Horror Classics 6: The Gorilla/Nabonga 1999 Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
This is another worthwhile release in the Roan Archival series. The A picture is a nice clean print of 20th Century Fox’s The Gorilla (1939), an “old dark house” farce featuring the Ritz Brothers. There are some nice directorial touches by Allan Dwan and good performances from a solid cast that includes Bela Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, Joseph Calleia and Patsy Kelly. How much you enjoy it will depend on how you respond to the Ritz’s, a slightly higher brow version of the Three Stooges. The B side of the disc is PRC’s Nabonga (1944) with Buster Crabbe, Barton McLane and a very young Julie London. Produced by prolific low budget veterans Sig and Sam Neufeld, the film has all the disadvantages of a no budget jungle picture - cheap sets, potted plants, a familiar looking gorilla suit and grainy stock footage of people on safari and various jungle critters. On the plus side, Sam keeps the story moving, Crabbe and McLane turn in solid performances and London looks good in a sarong. However, it’s easy to see why she never had much of a career on the screen. This is actually one of Sam Neufeld /Newfield’s better B’s - it has more action than you usually see in a PRC, some nice comic bits and a surprisingly modern portrayal of a black African servant. While tthe print is worn and a little ragged in spots, it is certainly watchable.