The Bride and the Beast

Year Of Release: 1958
Running Time: 78 Minutes
DVD Released By: Retromedia Entertainment
Directed By: Edward D. Wood Jr.
Writing Credits: Adrian Weiss, Edward D. Wood Jr.
Filming Location: Bronson Caverns, Bronson Canyon, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California, Santa Monica, California

Starring: Charlotte Austin, Lance Fuller, Johnny Roth, William Justine, Gil Frye, Jeanne Gerson, Steve Calvert, Slick Slavin, Eve Brent, Bhogwan Singh

Tagline 1: Human mate for jungle brutes!
Tagline 2: Please don't tell what happens to the bride!

Alternate Titles:
Queen of the Gorillas (1958)

Interesting Bits of Trivia:
Steve Calvert played the Gorilla in this movie, and this was the last of the nine films that he appeared in. Steve's first acting job was playing a gorilla in the first Jungle Jim movie with Johnny Weismuller. Calvert owned two gorilla suits, and occasionally both would be needed for the same movie. In cases like that, he would sub-contract the second ape-suit part to friend Bobby Small, a stuntman and circus clown. Calvert rarely asked for screen credit, preferring audiences to assume the "gorilla" was not human. He frequently made TV and live appearances in comedy sketches, including playing opposite Buster Keaton, Bob Hope, and Jack Benny.

Cast Of Characters
Dan Fuller: If he's the great white hunter, then animal populations all over the world should be flourishing. Dan married Laura after what must have been an extremely short relationship, because Laura doesn't seem to know much about him at times. He's supposed to be this great hunter, but it seems like other people are always doing all the work.

Laura Carson Fuller: For a woman this attractive, I find it awful hard to believe that she was so hard up that she had to settle for this guy. Laura's got some serious issues though, which probably didn't help her out much in her past relationships. She must have just thought she'd land this guy quickly before he had a chance to find out. See, Laura had a past life as a gorilla queen. She keeps dreaming about it, and every time a gorilla sees her, they fall instantly in love with her. She seems to have quite a thing for them too.

Toro: This guy has no luck at all. Then again, how much luck could you have if you were stuck being the man-servant of a guy like Dan? What's funny about this guy is, it's a white guy playing an African guy who talks like an Indian. He manages to stay alive through the end of the movie though, which is no small task when you're the personal assistant to the world's worst hunter.

Spanky: Due to the extreme shortage of focal characters in this movie, I decided that poor Spanky deserved a screenshot here. Hey! I just realized something. If you put a diving helmet on Spanky, you'd have Ro-Man from the movie Robot Monster! Actually, that's probably how Dan entertains himself on those long winter nights considering that I didn't see a single TV set in the house. Throw a diving helmet on a gorilla and you got yourself a low budget version of The Planet's Funniest Animals.

The Plot
After a whirlwind romance and a quickie marriage, Dan and Laura head off to his mansion in the woods. Somehow, Dan neglected to tell Laura that he had a pet gorilla, and when she found out, it was love at first sight. Laura you see, had a past life as a gorilla, and she's had dreams about it for a very long time. Seeing Dan's pet gorilla re-awakened those feelings and urges in her, and the gorilla sensed it too, because he was very tender and gentle with her even though no one else could get near him. The couple soon heads off to Africa on a hunting expedition, where Laura's remembrances of her past life become even more intense until at last she reverts back completely. Will Dan ever get Laura back? Will his hunting skills ever improve? Will Toro ever have any luck? We'll find all that out, and more, right now.

What The Hell???
1. Um, the credits are a little out of focus. Looks like the focus in general is a little soft. Anyway, this guy and this girl are driving along a road in the middle of nowhere. They stop at a road sign and start discussing the thunder and lightning and, um, they're talking about a honeymoon in Africa. Seems as though they just got married. He just told the girl that the marriage license cost him six bucks and that she ought to be careful because he can buy six wives for that in Africa. Yeah, that's the way to talk to her after you just get married. I wonder if the divorce lawyer will like being talked to like that as well?

