Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hairy Horrorthon Halloween Countdown! #5 ..... Microspook !


BOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Look out for.....

Microspook !

  The hairy and horrible countdown continues with the hysterically dreaded film known only as ...Microspook!
This film is tailor made for Halloween...Haunted Houses, masked maniac with a pet killer goriller...and more horrifying than that..Emil Sitka in a goofball low rent gorilla suit getting confused for the real thing! You can't ask for a tricky treat better than that !
   Microspook (1949) is in the same vein as the classic " Old Dark House" comedies, made very popular in the 30's and 40's. This is actually my favorite type of gorilla movie, more so than the straight up jungle adventures. They just seem a lot more fun to me!
   Microspook stars veteran radio comedian Harry Von Zell, ( Of Burns and Allen fame),Christine McIntyre, and Emil Sitka.

Von Zell, made a name for himself playing a practical joke addicted goofball radio announcer.
In Microspook, Harry's co-workers are so fed up with his antics that they talk one of Harry's sponsors into wanting Harry to do a live broadcast from an authentic haunted house.

His co-workers later sneak into the house intent on scaring the heck out of Harry with an ape suit worn by the great Emil Sitka. ( Sitka was a staple in the Three Stooges shorts, and considered by Moe Howard to be the fourth Stooge)
Needless to say, things don't turn out quite as expected as the house is already inhabited by a killer gorilla ( Ray Corrigan) and his eccentric keeper.

One of the classic gags in gorilla movies is the old " real gorilla is mistaken for a fake gorilla gag".
To pull this off properly, you need the "fake Gorilla" to a fairly low quality suit.
Well, in Microspook, the producers spared no expense in procuring the worst looking gorilla suit on the planet, from the Columbia wardrobe department.
The suit literally is made of fur and gaffers tape and in some stills, it really shows !

Hollywood Gorilla Man Emil Sitka (Yes, you heard that right!) throws a fright into the lovely Christine McIntyre. On top of this comedic gorilla, Emil also played gorillas in other films, (including Jungle Jim and the Lost Tribe) sometimes wearing the gorilla suits of the great Charles Gemora !

Emil and Christine plot to scare the hell, out of Harry Von Zell !

Word to the not so wise...don't a gorilla suit...

The Mighty Sitka stalks the halls of the haunted house !
What a great profile this suit has ! It's like something from a Don Martin cartoon !
Sitka meets the even Mightier Ray Corrigan !
Emil Sitka and Christine McIntyre ring Harry Von Zell's chime !
( photo from the collection of Bob Burns)

The weird thing is that I really like that goofy suit !
It has that same quirky charm as a tie made of construction paper and macaroni noodles that small children would make for their dad on fathers day.
The badness of Emil's suit shines like a spotlight when put next to Ray Corrigans awesome suit,
and makes old Crash's suit all the more real.

This leads to mass hilarity that I can only imagine since I haven't seen Microspook yet !
We can get an idea of what it is like through a wonderful article and photos on a website devoted to Emil Sitka , created by his son, Saxon Emil Sitka.


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