Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays Gorilla Gang !

We at Hollywood Gorilla Men would like to join Pongo Claws in wishing everyone a
 Happy Holiday Season,
and a fantastic New Year!

Nothing brings out the Holidays like Gorillas and Rockettes !

Thursday, December 13, 2012

John Carradine meets the gorilla

In the popular 60's TV show, Land of the Giants, John Carradine did exacly that.
The Gorilla in question was none other than TV primate Janos Prohaska as an ape owned by an unscrupulous movie producer.
Carradine and Prohaska terrorized the little people for the camera crew.

This particular gorilla suit was one of the worst of Prohaska's ape suits,with it's oversized dopey looking head, altho it was also used in Escape from the Planet of the Apes.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

O.K. Bull...Go and Get It !

( photo courtesy George E-gor Chastain)

Bull Montana.....A name that strikes awe in the most devoted of gorilla men !
Where other ape actors worked their primate wonders with elaborate costumes and
mechanized masks, Bull Montana played apes... without a mask !
In the 1920 film " Go and Get It" Bull plays a fierce ape man named Ferry.
Ferry it seems, was a poor gorilla who had a human brain transplanted into his hairy noggin by a mad scientist. (is there any other kind?)
To help Bull channel his inner ape, he was teamed with skilled make-up artists Cecil
Holland, and Charles Gemora.
Using materials of cotton, colodian, yak hair, and hand carved gorilla dentures, Holland skillfully transformed the hulking ex-boxer into a gruesome gorilla.
The great Charles Gemora had the task of  making Bull's fur suit, hand tying the hair a few strands at a time with a crochet needle, into a loose weave backing.

The beastly team were so successful in their efforts, that five years later, they teamed up again for
" The Lost World" 1925.
In the Lost World, Bull played an early ancestor of man, who terrorized the Challenger expedition.
Bull was filmed fairly close-up, drooling horrifically while peering from behind rocks.
This was a true testament to Cecil Holland and Charles Gemora's incredible artistry !

A very special thanks to our great friend, and fellow gorilla man fan, George Chastain for sending us the fantastic photo of Bull Montana in the Wids Daily Newspaper !

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 got a lot of splainin to do !


Lucille Ball tussles with Hungarian monkey man Janos Prohaska, on the set of "The Lucy Show".
This was Janos's white gorilla suit known affectionately as "Snowpuff".
Snowpuff, was also featured on Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea as a rampaging albino gorilla, and most famously,as the fierce "Mugato" on the classic Star Trek episode "A Private Little War."
The appearance on the Lucy show, got to show some of Janos Prohaskas comedy skills for a change of pace, and a considerably gentler side of "Snowpuff".

Friday, October 26, 2012

I'm seein' double !

Just in time for a little Halloween weirdness, is this delightful fellow from the "classic" film,
The Thing With Two Heads (1972) starring Ray Milland and big Rosie Grier.
Early in the movie, mad scientist Ray Milland, perfects his head transplantation technique on a
poor confused gorilla. The poor critter was created and played by a very young Rick Baker.

This was Ricks first outing in a film as a gorilla, albeit a very strange one.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Look out ! There's a...Gorilla at Large !!!

After several requests from members (thanks Mark and DonHo57) prompted a historical search of this humble blog, I came to find that one of the greats of gorilla movies had gone uncovered.
 Gorilla at Large is truly an important moment in simian cinema, and in 3-D yet !!!
The film is chock full of some of the great actors and character actors of the 50's,
including a VERY young, Lee Marvin as a cop who is a thorough imbecile.
Gorilla at Large (GAL) stars Raymond Burr, Cameron Mitchell, and a scorching hot Anne Bancroft.