2. Dan and Laura, (for those are their names), are headed to Dan's mansion out in the middle of nowhere where he keeps a pretty gnarly looking gorilla. He raised the gorilla from a baby but now he has to keep him in a cage because he got vicious. He's giving the gorilla to the zoo next week. Anyone wanna guess what the gorilla's name is? Go on, guess! No it's not Alfalfa, try again. Buckwheat? No not Buckwheat either. Come on now, you can do it. You in the back row. No not you, the guy three seats away with the Milk Duds. Yeah you, what was that you yelled out? Spanky! You win the cupie doll there Skippy. The gorilla's name is Spanky. Now doesn't that name just inspire awe and fear? Well, anyway at this point in the movie I'm already wondering a few things. Like How did they get married and she's never seen his mansion in the middle of nowhere? And how come he never mentioned Spanky to her before? If I had a gorilla, I think that would come up at least once during the courtship. I mean come on now, jeez. He gave the servants the night off too since they just got married. So who's gonna clean the gorilla biscuits out of the cage after Spanky does his business? It's gonna start smellin' like burnt bananas down there in that basement.

3. So they go down to see the ol' Spankster, and he's going nuts in his cage until he sees her. Now she's not hard on the eyes, and he seems quite interested in his master's new set of legs in a skirt. I wonder how many others there have been in the past that the gorilla had his way with and then tossed away like a bag of moldy tangerines? No wonder Spanky's in a cage. Three hundred and fifty pounds of animalistic hormones, with a great big banana. Now that's dangerous!
4. Dan thinks maybe some food will quiet him down, but it's not food he wants. He grabs Laura's wrist, but she doesn't even freak out or anything. She just tells him calmly, "You're hurting my wrist. Now you don't wanna do that." Man, this girl oughta be married to Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter. She'd be perfect for him.
5. So Spanky starts caressing her hair and finally he lets go of her. Dan pulls her away but spanky just starts going nuts again. The whole time, Laura is looking at Spanky like she would lick him all over for a dime, but she doesn't know why. I have a feeling we'll find out why eventually. In the mean time, I think Spanky's gonna live up to his name here pretty soon now that he's seen Laura. If you were locked up in a cage, what would you do?
6. Up in the bedroom, Dan's havin' a smoke and sitting around in an ugly bath robe while he waits for Laura to come out of the bathroom. She comes out in this really hot night gown. So let me get this straight. And I really want to understand this because we see this kind of thing all the time. How come we always see the woman on the honeymoon making herself all beautiful for the man, while the man sits around in an ugly bath robe reeking of cigarettes and looking like he probably hasn't bathed in several days? Considering this is an Ed Wood movie, I kinda half expected to see Dan coming out of the bathroom in some sexy lingerie and Laura to be down stairs hangin' out at the gorilla cage. That seems a little more Ed Woody to me. What about you?

7. So anyway, Dan sweeps her off her feet, and just as he's about to carry her to the bed, Spanky goes nuts again. You can hear him all through the house. Now I don't know about you, but I couldn't have sex with a gorilla screaming in my ear.

8. Um, the scene faded out after showing Spanky going nuts and then faded back in. It's all dark now, and Laura and Dan are sleeping...IN SEPARATE BEDS!!! What the hell is up with that? Didn't these two just get done doin' the wild thang? I mean is is their honeymoon after all, and now they're sleeping in separate beds? Man, I can hear the conversation that led up to that little deal right now. (No this is not a quote from the movie, I'm making this up.)

Laura: "Oh Dan, don't worry. It happens to lots of guys. You just go sleep in that bed over there and we'll try again in the morning."
Dan: "Gee Laura, I don't know what happened. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before!"

