Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Castle Films Presents....White Gorilla !

Hey Gang !
What a treat we have in store for you this time !
My good friend Craig Scott Lamb has taken the have been classic White Gorilla , and turned it into a TRUE classic in the finest tradition of Castle Films !

What are Castle Films you say ? Well back in the dark ages before we had Internet streaming, DVD'S or even VHS videos, the only option to own your favorite movies was to buy it on actual film and put it on a projector...just like at the theater !
The place to get them was Castle Films !
Castle Films were shorter, digest versions of your favorite films, featuring all the great Universal Monsters, travel films, comedies, adventures, and every other genre imaginable !
Castle's could be ordered from many magazines back then including the legendary, Famous Monsters of Filmland !

Craig meticulously crafted the notoriously laborious White Gorilla ( starring iconic gorilla man Crash Corrigan as an ape, and himself ! ) into an exciting, faster paced adventure yarn from the classic  days of cinema !

And the best part of all ??? Craig owns Castle Films, so yes, this is a REAL live Castle Film for the modern day !

So without further ado, We now present....White Gorilla !

Now, pop up some popcorn...grab a soda, and enjoy White Gorilla !

Speaking of Crash Corrigan...Craig is in pre-production on and amazing biopic about the amazing life of Crash Corrigan, called appropriately enough...CRASH !!!!

Keep checking in here my fellow ape fans, as we'll have incredible coverage on Crash from the creators themselves including several gorilla men you know !

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Have Yourself a Very Hairy Apemas !

Hiya Gorilla Gang !
From your friends here at HGM , we would like to wish you all the very happiest holidays ever !

And nothing puts us in the holiday spirit like our old friend Tracy the Gorilla in a Santy Claws hat !

Here Tracy (as trained by our good buddy and big gorilla brother Bob Burns ) wishes you Hairy Apemas with the help of legendary Hollywood Sculptor Chris Mueller !
For those who don't know, Chris sculpted the original Creature from the black Lagoon, and the giant squid from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea !

So on behalf of myself ( Bongo), Gorilla Man, and Bob Burns..... Happy Holidays !

Photo courtesy of Bob Burns

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Maddening Monkey Mystery....SOLVED !!!...Meet Jack Leonard !

Hiya gang !,
If there's on thing I love, it's solving a mystery !
Especially if the mystery is finding the identities of those hard working guys who toiled long hours in impossibly hot and heavy gorilla suits....and never got credit !!!
For over 6 years we've searched far and wide trying to find the secret Identity of THIS gorilla !

This fellow has appeared in Terry and the Pirates (1940 ) Mickey's Ape Man (1933) and  Tim Tyler's Luck (1937 )
This had not only stumped Gorilla man and myself but also the grand master of gorilla history, Bob Burns.

Thanks to (Charles Gemora) historian Jason Barnett... we have the answer ! While doing research for his upcoming  documentary about Charlie, (more to come on that !) Jason came across this article :

After a quick check into it, Jason also produced this photo :

Here Jack Leonard grapples with big Tom Tyler in "The Jungle Mystery" (1932 )

With that bit of concrete information on Jack Leonard, the members of our sister site on Facebook, Ape Suit Cinema went into action...and the info started growing. As we would compile it, we would find even more clues along the way
 As you can see, Jack Leonard's gorilla was the focal point of at least one chapter of The Jungle Mystery.

You can really see the beautiful hair work on Leonard's suit in this shot ! The proportions are fantastic as well.
Photo courtesy Craig Scott Lamb/ASC

Leonard had a second, more comical head he used with the same body later in his gorilla career.
This head was seen most prominently in Terry and the Pirates 1940.
For Terry, the ears were made more  pronounced by trimming the fur on the head shorter.
As goofy as it was, it did look kind of fun to me.

Leonard's role in Terry was huge by gorilla standards and came very close in screen time to Emil Van Horn's hefty role as "Satan" in Peril's of Nyoka .