The supporting cast features the great Lee J. Cobb, Charlotte Austin, and Warren Stevens.
The film takes place in a travelling carnival, featuring a trapeze act with Anne Bancroft
swinging over the enclosure of the savage gorilla Goliath ! ( George Barrows).
The carnival owner (Burr) plans to spice up the act by having her fall and be caught by Goliath...
Or so it would seem. Enter Cameron Mitchell as a carnival worker chosen to substitute for Goliath while the lights are dimmed during the show.
Of note here, is the gorilla costume worn by Mitchell was a rental costume manufactured by the famous Western Costume of Hollywood.
This rental suit was actually used as real gorillas in very low budget potboilers in the 40's and 50's,
but it looked painfully pathetic next to George Barrows amazing suit !
This was a long standing gag in Hollywood, to feature an actor who wears crappy gorilla suit,
to be mistaken for a real gorilla ( pro Gorilla Man !)
The obvious difference in quality between the suits helps to sell the idea that the pro Gorilla Man is indeed a real ( reel) gorilla. Many times this is used to comedic effect, but here it is used for high drama.
It seems that a slimy carnival worker who was blackmailing the owner ( Burr) winds up murdered in Goliaths cage.
At first it appears that Goliath may have killed the blackmailer, but police investigator Lee J. Cobb isn't convinced.
He looks toward Mitchell as a suspect due to the fact that, he dresses like a gorilla !  ( of course)
Suspicions then spread from person to person when subplots are introduced involving Burr, Bancroft, and Bancroft's hulking ex-husband, and Goliath's keeper Kovacs. ( Peter Whitney )
To further ad to the fun, Goliath escapes from his enclosure and begins rampaging through the carnival.
It wouldn't be a true gorilla man classic if the beastie didn't grab up a beautiful girl and go climb something, and GAL does not disappoint !
An interesting thing to look for,( and at times fairly obvious), is the use of a light weight rubber replica of Anne Bancroft for Barrows to lug around.
As a guy who wears a gorilla suit, I can tell you from experience, that being a gorilla man is brutally hard work ! My suit weighs a little over 45 lbs, but George's colossal suit weighed nearly 60 !
Just moving effectively with that amount of weight is hard enough, but you also are usually well over
100 degrees hot inside, and you can't really get adequate airflow in the mask.
Now after your nearly dead from just wearing the suit, you have to act...usually with a lot of action and energy. Now to finish you off, we need you to carry a 130lb woman and climb up a roller coaster with her in your arms. It sounds like the tortures of the damned, but it all in a days work for a gorilla man !
Back to the movie, George Barrows does carry the lovely Miss Bancroft around, as well as her rubber duplicate for the more dangerous scenes. What those scenes are, I won't tell as I don't want to spoil the fun.
Needless to say, Gorilla at Large is a really fun movie with fantastic 3-D effects !

 Awe come on lady...My back is killing me !

 You've got lo love the effects of gravity !

 Camron Mitchell attacks !

 Watch those paws Cameron !

 Does this big ape take care of the gorilla ?

 Holy crap ! Lee Marvin !

 A very cool scene in 3-D !!!

 Beware of gorillas in submarines !

Another great shot when seen in 3-D !!!
Here for you, my monkey minions, are a slew of screen caps I hand selected for you as well as some incredible promo shots from the collection of Bob Burns !
And when you get a chance , Be sure and watch Gorilla at Large ! and don't forget your 3-D glasses !

Sunday, September 9, 2012

King Kong VS......Laverne and Shirley ?!?!?

If you attended a public school in the US in the 70's, you will have no doubt seen
Dynamite !  magazine by Schoolastic Books.
I remember bringing home the order forms for the latest selection of books.
After the usual begging and promises of good behavior, my mom would always cave in
and give me the money to order the next great issue of Dynamite !
This particular issue featured the unlikely pairing of King Kong ( the Delaurentis version currently in theaters at the time) and Laverne and Shirley, (a top rated TV series at the time).
It makes no sense at all, but that was part of the coolness of Dynamite !

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kentucky Fried gorilla man !