And Laura's just sittin' there thinkin', I bet nothing like this ever happens to Spanky.
9. Laura's dreaming about Spanky now. He's bending the bars of his cage and coming to her. Man, he's sure taking his own sweet time doing it. Well, I thought this was a dream. Maybe it isn't. Laura had wavy dream things around her head when they showed Spanky breaking out of the cage. Anyway, she's sitting by the fire now smoking a cigarette. Spanky is standing in the doorway, lust in his heart and hair on his palms. Oh man, he just lifted up her nighty and then started playing with her hair. She's lookin' at him like he's some kind of a major stud muffin. Uh oh, Dan just woke up. He grabs a gun, shoots it into the air. Spanky comes at him. He shoots Spanky. The guy in the Spanky suit overacts and then falls over the balcony and dies. Poor Spanky. She's telling Dan now that she thought the gorilla was being gentle with her. He says he had no choice and that he had to kill him. I think Spanky was just threatening Dan's manhood so he bumped him off.
10. Back to sleep now. Laura is dreaming again. She's narrating the dream through a considerable reverb and seeing all kinds of visions having to do with her past life in Africa. She wakes up screaming. She tells Dan about her dream and he tells her to try not to think about it and that he'll bring her a light sedative. That reminds me of a line from the great comedian Gallagher. "If someone you love can't sleep...drug 'em."
11. Man this guy's got some stupid lookin' pajamas. I'm gonna have to start calling him Pajama Pete!
12. It's morning now, and it seems that Dan has a house boy named Taro. He talks like he just fell off a box of curry. I'd like to mention here too that Taro is played by a white guy with really bad make-up. They darkened his skin to make him look more exotic, but they didn't get it all the way down his neck into his shirt. He looks like he fell asleep in a dog house with his head sticking out the door and ended up with a sun tan just on his head.

13. Dan's friend, Dr. Carl Reiner, (is that a joke or something?), who just happens to be a hypnotist is putting Laura under hypnosis so they can find out what's causing her dreams. He spends about ten seconds putting her under with no preparation whatsoever. Now I've hypnotized people before, and it just don't work like that. Anyway, the doctor's got her talking under hypnosis now and she's babbling on and on about angora and kittens or something. The doctor then takes her back into a deep regression so she can reveal her past life, which she does. She says she's in a jungle, and she sees a lot of different animals all around her. All the animals are frightened now and running away. She says they're all afraid of her. She says she's afraid of the water. She sees her reflection in the water and reveals that she's a gorilla. Savages shoot her with a blow gun and she dies. Laura is freaking under the hypnosis and the doctor brings her back out of it. When he does, he tells her that when she comes out of it, she'll feel rested and want a cigarette. Some doctor huh? If your doctor offers you a cigarette, it's probably time to find a new doctor.

14. They're on a plane to Africa to now and Dan is telling her that they'll be heading down river on a cattle boat, which they're now doing. Taro keeps calling Dan Bwana which sounds absolutely ridiculous. Anyway, a few seconds of stock footage later, and they're at the hotel.

