THE BRIDE AND THE BEAST (1958)
Article #1103 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Day: 3-22-2004
Posting Day: 8-19-2004
Directed by Adrian Weiss
Featuring Charlotte Austin, Lance Fuller, Johnny Roth
A newly married woman finds that she has a strange attraction to the gorilla that her husband keeps in the basement.
Take the central romantic relationship in KING KONG (the one that doesn’t involve Bruce Cabot). Reduce the male participant to the size of your average man-in-a-gorilla-suit and make the woman behave with bland passivity as much as possible (this should give you an idea about Charlotte Austin’s acting range). Let this relationship run its obvious course over the first twenty minutes of the movie. Then throw in a little Bridey Murphy style hypnotic regression, just pausing long enough to engage in a soliloquy about the joys of angora (just to clue you off that the script is by none other than Ed Wood) before coming to the obvious conclusion that the woman’s previous incarnation signifies that the woman’s attraction to Spanky the simian wouldn’t have resulted in quite the mixed marriage that you might expect. So where can the movie go from here? Why, none other into that most mundane of genres, the Double-Stuffed Safari-o. The fact that this sequence is slightly more entertaining than others of its ilk doesn’t quite disguise the fact that the story has come to a screeching halt. We return to the monkeyshines in the last seven minutes of the movie, and I won’t give away the ending except to say that those who thought KING KONG ended sadly might find this movie to have a much more cheerful denouement. Of course, we all know that the theme of previous-incarnational-bestiality is poppycock; all the same, I’d suggest you keep me away from the armadillos for awhile. And I still say that if Lance Fuller hadn’t named his gorilla Spanky, it wouldn’t have become the unmanageable brute that it did.