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Bride of the Gorilla Reviews

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Super Reviewer

February 15, 2010
Not a bad movie for being filmed in 1951. After all it has Raymond Burr (Perry Mason, and Ironside), the beautiful Barbara Payton, and Lon Chaney. It was a change seing Chaney playing the simple part as a Police Commisner. After Burr helps his former Employer die, a jungle witch puts a curse on Burr who at night turns into a gorilla, (Chaney and The Wolfman). Of course in the end the Gorilla is killed but noot with silver bullets. My copy came from the Mill Creek Sci Fi 50 Movie Pack, its also in the Sons of Kong Collection. All in all its a good movie worth 3 3/4 Stars but not 4, so her on Flixster it gets a3 1/2 star rating.

Super Reviewer

January 31, 2010
A rubber-plantation manager (an young and surprisingly amoral Raymond Burr) lusts after the wife of his employer: murder, black magic, guilt and a strange creature terrorizing the jungle follow. Given the silly premise and sillier title, this is actually a fairly well-scripted and acted, though cheap, WOLFMAN ripoff that should just hold your attention for it's 66 minute running time. Lon Chaney, Jr. appears as a South American native, but doesn't even attempt a Spanish accent (?)
Anthony V

Super Reviewer

October 22, 2008
A lame rip off of the Wolfman.
FilmGrinder S.
April 7, 2014

Not even Lon can help this one.
Billy S.
July 17, 2013
Essentially a werewolf movie but with a gorilla. A moral-play with murder and voodoo, with a very abrupt ending.
March 3, 2013
What's this? I've given Bride Of The Gorilla a passing rating? What is this monstrosity?

And some of my more astute readers will find even more bizarre that while I gave Bride Of The Gorilla a "thumbs up," I gave The Wolf Man (also with Lon Chaney, Jr.) a "thumbs down." Of course, this is the fundamental problem with the critics' "thumbs up/thumbs down" system. While I do think Bride Of The Gorilla was, perhaps, not as well-put-together as The Wolf Man, Bride Of The Gorilla had a lot of attention put into the character development and I was, incredibly surprisingly, intrigued.

That's what made this film work for me. I was interested. Plain and simple, I was interested with what was happening to the characters.

The film stars Raymond Burr as an owner of a wealthy plantation out in the jungle who one day kills a rival of his and gets away with it. A mysterious witch who saw the event puts a curse on him that turns him into an ape-like beast at night. The plot from here is relatively similar to The Wolf Man: the guy kills some animals and people at night while the police force (including the very recognizable and distinguished Lon Chaney, Jr.) try to figure out what is going on.

The film also features an interesting little love story between the Raymond Burr character and the wife of the man he killed. This girl is played by Barbara Payton, and she and Burr share some very nice chemistry with each other. Neither of them are brilliant actors, but both of them work well and simply enough off of each other to make the love story work.

It is very important that this love story work, as this is the heart of the film. It shows the price that Burr's character pays in order to get with Payton's character and the way they may not be able to end up together thanks to the curse that has been placed on Burr.

One of the biggest aspects of the film that made it work for me was that the film's horrible gorilla effect was only shown a couple of times. It's almost as though the director (otherwise not distinguished in any way, really) knew that the gorilla looked horrible, and so left a majority of what happens between the gorilla and its victims up to the imagination. This is impressive, and it's a directorial philosophy that would later be adopted to great success by Spielberg twenty-four years in the future.

In addition to all this, there are some nice moments of tension, the cameraman seemed to know what he was doing, and the screenplay was not too bad. The film works simply, and ultimately it pays off. I enjoyed watching the film and I found myself interested in what was going on. This is not a particularly great film, but I was surprised to find it to be one of the few B-list films that actually works.

March 11, 2012
Nothing too spectacular. Raymond Burr is ok in this one, but the story isn't too interesting and it ends suddenly with no connection to the wrecked house that appears in the beginning of the film. Overall it's boring with very few good scenes.
October 8, 2006
Although it is certainly not a good film, it does a very good job with it's low budget. Some of the cinematography is quite good. The cast is professional.
January 4, 2006
Bride of the Gorilla
Starring: Raymond Burr, Barbara Payton, Lon Chaney Jr, Tom Conway, and Carol Varga
Director: Curt Siodmak

Brutish plantation foreman Barney Chavez (Burr) rejects his Indian lover Larina (Varga) after starting an affair with his boss?s wife, Dina (Payton). After dispatching his boss in a staged accident, Barney gets both the wife and the plantation. Although Police Commissioner Taro (Chaney) suspects from the beginning that the accident was staged, he can?t get enough solid evidence to prove Chavez?s guilt. However, Chavez soon faces justice more severe than the law, as a twist in the plot proves that hell hath no fury like the mother of a woman scorned? particularly a mother who has access to deadly folk-magic.

?Bride of the Gorilla? occupies a space somewhere between an overblown melodrama and a horror film. Unfortunately, its story is a bit too thin and the characters way to stock to allow it to rise above the quality of the very feeblest of ?Tales from the Crypt?-type chillers. (The ending is also very remincent of those types of stories.)

Given the material they have to work with, the actors all do a respectable job, but the reason one would have for watching ?Bride of the Gorilla? would be to admire the classic starlet beauty of Payton and Varga. There really isn?t anything else to recommend the film to modern audiences.
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