Kentucky Fried Movie, is a crazed, zany, and raucous example of frat boy humor gone wild !
This exercise in lunacy is a collection of  adult oriented skits, like "Catholic Schoolgirls in trouble", and " A Fistful of Yen" strung together with snippets of madcap hi jinx, and fart jokes.
One such snippet is a running gag, featuring a news program with a guest from the local zoo.
One of the animals the zookeeper introduces is Dino, a mountain gorilla. ( Rick Baker)
It seems Dino, has been unsuccessful in the zoo's breeding program, and the discussion regresses into details of Dino's sex life.
The poor gorilla is suitably embarrassed by this, ( brilliantly acted by Baker),
and proceeds to express his dissatisfaction by destroying the TV studio.
Dino continues to pop up periodically throughout the movie, and always with hysterical results.
Kentucky Fried Movie, was directed by a young John Landis.
Landis was no stranger to the rigors of being a primate, after having played the ape man in "Schlock",
and also a background chimp in" Battle for the Planet of the Apes."
Landis befriended Baker during the Schlock production, as Rick created the Ape suit that Landis wore.
For Kentucky Fried Movie, Landis wrote in the gorilla role for Baker, as a way for Rick to get his comedic revenge at the poor treatment he had received while playing the title role in 1976's King Kong.
To accomplish this, it was decided to name Rick's gorilla character "Dino" after Kong producer Dino Delaurentis.
To ad to the insult , it was decided that Gorilla "Dino", despite his great size and strength, would be impotent. (hence the breeding problems.)
I do want to say that the suit Rick made for KFM is brilliant !
It's a great looking beast, and possessing a beautifully expressive face.
The mechanisms were a upgraded version of the classic gorilla framework.
The main factor in the expressiveness of this amazing ape, is the incredible display of body English by Rick Baker !
A true gorilla man, Rick used the teachings of his gorilla mentor (and mine) Bob Burns, to turn in an outstanding performance as a poor humiliated gorilla gone wild.
Ricks eye expressions, created a realism that has never been achieved with the newer styled gorilla suits with the animatronic eye movement.
So if you're looking for some nice, mindless, comedy gold, watch Kentucky Fried Movie !

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Ape man

The Ape Man....A true classic of Simian Cinema ! 
The Ape Man....A masterpiece of Monkey Movie Madness !
The Ape Man.... A crap !...It's got a gorilla in it !
If your the hard boiled gorilla man fans I know you are, then you've hopefully seen it !
If not...What are you waiting for ?!!
Be forewarned, my mad monkey minions, there are spoilers ahead !
So if you haven't seen the Ape Man yet, skip now to the bottom of the post and watch it...Go ahead..we'll wait. After you've watched it, read on , and well have a good laugh at it.