Leonard had teamed up with the great Charles Gemora three years earlier in Tim Tyler's Luck (1937) as two rampaging gorillas locked in deadly combat !

Jack Leonard (left) Vs Charles Gemora !
Note the very distinct differences in faces. 

Jack Leonard...another lost gorilla man found !

A very special thanks to Bob Burns, Jason Barnett, Craig Scott Lamb, Chris Walas, and George Chastain, for their invaluable help solving this Monkey Man Mystery !

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Hey! Let me out of here !

Poor George Barrows just can't seem to get along with Hillbillies. ..Beverly or otherwise  !
Here's a great lobby card from the classic,  Hillbillies in a Haunted House !

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Monster Gorilla stalks the Amazon.....

Hiya gorilla gang,
Something very cool is happening right now for the crew behind Monster Gorilla !
Monster Gorilla is now on sale at !
The super fun tribute to the old gorilla movies of the past, with  a modern heroine played by the beautiful Heather Brinkley !
I won't repeat the details of the film,  since you can just look back a few posts and you can see the details for yourself .
Amazon will make it much easier to get a hold of a copy of your own on DVD !

As an added bonus, Just let us know when ordering, and we can autograph it to you if you want !
Wow ! How cool is that!

Get yours now !.....and tell 'em Bongo sent you !

Friday, August 15, 2014

Was this the first Hollywood Gorilla Man ???

Hey there true believers ! How much excitement are you looking for ?!?!
I just had to borrow Stan Lee's line because it seems so perfect for this great discovery !
My dear friend and brother in arms, Craig Scott Lamb ( the creator of our Facebook sister site Ape Suit Cinema) has gone above and beyond in this exciting discovery !
While researching an exciting new movie project about a gorilla man we know and love (more on this later)
Craig stumbled across this incredible bit of history !
The 20 chapter serial " the Perils of Pauline" (1914) featured this early gorilla suit.
Unfortunately the full 20 chapter version is lost to the ages and we are left with the shorter 9 chapter version.
As bad luck would have it the gorilla does not appear in the shorter version...
All that is left are these few amazing photos, and damned fine ones they are !
With a date of 1914, we can't find any instances of an earlier ape suit in a motion picture....ever!
So it looks like Craig found the one...the only...First ever Hollywood Gorilla Man!

This is truly an amazing find !
Our HGM master gorilla suit builder Chris Walas pointed out that the eye opening for this suit was a single opening rather than two individual eye holes.
Another more famous instance of this configuration was Emil VanHorn's  suit !
 It a damned shame that this gorilla footage was lost with the longer cut of the serial.
Had it survived it would be a great addition to our collection of Simian Cinema !

The Perils of Pauline (1914) was produced by the Electric Film Company and distributed by  Pathe.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Monster Gorilla Unleashed !

It's finally here and ready to purchase, my fellow Monkey Movie Maniacs !
Monster Gorilla is a delightfully fun tribute to most of our favorites in classic simian cinema.
You'll see nods to such classics as The Ape Man with Bela Lugosi, Bride of the Gorilla, Nabonga, and White Pongo ! There are literally dozens of scenes inspired by these and many more of your favorites !

Monster gorilla came about as a short film contest sponsored by our Facebook sister site Ape Suit Cinema.
Craig Scott Lamb, the administrator of ASC asked for submissions to enter, with the winner to be shown at the Ape Suit Cinema sponsored Jungle-Con !
Monster Gorilla won the contest, and will be featured in the program!

Monster Gorilla stars the stunning Heather Brinkley as a ship wrecked Damsel, washed ashore on a mysterious island...and evil island.
The island is inhabited by the maddest of mad scientists, the deranged Doctor Vornoff, played with scenery chewing brilliance by Bill Fredericks.
Bill channels the very essence of Bela Lugosi at his hammiest !
The hapless Heather falls into Vornoff's evil clutches and prepared for an evil experiment...Vornoff actually plans to ....NOPE !!!! I'm not gonna tell ya !
What I will tell you is that in Monster gorilla you WILL see:
Incredible island locations!
A gorgeous girl running for her life !
Mad science gone wild !
Awe inspiring transformations !
And the most vicious gorilla battle ever captured on film!!!!

