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anonymous kph

B is for Bride of the Gorilla

Yes, I know that B was originally to be for Barbarian Queen 2: The Empress Strikes Back, but our VCR was needed for other purposes during the only time window I had to watch the "B" movie, and so Bride of the Gorilla became the official "B" movie by virtue of being on DVD.

Bride of the Gorilla is from the era when you could get away with dialogue like "White people can't take the jungle."

A white hired hand spurns a native girl, whose mother simply says, "I warned you to stay with your people." This hired hand, Barney Chavez, has fallen in love with the wife of the plantation owner, and has a confrontation with him in the side garden. Barney sees a snake coming, and punches the owner, who falls down near the snake, and is bitten.

A police enquiry clears Barney, but only after the native woman (the mother of the girl Barney spurns) testifies on his behalf. The native woman invokes a curse, however, using the mystic leaves of a terrifying native plant. Basically, Barney starts to experience strange black-outs where he runs off into the jungle (insert lots of stock footage here), transforms into a red gorilla, rampages, and transforms back.

There's a lot of early-50s dialogue, and the film is paced accordingly, but it isn't too slow, because despite its clear B-film nature, it's well made, and the second tier of actors are still Quality (young Raymond Burr, old Lon Chaney Jr., young Woody Strode). In short, while the premise is a touch on the hand-waving goofy side, there isn't anything to recommend this film for a single Smithee award.

Although I will share with you my favorite exchange, between Barney (Raymond Burr), Inspector Taro (Lon Chaney Jr.), and Doctor Vliet (Tom Conway):

Barney: "Are these the final papers for me to sign?"
Taro: "We do not sign the final papers."
Doctor: "That's right. I'm the coroner. I sign the final papers."