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Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla

2.8 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Brooklyn buddies are stranded on an island with a mad doctor who turns one of them into a gorilla.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Bela Lugosi, Duke Mitchell, Sammy Petrillo, Charlita, Muriel Landers
  • Directors: William Beaudine
  • Writers: Edmond Seward, Leo 'Ukie' Sherin, Tim Ryan
  • Producers: Herman Cohen, Jack Broder, Maurice Duke
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Alpha Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 21, 2003
  • Run Time: 74 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000087F1R
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,213 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert S. Clay Jr. on October 29, 2003
Format: DVD
This little movie isn't as bad as the title and cast might suggest. Duke Mitchell is no Dean Martin, but Sammy Petrillo does a credible imitation of a young Jerry Lewis. Whether Petrillo's performance is satire or just a blatant rip-off is up to the viewer. The humor is simple-minded, but occasionally hilarious. Charlita (as if anyone recognizes the name) does a passable imitation of Dorothy Lamour in revealing (for 1952) South Sea togs. Bela Lugosi with a twinkle in his eye spoofs his own horror movie character as Dr. Zabor. This flick was made a year or so before Bela fell into the clutches of the infamous Ed Wood. Sadly, it emphasizes Bela's troubled downward spiral career path. Veteran low budget director William Beaudine competently puts the cast through the paces. Artistically (to use an unlikely term), the flick is on the same level as Beaudine's Bowery Boys movies. Filmed in glorious B&W, the low cost DVD edition features a clear transfer and acceptable audio. It's harmless "G" rated fun. From here on, you are on your own. ;-)
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Format: DVD
My friend brought this DVD over for me to watch, saying it was a hoot. He was right. But beyond the pale specters of Martin & Lewis imitators and Bela, we both noticed something else that really stood out.

"That chimp is the best actor in the flick!"

The chimp performed complex comic actions, room-to-room walkthrus, and used perfect timing. Much of it in long, uncut sequences. The chimp never missed a beat and always "hit his mark.' Let me tell you, I almost thought it was an human in a suit, if not an inserted, contemporary CGI character.

But nope, it was a real chimp - none other than CHEETA, of Tarzan movie fame (portraying "in drag" as "Ramona" - like Lassie did, I guess, and billed with a screen alias - maybe it was a legal thing).

And get this - Cheeta is ALIVE and turns 74 this year. He's the oldest chimp on record and mentioned for it in Guinesses. Moveover, he's happily living in Palm Springs at the Cheeta Primate Sanctuary, Inc, with the nephew of his original trainer! He watches TV, looks thru National Geographic and paints pictures (not a bad retirement at all)! So, if you enjoyed watching this primate star over the years as much as I have, visit him and the retired primate santuary at [...] - consider sending a donation to a worthy cause!
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Format: DVD
Don't be fooled by the stupid title. This is an amusing, efficient B comedy of 1952 starring the young nightclub comedians Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo. If you like Martin & Lewis, The Bowery Boys, or Abbott & Costello, you've come to the right place, because the stars impersonate Martin & Lewis; the director, writers, and leading lady were moonlighting from the Bowery Boys series; and the cameraman and editor worked on Abbott & Costello pictures. This silly jungle comedy is no worse (and sometimes better) than a 1950s effort from those higher-budgeted comedians.

The 69-year-old Bela Lugosi is an excellent comic foil, and even plays romantic scenes persuasively. The playful Petrillo improvises to confound Lugosi, but Lugosi -- ever the professional -- never loses command of the scene. The crew gets the maximum value from the budget, with good photography and musical score, and here's a small mark of authenticity, as jungle movies go: "Ramona the Chimp" is really Cheeta of the Tarzan series.

Digiview's DVD edition is an extraordinary value. Picture and sound quality compare favorably to the premium laserdisc editions; the Realart logo is missing from this DVD, but everything else is here.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I hafta admit, this movie, when I saw it on the Turner Classic Movie Channel, was dopey and predictable,..but,...one thing that surprised me were the two primary protagonists in the movie, who do a copycat performance of Jerry and Dino. The guy who imitates Dino's character, only vaguely looks like Dino, and does not sing quite like Dino. But the guy who imitates Jerry Lewis' character in this movie is a Dead Ringer for young Jerry Lewis. Looks exactly like him. Mugs exactly like him, and even laughs like him. If you didn't know better, you might think it IS Jerry Lewis. That is why I bought the movie. The whole movie is a spoof on Jerry and Dino, and the cheesy Musical/Horror/Suspense type movies of the genre. How they made this movie, without being sued by the REAL Jerry and Dean, is beyond me. I put it in with my Jerry Lewis movies section of my DVD Library.

If you can get this movie for a reasonable price, it's worth a look, for Jerry Lewis Fans.
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Format: DVD
If you have heard of this film and know of it's "Golden Turkey" reputation, well you have been warned. Lots of fun and essential for students of bad movies. The real shock of this Alpha Video release is that the picture quality is possibly the best I have ever seen of this film. Usually Alpha's quality is very spotty, but this is way above average. Especially for a film THIS bad.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What a pleasant surprise DIGIVIEW's slim-line cased DVD of BELA LUGOSI MEETS A BROOKLYN GORILLA (1952) is.

The transfer is positively flawless: great sound and a clean, break-free full-sized picture throughout. Of course there's no extras, but who needs some erudite analysis of this simple movie, anyway?

Sammy Petrillo as Jerry Lewis is nothing less than remarkable. No wonder Jerry hated this younger man on sight! The kid had his act down to the tiniest nuance. Especially enjoyable is when Sammy drops the "la-la-la nice lady" voice to do a corny stand-up routine in his natural baritone and manner. Just like that (snap) Jerry Lewis vanishes.

Conversely, Duke Mitchell is no Dean Martin, and he clearly knows it. Twice, Mitchell sings in a near-operatic vibrato. The balance of the time he's content to let Sammy carry the load, which the kid does admirably.

Evidence of a 'C' grade budget is everywhere-- in the cheap sets, store-bought wardrobes, jungle animal stock footage and lack of retakes. Example of the latter: once they enter Lugosi's home, Sammy flashes a tiny grin after sarong-clad 'Nona' (Charlita) mentions how brilliant 'Dr. Zabor' is. He matter-of-factly replies, "Anybody who'd live in a creep joint like this must be a moronic idiot." Duke glances at him, breaks into a broad smile and Sam responds in kind. These men must like each other. At very least, they're enjoying themselves and so can we, thanks to the inclusion of an imperfect but cute 'take.'

"Brooklyn Gorilla" is mindless fun. It belongs in the home libraries of Lugosi and Lewis fans alike. This fine-quality dub guarantees you'll never seek a 'better' copy elsewhere. Buy with confidence!
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