The plot; apparently for some reason, Dr. Jonathan Brewster (Lugosi) felt the need to inject himself
in the spine with the spinal fluid of a gorilla. Why you ask? Who the hell knows !
It's a damn well weird thing to do to yourself !
I would assume the fluid was taken from the gorilla Brewster keeps lock away in his basement laboratory. (Emil VanHorn )
The results of this bizarre experiment, are a bad case of poor posture, an Amish beard and a hairline that starts at his eyebrows. Dr. Brewster is so horrified by his ape-like appearance, that he hides out, making the world think he's dead.
Enter, Agatha Brewster ( Minerva Urecal), the nutty Doctors even nuttier sister. The old battle axe's arrival is tipped to a reporter by a loony halfwit tipster named Zippo,(Ralph Littlefield) that keeps popping in and out of the story periodically.
The reporters the goofball Zippo tips off , are none other than Jefferson B. Carter (Wallace Ford) and his cutie side kick photographer, Billie Mason.(Louise Currie)
In a quest to interview the loony old Brewster sister, they wind up at Dr. Brewster's creepy mansion. Before their arrival, old Agatha had gotten the shock of her life to find her brother she thought dead, to be very much alive...though more than a little messed up !
When the reporters arrive outside the old house, they hear the Docs gorilla raising hell, and decided to investigate.
Agatha, (not wanting to disclose her Brothers secret, covers for the noise by claiming it was a recording of ghost sounds from some old castle she was at. ( she's a medium, you see.)
As luck would have it , Billie Mason snaps a photo of the old bag for the article they are writing, just as the ape faced Bela pears through a window behind her.
He sneaks off, not being noticed, and the reporters leave...Very suspicious of the goings on in the old house.
Meanwhile Bela, decides the only chance he has to get cured is to inject human spinal fluid into his back.
The fact that it needs to taken from a live host, and it will kill them to extract it, is inconsequential.
So old Bela and his trained Hench gorilla set out to go on a murderous rampage in a macabre scavenger hunt to collect the fluid.
Bela's friend and fellow physician,Dr. George Randall, (Henry Hall) is approached to do the injections.
Horrified at how he intends to acquire the stuff, George refuses at first, but relents after Brewster has his gorilla kill his butler.
The shot does the trick and they all live happily ever after...NOT.
The cure only works for a short while, so off the hairy duo go to procure more of the secret sauce.
After several more killings, Bela figures he has enough to reverse the curse permanently.
Now all these hairy murders haven't gone unnoticed by the dynamic newspaper duo ,and after yet another tip from the Idiot Zippo, they follow the clues back to the Brewster mansion.
Can you guess what they discovered on the photo of the old hag Agatha, that Miss Mason took...You guessed it, old monkey face Bela himself! The cops have determined that the killing were done by an ape, because of the crushed bones in the victims, and here they find an ape staring at them in the photo. So after a few more words of wisdom from the moronic Zippo, off to the Brewster place the intrepid duo fly.
Meanwhile old George is brought out to the old house to do the honors with the injections.

In a fit of morality, George refuses his friends request and breaks the vial of the good stuff.
Bela doesn't take this lightly and kills him out of spite.
Before long, the girl reporter winds up captured by Brewster and sis, and Carter winds up face down on the floor with a vase busted over his head.

( a classic still, beautifully colorized by artist Mark Thompsen)

Meanwhile, back in the lab, old Brewster's pet gorilla takes a liking to the pretty Miss Mason.
Brewster menaces the poor girl, whilst Jeff Carter, having regained consciousness, is frantically trying to get into the lab with the cops.
Bela is closing in on the dame when she accidentally releases Magilla from his cage.
Not wanting to see his little girlfriend sullied by the Dr.'s grimy paws, the gorilla attacks old Bela, and proceeds to kill the crap out of him.
With Brewster pushing daisies, Magilla turns his affections toward Billie Mason who ain't to happy about that.
Just then Jeff Carter and the cops burst in with guns blazing and turn the poor monkey into hairy Swiss cheese.
As if on cue, the to reporters fall in love and all is happy....Even the idiot Zippo, who wrote the crazy thing.

Is The Ape Man a great movie ? I'd be a damned liar if I said yes.
But it is a fun movie...Wallace ford is likable as the wise cracking reporter, and Louise Currie ain't too hatefull to look at.
Bela is as over the top as I've ever seen him in any movie !
There is some nice atmosphere in a lot of the shots, and the story moves along at a pretty good pace.
.One thing that's funny is Minerva Urecal could pass for the Man from Planet X in drag. No kiddin...She looks just like him.
So on behalf of Emil VanHorn, enjoy the movie...and have a good laugh at the expense of...
The Ape Man !

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Ape 1940

The Spanish Herald mini poster promoting The Ape in Spain !

