Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Hey my mighty monkey minions !
As you can tell by the previous several posts, our illustrious founder of HGM has made his triumphant return after a long hiatus...Welcome back gorilla man !!!
I have also been missing for a while due to medical issues and other insane obligations...It's good to be back to titillate you with the latest and greatest Gorilla Men news !

First up is a great opportunity to participate in the production of a documentary about the American Tourister Gorilla himself, Mr. Don McLeod !
The documentary is the brainchild of Don's gorilla successor Adam Meir.
Adam has been Don's protege for several years now and has taken over the role of the American Tourister Gorilla !
Here are a few words from Adam himself about this fantastic project :

We are excited to announce that Project Greenlight and Seed&Spark have accepted our film, "Top Banana - The Most Famous Unknown Hollywood Actor" into its Untold Story contest!
We have been working on this film for two years. It is about Don McLeod, suit performer, mime, Japanese Butoh artist, poet and philosopher. He played one of the best werewolves of all time in The Howling. He was the American Tourister (Samsonite) gorilla in the classic television commercials. Film credits include Trading Places, Hook and Total Recall, to name a few.
NOTE! If you can't contribute that's no problem. But PLEASE click the FOLLOW button. We need 500 followers and then we get matching funds from the company!

Bongo again kids.... Gorilla Man and I make it our mission to get these hard working , under appreciated fur clad geniuses into the spotlight to keep a historical record of the greatest apes Hollywood has to offer...And Don is one of the best !
When the American Tourister commercials first aired in the 70's, Audiences where 100 % convinced it was the real thing they were seeing demolishing lesser brands of luggage.
 Of course the raging primate was thwarted by the indestructible construction of the American Tourister luggage .
The setup on the commercials was brilliant, the very first commercial was done with a real ape, though not a gorilla. The used an adult Chimpanzee for the job...Few people realize that the cute little chimps they see in movies and television are actually the equivalent of a human toddler. A full grown chimp is comparable in size to a full grown man ! 
Once the audience had seen this hirsute engine of destruction attempting to demolish the impervious luggage, the stage was set,  
Enter Don Mcleod !

The commercial producers, realized they needed a star that took direction better than the rampant chimp, so brilliant mime Don McLeod was brought in to take over the role. ( he studied under the great Marcel Marsceau ! )
 Don's skill as a mime made him ideal to convey the enormous power of a pissed off gorilla to tackle the luggage that defied all his attempts to destroy it. The producers also realized that while performance was the key,he also had to look absolutely real to complete the illusion.
This is where multiple Academy Award winning makeup effects legend Rick Baker got into the act.
Rick was no stranger to gorilla acting as he not only created the suit for, but also played the king himself in the 1976 Dino DeLaurentis production of King Kong.
Ricks skill in creating his gorilla suits, was just what was needed to complete Don's transformation from man to monkey !
Once Don was in the suit, he virtually ceased to exist !
So flawless was Dons performance, he was virtually indistinguishable from a living  breathing gorilla !
   ( Rick Baker and crew pose lovingly with Don On the one of the American Tourister commercials )
The american Tourister commercials are emblazoned in the minds of anyone growing up in the 70's and 80's. Don continued his gorilla hijinx in such classic films as Trading Places (1983 ), The Man with Two Brains (1983 ), Born to be Wild ( 1995 ) and Mom Can I Keep Her ( 1998 ) playing a female gorilla !

Dons most notorious outing as a great ape was in the 1980 production Tanya's Island.
Don's ape character "Blue" was an odd combination of gorilla, orangutan. and baboon. 
Blue's main objective was to mate with Tanya, played by the stunning D.D. Winters. ( Vanity, Prince's former girlfriend )

 The "Blue" costume reunited Don with master creature effects artist Rob Bottin, after have worked together in The Howling . Blue's look was like no other ape ever featured in film, and the bestiality implications brought Tonya's Island into nearly instant controversy from zealot like morality groups.
 Don's television performances have been no less impressive with feature gorilla roles in Tarzan: The Epic Adventures , Sheena, with Gena Lee Nolin, and The New Addams Family, stepping into the role of Gorgo the gorilla, originally played by HGM legend George Barrows !
So back to "Top Banana -The Most Famous Unknown Hollywood Actor".
This is an incredibly worthy cause for donating funds to help complete the film.
 Our contributions have helped fund " Beast Wishes, the legendary Bob Burns biopic " and JL Barnett's  " Charlie Gemora : Uncredited ".
Every dollar counts, so please be part of this incredible opportunity to showcase another Gorilla Man Great, Don McLeod !

In the not to distant future keep your eyes peeled for a post about the gorilla work of Don's friend, and 
 gorilla man successor

, Adam Meir himself !

Stay tuned, Same ape time, same ape channel !

Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Night Beauties and Beasts #5

Oh Charlie, how the young feral flappers adore your velvety pelt kept soft by the warm jungle rain. They simply cannot tear their eyes away from your noble profile and bestial biceps. It is near impossible for the frizzy blond on your left to resist a chance to give your chin a playful tickle. The lass on right knows better. The last gal to do so is one digit short of a full hand.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday Night Beauties and Beasts #4

   With your typical low budget turds, if they throw in a guy with a rental gorilla suit, they tend to look a lot worse then the ape depicted in the poster art. So not the case here. Most interesting fact about this sleepy sleazefest? Directed by a dude named Zoltan. "Zoltan". Say it out loud and tell me that wouldn't make for a great 30's serial villain. I would think a creepy evil sounding weirdo named Zoltan could pull off some soft 60's porn with hot chicks and lusty apes. But then again his choices in promotional material has me riddled with doubt.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Friday Night Beauties and Beasts #3

You know Trudy, ever now and then you could carry me home...

Friday, April 8, 2016

Friday Night Beauties and Beasts #2

Gentleman seeks conservative gal who doesn't mind spending a night home in the jungle, er house, playing Canasta for two. Must be comfortable with body hair and banana breath. Tall brunettes who love hats preferred.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Friday Night Beauties and Beasts #1

And now, a message from our sponsor...

Sex sells. Always has, always will. In this weekly post I will share one of the many saucy gorilla and gal pics I have collected over the last decade of simian obsession. Don't get me wrong - a lady should be treated with respect and tenderness - but your average savage monkey boy has trouble restraining his urge to scooping up a lovely lass and taking her back to his primeval pad.

First up in our series, HGM favourite, the dapper chap in the frisky fur, Emil Van Horn with one of his ladies of the stage, Yvonne.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Well Deserved Gorilla R and R

   The classic Beauty and the Beast burlesque act plays upon some of the baser views of what would have been a primarily white male audience. Whether it was the thrill of a woman dominated by a hulking brute (though he is often manipulated or controlled by the fair skinned Beauty), the demented inference of bestiallity and cross species intercourse or the uglier threatening undertone of interracial mingling, there is a lot of weird stuff going on in what can appear downright silly from a modern perspective.

  The husband and wife burlesque duo, Scotty Roche and Diane Revere performed together through the 1950’s and 1960’s making their mark with the classic Beauty and Beast act. In addition to the sensual simian dance, which appears to be their centerpiece performance, they also appeared in a number featuring gold body paint, showcasing that Scotty was indeed in fabulous shape under that massive gorilla suit. 

   In a previous post that presented a photo spread titled GORILLA POLKA from a 50’s men’s mag GALA, Jeff Siegel made the following comments:
I grew up with Scotty and Diane and Diane is still alive. Their act came from Vaudeville. They performed extensively in the far east during the 1950's, where they adopted their son, Andre, who was the son of a Princess of Siam and a French aviator (scandalous!). Scotty claimed to have been the underage man in KING KONG's suit during the filming due to the real actor not being able to handle the heat. Scotty was underage at the time so he didn't get credit (his father was working on the film and Scotty would hang around the set). I'll put together some pix and get hold of Diane to see if she can provide you with some more info (she's over 100 years old!). 

   Jeff wrote back in August 2014 and unfortunately I only became aware of the comment while putting together this post. Hollywood Gorilla Men has been kicking around in one incarnation or another for a decade but my passion ebbs and flows. I have reached out to Jeff and hopefully he can add another anecdote or two about this amazing pair of performers.

   The GALA photo mentions that the act actually originated with Scotty’s father Pierre, who tromped about Hungarian stages years before his son took up the 80 pound furry mantle.

   A recent trawl of the interwebs dredged up the fabulous pics below.

Revere and Roche appeared in this 'Burlesk' film that was typical of it's time - a parade of stage acts made all the more accessible for a multitude of movie goers. Here's the summary from AFI:

AFI Summary released 1964 Tiger Lilly's day begins in the afternoon, with a swim and some trampoline exercise. Night finds her preparing for her act at a strip club, while Bambi performs on stage. As the next act, Revere and Roche, is performing "Beauty and The Beast" onstage, a similar drama is going on in a backstage dressing room where beauteous Billy Jean is pursued by her partner, Kavich, a tiger. After Vicki O'Day's tassel-twirling striptease, Tiger Lilly descends in a gilded elevator cage for her own act. She is followed by Tempest Storm. Tiger Lilly returns to her dressing room with Billy Jean and soaks away the greasepaint in a bubble bath. 

Discerning apes fly Northwest Airlines. Roomy seats and complementary bananas.

Promotional material from a post war tour (likely the conflict in Korea) - the flier is in Korean and promotes a "King Kong Gorilla Grand Comedy Show" for NBC television.