15. They stop off now to see a Captain Cameron. Him and Dan are old buddies, and he has to show the captain all his papers so that he can go hunting. That scene lasted about one minute and seemed pretty pointless. Man I'm tired. But I'm forcing myself to stay awake long enough to finish this review. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I suffer for you people, but it's a labor of love so I don't really mind.
16. After traveling all day, they stop and make camp. Sitting around the campfire, Laura is approached by a big jungle spider. Dan knocks her ass over teakettle off her seat and stomps on the spider. He tells her that he had to act fast. A few more seconds and she would have had it. What is it about us guys that makes us talk things like that up like they were some kind of a big dramatic event?
17. More stock footage now as they chase down wild animals so they can capture them alive. I can understand capturing a zebra, but they captured a rhinoceros alive. I don't care how many men you got, the chances of you capturing a live, fully grown rhino without drugging it, are about nil and nada. Now if you had Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter tagging along on the expedition, then you might have a chance.
18. Ok, they're after a giraffe now. I'm not sure why they're trying to live capture all these animals. There sure is a lot of stock footage in this part.
19. Some little guy in a fez hat just showed up in the middle of the freakin' jungle with a message that Captain Cameron wanted to speak to Dan. Now how the hell did he find them in the middle of a damn jungle? As soon as I saw the fez hat, all I could think of was that commercial they did on South Park for the Mr. Hanky Construction Kit. You know, the one with the fecal fishing net. Let's put the fez hat on him! I made a mariachi Mr. Hanky! I wish daddy was still alive... (sound of a record needle screeching to a halt) If you've never seen South Park then you probably have no idea what I'm talking about.
20. So Dan goes back and talks to the captain. The guy tells him that two Indian tigers escaped from a ship wreck and are now wandering around in the jungles. He shows him a newspaper with an article in it about the shipwreck and it says that the tigers killed a native gathering wood. Now ok cool. It's an article. For some reason it's in English, but it's an article. Fine. Good. Now what isn't clear is the little section that's along side the article. It's clipped off at the bottom so I can't see the whole thing, but here it is. The headline says, "110,000 Chinese Living In Trees As..." What the hell is that about? Where the hell did 110,000 Chinese people come from in Africa? Sounds like an article from the Weekly World News to me.
21. The paper fades out and we see a tiger creeping along. He's apparently gonna get this guy who... Ok I gotta stop right here and tell you something about this guy. He's standing there in his little house/cabin whatever it is, and he's got a small hand sickle in his hands. A sickle is a blade in the shape of a semi-circle that's used to cut crops, usually stuff like wheat. Anyway, so he walks into this cabin and starts sharpening this thing with a rock. As the tiger approaches, the guy pulls an apple out of his fruit bowl on the table and cuts it in half with the sickle. Now I'm wondering two things here. #1 is, why did he cut the apple in the first place? And #2 is, why did he do it with something so completely stupid and awkward as a sickle? I sure am glad this guy's about to get eaten by the tiger.
22. Well now the guy went outside and started whackin' on a bush with his sickle. The tiger got him here and then it faded back to the newspaper and the captain's office, so I guess he's the native that bit it in the newspaper article. The captain wants Dan to hunt down the tiger because he knows about hunting tigers and the locals don't. Now, um, wouldn't it be just like hunting anything else? I mean, the natives didn't seem to have any trouble hunting down a friggin' rhinoceros and capturing the thing alive, now did they?
23. Now this is hilarious. They're trekking through the jungle. Dan, Laura, Toro, and about twenty five or thirty natives along with them in the hunting expedition. Dan is riding a horse and Laura is being carried by two natives on one of those chairs with the pole on each side. You know the sort of thing. Anyway, so Dan says they're gonna stop here and rest. Laura comes up to him as he's taking a swig off his canteen and he asks her, "Tired?" And she says, "Exhausted." WHAT???? Yeah well I guess it was pretty exhausting having your lazy (albeit quite shapely) butt carried through the jungle by two guys now wasn't it? Oh my god, that's just so sad. Now what would have been funny is, if both the natives reached up with the same hand at the same time to wipe the sweat off their brows and dumped her on her head. It would serve her right.
24. After they stop for camp at night, they hear the tigers off in the jungle. Dan and Taro and a few other guys go out with their rifles to look for them. They just spotted gorilla prints in the dirt too, which isn't unusual considering that Dan just got done telling Laura that they were gonna be camping in gorilla country. Anyway, they just spotted the tigers and Toro took two shots at one of them. He missed them both, and Dan didn't even take a shot. This guy is a seriously crappy hunter.
25. Morning comes, and Marka the cook goes out into the woods to gather firewood. Naturally she gets killed by a tiger. Dan and Toro head out quickly to track the tiger after they hear her screams. Actually, she didn't get killed. She was only wounded. The tiger is limping. Apparently, Toro hit it in the paw the previous night. I guess he isn't as bad of a shot as I thought. At least he actually shot, which is more than I can say for Dan. Oh man, now Marta's dead again. I wish they'd make up their minds. Why didn't they just leave her dead the first time when we all thought she was dead?
26. Just so we're on the same scorecard here. There's a male tiger and a female tiger. The male is the one that got hit in the foot, the female is currently trapped in a pit trap the natives set for her. After the male wandered off, he was drinking out of a watering hole when he got in a fight with an alligator. The tiger killed the alligator, in the water! Now I'm sorry but after watching about a bazillion episodes of The Crocodile Hunter, I just don't see that happening. That gator should have sprung up out of the water, grabbed the tigers head in it's mouth, and drug it back under the water. Where's Steve Irwin when you need him?
27. That evening, Dan and Toro are hangin' out in the jungle by the pit where the female tiger is trapped, waiting for the male to show up. Toro hops out of the tree he's sitting in and starts hammering on the fasteners of the pit cover with a rock to secure them. A panther jumps out of a nearby tree and just as it's about to pounce on Toro, Dan shoots it and it goes flying like someone in the rafters yanked on it with a rope. It was really quite funny.
28. The next morning, Dan almost bites it when the tiger he's been waiting for all night drops down off the rock he's sitting under and damn near kills him. He was able to grab his gun and chase it away though. I'm starting to think that might not have been a bad thing.
29. Laura wakes up that morning and like an idiot, starts wandering around in the jungle. Naturally the tiger finds her and chases her until she falls over a little cliff and gets knocked out. The tiger is just about to pounce on her when Toro comes running up and shoots at it a couple times, scaring it away. I don't really care if Dan or Laura bite it at this point. I just hope Toro doesn't. He doesn't deserve it. Oh, and speaking of which, Dan just got pounced on by the tiger. He managed to fight it off, killing it with a hunting knife. Now for a guy that comes off as an insanely crappy hunter, I find it a little surprising that he could manage to kill a tiger with a hunting knife. I guess it's just as well that the tiger didn't eat him. It probably would have given him indigestion and then the whole jungle would have been full of tiger farts.
30. Toro heads out to get a doctor for Laura who's suffered a nasty crack on the head from her fall. So he's running along through the jungle, and all of a sudden, a black panther just about gets him. Yes, another one. So he dives into the river to get away and all of a sudden he's being chased along the water by an alligator. This guy has the most rotten luck I've ever seen.
31. Now, it's funny that as Laura's laying in her cot, looking all clean and beautiful with her hair and make up perfect and wearing a sexy night gown, I notice there's no crack on her head at all. In fact, there's not even a scratch. She's dreaming now by the way. Yes, it's one of those past life dreams. At least she was. She's gotten up now and there's a gorilla in the camp she's looking at it lustfully, and then she looks over at Dan. Dan's over at the table cleaning his wounds and is completely unaware of the situation. She looks back at the gorilla now and finally Dan notices. He grabs his gun and tries to shoot the gorilla but the gun is empty. He tries to attack the gorilla and gets a good bitch slappin' for his efforts. The gorilla picks Laura up like she's his new bride and carries her off into the jungle with Dan in hot pursuit. I don't blame Laura for not putting up a struggle. Even a hairy beast is better than this idiot she's married to.
32. The gorilla carries her off to it's cave where there's several other gorillas waiting. Dan shoots one and fights off another. He grabs Laura but she resists so he gives her a good bitch slappin'. Finally, as he continues to fight with one of the gorillas, he gets knocked out and the gorilla carries Laura away.
33. The movie ends with Dan talking to his doctor friend. He just got finished telling him the whole story and about how he hasn't seen Laura again since that day. Now, she wasn't the sharpest pencil in the box, but she sure was nice to look at. I'd be upset if I lost someone that looked like her too. The doctor says that she's back where she belongs, and then the movie ends.