The Ape 1940 

I thought it might be nice to revisit one of the classics in simian cinema, Monogram Pictures, The Ape, starring Boris Karloff.
This is a really touching film..Boris Karloff stars as a lonely country doctor, who has lost his wife and daughter to polio.
Doctor Adrian ( Karloff), is on a  guilt ridden search to find the cure, the result of a broken heart at having lost those he loved to this vile disease.
A young girl in town, (Maris Wrixon) also suffers from the dread disease, and Doctor Adrian is
  damned and determined not to let the disease take another innocent life. the key to the cure, he hypothesise, is the introduction of human spinal fluid into the spine of the patient.

The only drawback is the spinal fluid must be extracted from a live donor.
As luck would have it, this causes the donor to die, thereby cutting down the list of potential volunteers.
In a series of fortunate events, a traveling circus happens into the little town the good doctor lives in.
One of the exhibits is a huge gorilla,( Ray Corrigan).
The poor beast is horribly abused by his trainer.
Then one evening, after viciously flogging the crap out of the poor gorilla, the A-hole trainer makes the mistake of getting to close to the vengeful behemoths cage.
Then the gorilla does a little flogging of his own. (YAY !) 
One dropped cigar later, and the circus is now on fire, with part of the cage burned through, the ape
escapes into the night
The circus folk find the mangled body of the trainer, still somehow alive !
The trainer is taken to old Doc Adrian (Karloff) to try to save him.
The monkey did a thorough job of whipping his ass so the trainer's well on his way to a dirt nap.
Old Doc figures since the guy's on the way out, a donation to the spinal fluid bank won't hurt him any way.(since to extract it is always fatal.)
After getting the secret sauce, old Doc injects the young girl he's trying to cure and sees a glimmer of hope in the treatment.
Meanwhile, as Doc's returning to his office, the mean old gorilla has come sniffing for the trainer's scent.
As luck would have it, the trainers blood stained jacket is still in the office and old Magilla can smell it !
It breaks through the window scaring the hell out of the Doc!
But rather than run away, the old Doc busts a bottle of chloroform over the enraged critters snot locker !
Then when the monkey was two sheets to the wind, Doc jumps the monkey with a knife and stabs the hairy intruder though the heart, from behind.
Then , in a moment of mad inspiration, he skins it, and makes a costume out of it, and set out to get as much spinal fluid as he needs to cure that poor girl.
I do want to point out, that for the most part, Doc was taking it from local scumbags.( who probably deserved it)
I also want to say, that Docs motives were to help the girl, and by virtue, mankind as a whole through finding the polio cure.
This is polar opposite to Lugosi (in the Ape Man) killing for spinal fluid to cure his own selfish butt! ( after having messed him self up in the first place !)
But, back to the Karloff flick.
The Ape costarred Ray "Crash" Corrigan as both the real gorilla, and Doc Adrian in disguise.

This was necessary as Kaloff could barely stand in the heavy costume, much less move in it.
Karloff wore the suit for one scene only, as a reveal of the culprit.
This film marked the last time Ray's original gorilla costume ( Bonga) was ever used, as it was falling apart.
When the gorilla is looking through the windows of Docs office,
you can see the monkeys teeth through horizontal rips in the upper lip.

You can also see a steel wire sticking out from the lower lip that was part of the mechanism to make the mouth move.
After the Ape, Crash retired the old suit, and had a new suit constructed, that was even more menacing.
But at any rate, I like this little film, because it truly shows old Boris giving a heck of a performance as the painfully conflicted Dr. having to kill, to save lives.

See it here my, Mighty Monkey Movie Minions !
Have fun ! Have popcorn !


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Beastly Bobble-Head !

Actress Greta Thyssen and her giant headed primate pal !
Sometimes you just gotta wonder....

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Littlest Gorilla Men

I have to admit to having a special place in my heart for those who have come to known as "little people".
I can't help but be fascinated,because I've had several relatives who fell into this particular category,
and if not for medical science, my youngest son would have also been small.
So when I saw the two gentlemen seen here, I was immediately intrigued, because they were little gorilla people.
The two fellows here, Tulsi (sans mask) and his twin brother Basant,( holding puppy) worked as clowns in the Great Famous Circus, in Calcutta India, seen here in 1989.
They are dressed in comedic gorilla attire for one of their performances.
That's a show I would have loved to have seen !