This throw-down makes the gorilla fights in White Gorilla and White Pongo look like a thumb wrestling match in comparison !

Monster Gorilla was written by your humble simian servant Bongo under my human guise of Chris Casteel.
Monster Gorilla was produced and directed by the incomparable Bill Black !
 Monster Gorilla also stars Scott Mena, and on the all important gorilla front Chris Casteel, and new gorilla sensation, (and my daughter) Kelley Young !!!!
A real live gorilla girl ...Though Kelley plays a male gorilla here with all the ferociousness of Crash Corrigan !

The disc includes :
The Monster Gorilla trailer
The 30 minute version of Monster Gorilla in living color OR glorious Black and White !!!!
The 20 minute black and white "contest cut"
Behind the scenes production photos
Footage taken from SyFy Saturdays Bartow , which hosted the world premier of Monster Gorilla in front of a live audience, and guest appearances by Heather and Bongo !

And saving the SUPER BONUS for last....A collection of some of the finest photos of classic gorilla men ever assembled ! These come from the collection of Bob Burns,  the expansive Hollywood Gorilla Men Archives, and the gorilla historians at Ape Suit Cinema !

Where can I get this amazing DVD you ask ?
Right here ! Just click the EBAY link to order yours today !

And...tell 'em Bongo sent ya !

Have a sneak peak here !

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Grooming your gorilla with George Barrows !

Hiya my manic monkey man minions !
Another behinds the scenes treat for all us George Barrows fans !
This one comes from  my big gorilla brother Bob Burns. Bob was thrilled to see the last post about old George and he immediately let me know that George had given him something similar to the diagrams last time.
So, if you you're ready for more, (and I know you are !) this is how George put ALL that hair on his incredible suit !
You've probably heard us refer to "hand tied, or ventilated hair" before, and this is how to do it Barrows style !

Old Bob also included a great behind the scenes shot of George getting suited up.

So through the generosity of Bob Burns, enjoy everyone !

Thursday, May 1, 2014

George Barrows' Mechanical Monkey Marvel !!!

Hiya gorilla gang !
Hot on the
tail of  our study of Crash Corrigan's mechanical armature from White Pongo, we get another really cool one for ya !
George Barrows was one of the most identifiable gorilla faces ever.
A giant hulking beast, with a very distinctive sagital crest (pointy head, for the uninitiated )
And gigantic, quasi comical mouth.

George was very prolific in the 50's, 60's, and 70's and was featured in a ton of TV productions.
George had feature parts in shows like "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.", " The Beverly Hillbilly's" and perhaps his most beloved role, as Gorgo the gorilla in the classic comedy "the Addams Family" !

Barrows' also had a fantastic movie career as well, co-starring in Classics like "Ghost in the Invisible Bikini", Hillbilly's in a Haunted House " The black Zoo" and my favorite, "Gorilla at Large "!

George donned a space helmet, instead of his gorilla noggin to star in the notorious "Robot Monster "!
There is however one movie that is credited to George Barrows that he never appeared in, and that would be  "Konga".
Rather than playing the title role himself, he was talked into renting his phenomenal suit to to the British production and shipped his suit to England. When the suit arrived back in the States, George was devastated !
The English stuntman that wore the suit, nearly destroyed it. He had cut holes in the hand tied fur suit, to add ventilation, and had broken the mechanism that drew back the lips into a fierce snarl.
Needless to say, after the suit was repaired, the suit was never rented again.

