Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (1952)

Article #439 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 5-28-2002
Posting date: 10-21-2002

Two entertainers find themselves stranded on an island with a mad scientist performing experiments on evolution.

There are only two reasons why this movie is as well known as it is; the first is the title. The second is the presence of Duke Mitchell and (especially) Sammy Petrillo, a comic duo that specialized in an impersonation of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Petrillo’s impersonation is the most amazing; he even looks like Jerry Lewis. Unfortunately, he’s never as funny as Lewis; he is aggressively lame, and the presence of some decent humor was the only thing that could have saved the movie. As it is, there are way too many jokes centered around the fat native girl. I’ve seen this movie three times; the first time is understandable; natural curiosity. The second time was to double check if it was as bad as I remembered it; it was. The third time was for this series of Musings. That is two times too many, at least, and if wasting time turns out to be a sin of some sort, then I’m going to have a lot to answer for to my maker.


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