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Art Miles, in the funnies !

Gorilla great, Art Miles actualy received a little press for his gorilla efforts in a Sunday Funnies newspaper strip called  " Seein' Stars" by collumnist Feg Murray.              
The strip was the entertainment equivelant of the popular Ripley's Believe it or Not ! sindicated newspaper strip.
The artwork, was excelent, and captures Art Miles amazing gorilla in a pose patterned after
 one of the promo shots for the Ritz Brothers Classic, "The Gorilla ".

You can see Art, pitting his formidable gorilla skills against the Ritz Brothers here !

Friday, June 29, 2012

Watch a monkey movie for FREE !!!

Hey gorilla gang,
 Bongo here inviting you to watch me do my gorilla thing in "Nyoka the Jungle Girl Rides Again !".
You can see the movie in glorious black and white for a limited time at ;
Please feel free to leave comments about the film , and any criticism's are welcome too.
I think you'll like it, so grab some popcorn and a soda and enjoy !
Tell 'em Bongo sent ya !

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tokyo King Kong

Ya gotta love a city that has such a love for giant monsters, that this type of decoration is commonplace!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ingagi gets fired up !

One of the more odd bits of film promotion comes from the film INGAGI.
To spread the word, the theater owners had specially printed match books as give aways to attending audiences brave enough to see the ape-ic film INGAGI !
Matches were a sure bet as the film was geared towards an adult audience, with nudity, and implications of simian bestiality. The film was shot in a documentary style, and the producers originally tried to pass off legendary gorilla man Charles Gemora as a genuine gorilla.
But the problem was that the gorilla happened to have a bad habit of dragging naked native women into the jungle and ravaging them.
As a result of the uproar due to the subject matter, the producers were forced to disclose that it was indeed, a work of fiction, and that the gorilla was actually a man in a suit.

 The matches vividly illustrate the basic premise of the film, with beautiful comic style artwork, complete with topless native girl.
This is a great collectible for this nearly lost film.
I say nearly lost because I believe there are only two prints of INGAGI known to exist.

We were alerted to these fantastic pics by the great, George" E-Gor" Chastain!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Perilous Primate Hijinx !

One of the goofiest gorilla gags in films I've seen in a long while, was in the classic  spoof "Perils of Pauline" 1967.
The set up is the classic "confusing a real gorilla for a guy in a suit".
The confusion is only the beginning, the ensuing chase that follows is completely nuts !
Rather than try to describe this lunacy, you can see it right here, all cued up and ready to go.
The gorilla action starts a minute or to into the clip and runs to the end. You can watch the entire movie if you are so inclined by clicking the various chapter tabs in order .

The guy in the "fake" monkey suit is veteran British comic actor Terry Thomas.
The "director" is played by character actor Vito Scottie.
As for the "Real" gorilla ? here's a few points of interest;
The costume was made by the famous Don Post Studios, makers of the greatest masks ever !
The head of this furry fellow was sculpted by the incredible Marcel Delgado .
If his name doesn't ring a bell, Marcel is the artist who sculpted and fabricated the 1933 King Kong stop motion puppets !
To say Mr. Delgado knows apes in an understatement.
Here is were it gets a little weird....originally, the ape in Perils of Pauline was to be a white gorilla.
As bad luck would have it, it was decided after the suit was finished that they changed their mind and would rather it were a traditional dark gorilla.....The next morning !
 Here is the tale as printed in the pages of Famous Monsters of Filmland.
The sculpted gorilla truly is an amazing piece. It was later reproduced in latex rubber and sold by Don Post studios as part of their catalog.
The Delgado gorilla as it's come to be called was used for studio rental suits and appeared in this famous pose with the stunning Raquel Welch as Blonde Venus !