect ratio, commentary (by Tom Weaver and two cast members) and a lot of promotional and bonus material. It's like doing a really, really good job on an industrial film about toilet bowl scum, though: doesn't improve the subject matter. The DVD also includes the 1945 film The White Gorilla.

Also on the Program

For the kiddies, a trio of Paramount cartoons, including Buzzy the Crow (who talks like Rochester) trying to avoid being eaten by Katnip (who talks like, well, Katnip) in Sock-A-Bye Kitty, 1950; a Honeymooners ripoff called Talking Horse Sense, 1959; and the 1948 ScreenSong Sing-a-Long The Golden State, in which we all sang "California, Here I Come" as we followed the bouncing orange.

For more gorilla fun, it was "The Killer Beast," the third thrilling (sort of) episode of Panther Girl of the Kongo, and yes, the Panther Girl is at the mercy of a murderous brute of an ape, and since she doesn't seem to be a reincarnated monkey, she's in real trouble.

We ended up the day's fun with the one-two punch of the trailers for our next million-dollar show, another double feature: She Demons and Giant from the Unknown! Wow-de-wow wow!

"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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