Saturday, December 28, 2013

Steve Neill...Make-Up... Models... and Monkey Man !

Hi my mad monkey minions !
This time, we look into the simian career of a special effects master Steve Neill.
Steve is one of Hollywood's most diverse talents !
Steve has a huge resume under his belt as a make-up effects artist, and creature effects artist for such
films as Star Trek VI, The Undiscovered Country..Puppet Master, Return of the Swamp Thing,Battle Beyond the Stars, and the movie Ghost Busters.
 Steve is a renaissance man of sorts, mastering the  the effects fields of Make-up, Visual Effects, practical effects, Miniatures, and a list of accomplishments, that could easily be a website unto itself.

Steve has also become one of the leading builders of radio controlled movie quality models and miniatures. He has built models, ranging from Star Trek to Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea !
His services are sought after the world over!

What about the gorilla stuff, you ask ?
OK, I'll tell ya !
Early in his make-up career, like most creature guys, Steve took an interest in gorillas. Steve built his first suit while working as a sculptor for the legendary Don Post studios, of Hollywood.
Steve, built his suit along side his friends, David Ayres, and Paul Gentry. ( More to come on David Ayres!)

Steve's first suit was excellent, but a mere foreshadowing of what was yet to come.
After Post, Steve became good friends with master make-up artist, and modern day gorilla God, Rick Baker.
Rick was instrumental in getting Steve's early career off to a phenomenal start!
His friendship with Rick was also a learning experience for Steve. Rick taught Steve a great deal in terms of techniques , and mechanics of advanced make-up and creature effects.
 Steve took the teachings of Rick to heart in regards to gorilla suit building.

Steve went on to build an amazing suit that he used professionally on many occasions. The most notable,would be the King Kong commercial for Transamerica Insurance Co.

There were two versions of the commercial, differing only in a lengthier destructive intro.

 The primary theme was Kong (Neill) climbing the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco California.
In this commercial for Transamerica Insurance, King Kong is shown on a destructive rampage through a big city. Eventually he scales the walls of a skyscraper and knocks over some potted plants on a penthouse terrace while swatting at several attacking helicopters. An indignant tenant appears and wants to know "who's gonna pay for this mess?" Slogan (supered): "Transamerica. The power of the pyramid is working for you."
Working with, and supporting Steve in his Kong outing, was his beloved, late wife Gilly.
Gilly puppeteered Kong's face, in his rampage.

Re-Christening his ape alter ego "Carlo" , Steve also got to go ape along side master gorilla men Bob Burns, and Dale Park in an episode of the TV series, Rags to Riches.
Here Steve and Bob, share a snack.
Speaking of Dale Park, I found out from Steve, that He made the face of Dales Suit ! The face came from the same molds as Steve's first suit he built.
Bob and Steve have been friends for many years, and have worked together on many projects.
When Steve created the Mac Tonight character for McDonald's, (man in the moon playing piano)Steve, Bob, and Gilly puppeteered the face for Mac.
 Mac was played by renowned creature actor. Doug Jones. (Abe Sapien from Hell Boy, and The Silver Surfer from the Fantastic Four)
Steve has a daily vlog on YouTube, called Steve Neill's Garage.( SNG )
It's a fascinating look at Steve's fantastic world!

Check out Steves creations, you'll be glad you did !...Oh, and look out for Rosie the Wonder Dog !

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Merry Christmas from...The Monster Gorilla !

We at Hollywood Gorilla Men , and the cast of the soon to be released homage to classic gorilla films, Monster Gorilla want to wish all our readers a very Happy Holiday Season !

Here the beautiful star of Monster Gorilla, Heather Brinkley, tells the old beastie himself what she wants for Christmas !

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dale Park !...Video Game Gorilla Man !

Hiya Gorilla Gang !

This time we're going to talk about a gorilla man you probably haven't heard of, but have probably seen before...assuming you were around in the70's and 80's that is.

Dale Park,!!  
Dale was primarily an actor stuntman in Hollywood who was originally from Decatur Illinois.
As a young man, Dale was an athlete, which no doubt helped in his stunt career.
Along the way he got the gorilla bug and had a custom suit constructed to his specifications.