Now enter a young lad from the bayou state of Louisiana.
Young George Phillips developed a fondness for the work of Mr. Barrows that grew into full on fandom. Barrows became a hero to young George Phillips, and the younger George took an interest in becoming a mighty gorilla man, like his idol.
Being a resourceful youngster , George got a hold of Barrows address and decided to write him a letter, asking the older George how to go about making a gorilla suit like the one Mr. Barrows wore.
With the highest of hopes, into the mail it went. Now this was way back when communication of this sort comprised of taking a pencil, and actually writing your thoughts down on paper.
Unlike the lighting fast advent of email,  the mail at the time could take days, to  even weeks till you would get a response.
Then there was also the added worry, that maybe a busy Hollywood type would find no time for a letter from a kid.
After waiting for a seeming eternity, a letter finally arrived in young George Phillips' mailbox.
Expecting a short note of some sort, young George was delighted beyond words, to find that the elder George have not only responded, but had taken the time to meticulously spell out each and every step of the process for creating a gorilla suit like his own. Not only were the steps, discussed in detail, but Mr. Barrows had taken the time to fully diagram many of the steps with hand drawn illustrations !

George Phillips is a friend of mine through the Ape Suit Cinema board on Facebook, and I very much value that friendship.
George was very generous is providing hi resolution scans of George Barrows actual letters sent to him as a young man, and we now present them here.
A huge thanks to my friend George Phillips for his generosity !

                                                  Thank you so much once again George !

               But that's not all !

As an added bonus, my dear friend, the legendary Bob Burns has delved into his incredible archives of  photos and come up with 2 fantastic photos of the workshop where George Barrows created his amazing suit !...How cool is that !

This is George Barrrows' suit as it appears today.
These photos were taken by Tom Woodruff Jr. and Bob Burns at the Los Angeles Museum of Science.
Barrows donated the suit to the museum at the time of his passing.

There ya have it kids, the official in and outs of the creation of one of the greatest gorillas in movie history !

Friday, April 25, 2014

My poor aching skull !

Hiya gang,
How would you like to take a look inside a Hollywood Gorilla ?
Feast your eyes on the skeletal remains of one of our favorites....White Pongo !

Looking every bit like a medieval torture device, this steel, wood, ivory and leather monstrosity was the base for the sculpted leather visage of Pongo himself !

The mechanism here was genius. All self contained and operated by the wearer.
The two large bent metal rods that circle the teeth, are the lift bars to raise the lips into a vicious snarl.

 These bars have a hinge joint at the back that allow the lift bars to move up and down when the rearmost part of the rods are pulled by the opposite jaw. The upper jaw moves the lower lip, and the lower jaw moves the upper lip. All this action happens smoothly simply by the wearer opening his own mouth !

Directly above the upper gums, you'll see two oddly bent wires. These are the nostril dilators.notice that the rear part of the wires are soldered to small, flat, pieces of steel.  When the wearer smiles broadly, his cheeks press outward on these dilators. This causes the two ends to move away from each other. When attached to the nostrils of the ape face, this causes the nostrils to open wider as if he is sniffing something.

Of interest is the remains of the tongue. It is made of soft leather, with the rough side out, then stuffed with padding. Then it is painted and lacquered to make it look shiny and wet.

There ya have it, it's easy to see why old Pongo is so grumpy !
If you had that thing on your head, you'd be grumpy too !

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Veddette Iris Chacon.... To Hot to Handle !

Hiya Gorilla Gang !

There is nothing quite as nice as a good friend who surprises you with something super cool !
Well this time the surprise is far from cool...In fact it's incredibly hot !

My stunningly beautiful mermaid friend, Medusirena saw this photo and immediately thought of her old pal Bongo !

This incredible photo features the unbelievably sexy Latina singer, Veddette Iris Chacon !

Iris's back-up dancers  are a group of randy monkey men, all intent on carrying the Puerto Rican sexpot off as gorilla's tend to do when they find a beautiful girl within grabbing distance !
The sharp eyed readers of this humble blog will recognize the monkey masks the dancers wear as the Don Post Studios "Hollywood Gorilla ".

Watch this video and see for yourself, why these poor gorilla would risk third degree burns trying to make of with the scorching hot Iris !

And once again, a very special thanks for this incredible photo sent to me by my lovely mermaid
 friend, MeduSirena Marina !