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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

retro trailer: ‘Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla’

Take a look back at an old trailer…


Heh: Funny jungle cultures is funny.

Ah, for the good ol’ days, when racism and the assumption of cultural superiority were safe places for pop culture to go…. What’s that? We’re still going there today? Should we alert the media?

Ah, but you remember Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo (appearing here as, respectively, Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo), don’t you? And their hilarious — for very small values of “hilarious” — South Sea Island adventure? They were superstars in their day, which was, as far as I can determine, the two weeks immediately surrounding September 4, 1952, when this classic was released in New York City.

Oh, and Duke sings! *swoon* And he’s not at all to be mistaken for Dean Martin!

I was all set to be outraged over the film calling either of our darling heroes a “Brooklyn gorilla,” but Duke really does get turned into a guy in a gorilla suit by Bela Lugosi, doesn’t he? Still unexplained: what mad science is responsible for turning Sammy into Jerry Lewis.

Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla is available on DVD in Region 1; it is not available in Region 2 except as a Region 1 import.



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