Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 16, 2017


KILLER APE (1953). Director: Spencer Gordon Bennet.

"Fish that climb trees?"

Jungle Jim (Johnny Weissmuller) and the natives have noticed that the crocodiles in the region have become strangely lethargic. Could it have something to do with experiments in secret caverns to create a drug that will enslave mankind? Evil scientists and nice natives alike are menaced by a hulking man-ape (Max Palmer) who lives in the area and keeps trying to carry off the feisty native girl, Shari (Carol Thurston), who at first has an antagonistic relationship with Jungle Jim. This film is fairly lively, and director Bennet keeps things moving. Others in the cast include Michael Fox as a medical officer, Nestor Paiva [Mr. Reckless] as the head bad guy, and Ray Corrigan [Undersea Kingdom], who for once is not playing a gorilla (after his start as a serial lead). By this time the chimp Tamba had taken over the Jungle Jim series in much the same way that Cheetah took over Weissmuller's Tarzan series. Tamba's antics are very funny, and at one point she leads a charge of dozens of maddened monkeys! At the end the chimp drives off in a car! Carol Thurston gives a good performance as Shari; she played Weissmuller's girlfriend in Swamp Fire.

Verdict: You can't beat those Man-apes! **1/2.


angelman66 said...

To be stranded on a desert island with Weissmuller...or Ron Ely, or Lex Barker....hmmmm, would be a rustic paradise!
Have a great week, Bill!

William said...

Thanks, you too! (My choice would be Barker!)