Monday, April 13, 2015

Sons of Kong?: The Gorilla (1939)

Putting off the Ritz!  Today's Film is 1939's The Gorilla, a Film showcase for *sigh* The Ritz Brothers.  Who remembers them?  Show of hands.  Yeah...that's about right.  Basically, in the Poverty Row time, smaller Studios made knock-off versions of popular acts and Films.  Hi, Asylum!  So that explains these three- The Ritz Brothers.  They're not as violent as the 3 Stooges, but not as funny as The Marx Brothers.  They are pretty much the worst combination of the two.  On the plus side, Bela Lugosi is here.  Good for me (since he doesn't suck), but obviously bad for him at the time.  The Film is about a mysterious killer targeting a man on a dark, stormy night.  His only help: the Ritz Brothers.  He's boned.  To find out if there is anything redeemable here, read on...
A serial killer known as the Gorilla is loose.  I guess he made his way over from The Rue Morgue...
This lady- the 1930's Kristen Schaal- gets left a note for her employer while she sleeps.  Cue schtick.
The note says that he will die within 24 hours.  That is kind of awkward...since he has company.
His niece and her fiancee are visiting to announce that they are getting married the next day.  Ouch.
To protect himself, he hires some Detectives.  In lieu of good ones, he gets these jackasses.  Ugh.
They dick around for awhile as tensions escalate and a Detective (a real one!) shows up.  Who done did it?
Is it this Gorilla (which just happens to have escaped from nearby)?
No, since they find this fake ape arm used for the part in the beginning.  Is it the Doctor?
Nope.  It is the fake Detective.  Oh, okay.

On the plus side, I laughed as much as I did during most Murder Mysteries.  The End.
Ugh.  Just ugh.  The Ritz Brothers just plain suck.  They aren't funny, aren't interesting and just take up space.  The rest of the Actors are actually kind of good here.  The whole thing was meant to be anchored in a good way by the trio.  You were supposed to be happy knowing that they were always around.  Unfortunately, they have the opposite effect.  When any good scene is happening, you just know that they are going to reappear and ruin things again.  On the plus side, Bela does a great job and they actually make use of his past to sell him as a nice Red Herring.  I'm sure it is probably the least embarrassing of his 3 appearances in this Film Set.  The lesson here is this: if you are watching a film and see this message, you should just run- run for your lives!
Next up, a modern, low-budget Horror Flick.  With two sort-of-famous Wrestlers in it, it must...still suck balls.  Stay tuned...


  1. That one is a total stinker. Based just on that film--which is admittedly the only exposure I've had to the Ritz Bros.--it boggles the mind that they once rivaled the Marx Bros. in popularity. (In fairness to them, however, the Ritz Bros. reportedly didn't like "The Gorilla" either.)

    1. They didn't like the Film. Well, we at least had that in common.

      I fear seeing them in anything again. If this is their act all the time, no thanks.