Dale's suit was very unique in design, as the head and neck were tapered into the body.
This gave the suit a nice thick neck that looked very realistic, but it sacrificed any flexibility of the head.  Dales suit also was an early attempt so show the varying fur lengths of the real animal. The arms and shoulders were very long fur, while the body fur was about an inch long. While this was accurate to a real gorilla, it didn't always come off so well on camera , but overall I thought it was a pretty cool looking suit.
Dale did a fair amount of appearances as "Grunt" the Gorilla in commercials and television.
He also played apes in two movies, " Mistress of the Apes " ( 1979 ) , and also " Mr. Too Little" (1978 ).
 In the movie "Fire And Ice" (1983) Dale played a Subhuman.
His Television appearances include the Educational Television program, "Mathnet" ( A mathematical take off of Dragnet). Dale appeared as Grunt the Gorilla in the episode : "The Problem of the Missing Monkey" (1987)
In the TV sitcom "Rags to Riches", Dale got to be one of 3 gorillas in an episode. Dale teamed with Legendary Gorilla Man Bob Burns, and Gorilla man, special effects genius Steve Neill.
                           Steve Neill, Dale Park, and Bob Burns on the set of Rags to riches.
Bob, Steve, and Dale taking a breather between takes.
Cooling down !
Spoiled rich kids, about to get a gorilla dunking !

 Here are Bob's thoughts about Dale Park ;

[ Dale was a great stunt man. After his gorilla suit days he worked for Roy Rogers at his museum. He played Gabby hayes for the people who came through the place.
 When the museum closed Dale kept playing Gabby and continued that role or at least the last time I saw him in the photo below. Republic studios celebrated their 75th anniversary in 2010. I hadn't seen Dale in years and all of a sudden behind me I heard a voice that sounded Like Gabby Hayes say "How you doin Bobby".
 It was Dale looking very much like Gabby. It was so great to see him. He is one of the nice guys in the business. ]

[ The above photo is Dale in his gorilla suit. I don't know who made it 
for him. It's not the best gorilla suit but he put a lot of body 
English into it. He used to know Ray Corrigan so I'm sure that he got 
a few pointers from him.
I hope this puts some light on another gorilla man.]

Now you may be asking why I called this the Video Game gorilla ?
In the 80's Dale was the mascot for the Parker Brothers video game, AMIDAR.
Dale appeared both in print ads, and a national TV commercial.
This is where I first saw Dale's gorilla, and I made a vow to find out who this guy was.
Here are screen caps from the commercial..

And this is the commercial itself...Take note of Dale's body English, especially his loping run at the begining, he was a master !
I 'm glad I was able to find out who Dale was, and a little about him. Like all Gorilla men, each and everyone one of them, deserve a place in the spotlight !

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Mighty Monkey Man Bananer Banner !...This month...Angus Lamont !

Hiya gang,
You'll notice a new look for the HGM banner above ! Gorillaman and I are inviting you, our readers to submit your own HGM banner designs!  This months great design is from a young member of both our HGM and Ape Suit Cinema (Facebook) Sites .
Direct from beautiful Scotland...I give you the artful work of Angus Lamont !

If you would like to contribute a design, you can email it to ;

Bring em' on gang, we're looking forward to seeing them !

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Hairy Horrorthon Halloween Countdown! ....Bongo's # 1... The Gorilla 1939!

This is it folks!
Old Bongo's favorite Halloween Monkey Movie !...The Gorilla !

The Gorilla stars the wacky, zany, goofy, and sometimes funny Ritz Brothers !
The Ritz's are an acquired taste, and some people can't stand them, but I think their brand of low brow humor is funny as hell !

The Ritz's are like an impossible combination of the Three Stooges, and Abbott and short...completely nuts !
 The supporting cast really puts this film over the top for me though.
The cast features Bela Lugosi ! Lionell Atwill ! The hysterically funny Patsy Kelly!
 The stunningly beautiful Anita Louise, And The dashing Edward Norris!

Another cast member who is no stranger to gorillas is Joseph Calleia. Two years after "The Gorilla", Calleia would go on to co-star in the classic Monster and the Girl !
The story is a classic : A terrible murderer is prowling the city...the only clue to his identity ? A note !
On that note, is the threat of death to the victim, and the cryptic signature...The Gorilla !

Our story unfolds in the mansion home of  Walter Stevens. (Lionel Atwill)
The house maid Kitty (the hysterically funny Patsy Kelly !) is relaxing in her upstairs room when A huge gorilla arm reaches in through the window and pins a note to her shoulder.
 A quick shrieking dash downstairs alerts Stevens and his faithful butler, Peters. (Bela Lugosi).

After retrieving the note from the terrified Kitty, Stevens sees that he is to be the next victim of the gorilla.
Rather than call the police, Stevens hires three bumbling detectives ; Harrigan, Mulligan, and Garrity. ( Al, Harry, and Jimmy Ritz)

With the detectives to protect him, Stevens is assured of his safety...or is he?
About then, Stevens' beautiful niece (Anita Louise) shows up with her Fiance.(Edward Norris).

What follows is a tour de farce of sliding panels, secret passages, disappearing detectives, and if that isn't enough, a real gorilla lurking around the house ! The gorilla in "The Gorilla" is expertly played by ace gorilla man Art Miles.


Art's suit was one of the best in it's time, with an incredibly detailed face, beautiful fur quality, and fantastic proportions. The face was well articulated with moving mouth, lips, and nostrils!

