Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla

Directed by William Beaudine.
Not Rated, 74 minutes.
Bela Lugosi
Duke Mitchell
Sammy Petrillo
Al Kikume
Milton Newberger

Two nightclub performers, Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo playing themselves, had to jump from their plane during an emergency. They crash-land on a tiny island with a small native tribe and Bela Lugosi as the doctor who has made the island his home while he does animal research. The movie starts bad and gets progressively worse. Petrillo bears an uncanny resemblance to Jerry Lewis and spends most of the movie doing an impersonation of him. Mitchell tries to be the Dean Martin of the act but is just a god-awful actor. Unfortunately, or humorously depending on your point of view, Mitchell is given a few musical numbers to perform. He delivers these songs with all the charisma of a fence-post. As if that weren’t bad enough, when Lugosi appears on screen, our heroes continuously try to make jokes by referencing the fact Lugosi is most famous for playing Count Dracula. The movie officially jumps the shark when, in a fit of jealousy, Lugosi transforms Mitchell into a gorilla. We also get some really unintentional humor by noticing that practically the whole native tribe is played by White actors while Lugosi’s character is referred to as “the only White man on the island.” Definitely so bad it’s awesome. Unless you’re a lover of bad movies, stay away.

MY SCORE: -10/10

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