Like Corrigans gorilla, Art's had an incredibly wild head of hair ! (think Don King)
The proportions of the suit are excellent, a really massive beast !
The story is for the most part fast moving and really funny. The scenes with Atwill and Lugosi are very memorable and a great showcase for their talents, Lugosi in particular !

Lugosi's Peters the butler is a great character, very eerie, bordering at times at self parody. You get to see Bela step outside the norm, and pull off some great gags like judo flipping Al Ritz flat on his back !

I know it's goofy...I know it's silly...But it's my absolute favorite treat for this very tricky Halloween countdown !
On behalf of Gorilla Man, and myself, Mighty Bongo...We wish you all a very Happy and Ape-y Halloween !

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hairy Horrorthon Halloween Countdown!...# 2...The Ape Man !!

Here it is kids, the second to the last Hairy Halloween classic !
This is perfect film for the holiday that cellebrates the weird, the creepy, and the spooky !
Is it a werewolf ? No, even worse !

This time it's.......

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.

A British lobby card, with it's English title, Lock Your Doors...The Ape Man made more sense I think.

                                                         Probably not the best idea Bela !
told ya !

So on behalf of Emil VanHorn, enjoy the movie...and have a good laugh at the expense of...
The Ape Man !

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hairy Horrorthon Halloween Countdown! # 3 ...The Monster and the girl !...1941

Trick or Treat ! Hiya folks ! This installment of our Hairy Horrorthon Halloween Countdown is most definitely a treat ! What better treat than a little Mad Science ? Well friends, it doesn't get any madder than the science in The Monster and the Girl !

Monster and the girl is a bit of a hidden gem in the Universal vaults, as it was far out shined by the classic monsters in Universals stable.
For every Frankenstein, Dracula And Wolfman, Universal had lesser titles like Murders in the Rue Morgue, Man Made Monster, and Monster and the Girl.
The production values of Monster and the Girl are excellent. The cast is exceptional and includes the likes of genre veterans Paul Lucas, Joseph Calleia, Onslow Stevens, Marc Lawrence, Gerald Mohr, and the maddest of scientists, George Zucco !
The Story is very dark in subject matter, dealing with seedy underworld doings, false imprisonment, and a woman being forced into prostitution. As much of a downer as this is, it is important to the set up of the plot.
You see, The evil gangster boss, W.S.Bruhl ( Paul Lucas) has framed Scot Webster (Phillip Terry) for a murder he didn't commit.
A few well placed bribes later, and poor Scot is found guilty as charged.
With his execution looming closer, Scot is approached by the seemingly kindly Dr. Parry. (George Zucco) Parry makes a deal with Scot to remove his brain after the execution for science....Mad Science !
Back in the lab, the good doctor has a monstrous gorilla !(Charles Gemora)
Old Doc Parry comes home, Jar in hand and dumps poor Scot's brain into the newly emptied gorilla noggin.
While all this is going on, Scot's Sister Susan is drugged and duped into the seedy world of prostitution by W.S.Bruhl and his twisted slime-bag confederates.
 After a fashion, word starts to get around about Bruhl's doings and it gets back to Gorilla Scot.

Being not just an average monkey, Scot escapes his cage and begins a vengeful game of cat and mouse with Bruhl's goons.
One by one, the thugs meet a gruesome demise by having every bone in their bodies broken.
The press dubs the mysterious killer "The Mangler", and after another on of Bruhl's men winds up the same way, they start getting a little panicky. There is a brilliant scene with Marc Lawrence having a full blown panic attack, "I don't wanna get mangled !I don't wanna get mangled !"...I won't spoil any more for you, as I hope this really wet your Apetite to see it!

Now for the good stuff !
The gorilla in this movie, is widely thought by gorilla man, and ape suit fans, to be the best gorilla suit ever put on film up to that time. I'll go it one better, by telling without doubt, that it was the best suit, up until Rick Baker hit his stride in the 70's ! It's that good !
It was created by the great Charles Gemora, using reference photos and studies of real gorillas.
 The suit was revolutionary, in the fact that Gemora incorporated bags of water under the skin to give realistic sway and heft to the gorilla as he moved...And what movement ! Charlie was beyond a doubt the best at acting like a real gorilla. Every movement exactly mirrors the movements of the real animal. No monster performance here, Charlie went for realism and it shows ! The lighting and atmosphere in Monster and the Girl is top notch, with narrow glints of light catching the gorilla from dynamic angles giving a surreal effect to the ape. The close-ups of Charlie's magnificent gorilla are perfect, and don't come off as "mask-y" at all...It looks real !

This is a super rare behind the scenes shot of Charlie taken during filming. Pretty damned cool !

So give Monster and the girl a spin and see for yourself why this is the best ape ever !
Hows this for a Tricky Treat !