Best Quote

"I still shudder at the strange sensation I had when the gorilla was trying to be tender."

- Laura talking to Dan after Dan killed Spanky. - (Reviewer's Note: I have no doubt that Spanky would have been a far more sensitive lover than this schmuck. I think Dan knew it too and that's why he killed him.)

Video Clip
When prompted, enter bmovie for the username and central for the password.

The Bride and the Beast
Spanky wants to share his banana with Laura. Then again, considering it's their wedding night and Dan's sleeping alone in a single bed, who can blame Laura for looking elsewhere for her bananas?

The Conclusion
This is an Ed Wood film, but it really doesn't feel like one in a lot of ways. A lot of the goofiness that existed in Night Of The Ghouls and Plan 9 From Outer Space is just flat out missing from this one.

One thing that really struck me about this film was the lack of genuine characters. This film only had about five real characters while the rest were all relegated to being either bit players or just extras. Of those five, only the two main characters had any kind of a real part. The rest were all just incidental and could have been taken or left without having any adverse impact on the overall film. I don't think this was a good thing, because it kept the focus of the film far too narrow and that really limited much of the entertainment value the film could have otherwise have had. Now that it's all over, I find myself asking the question, "Did I really enjoy this film?"

Sitting here now and reflecting back on it all, I'd have to say that I did actually enjoy it to some degree, but it sure didn't live up to my expectations. I did find the interaction between Laura and the gorillas to be quite well acted, but there really wasn't a lot in this film to hold my interest, most especially after they got to Africa. Once they started the safari, the pacing of the movie slowed down to what felt like a crawl. There was at least three or four full scenes, if not more, in the Africa part of the film that could have been left out completely without affecting the continuity at all. Like the part where the tiger had the fight with the alligator, or all the hunting scenes where they captured the live animals. I just realized, they never did show what they did with those animals after they were captured. They just sort of disappeared. Hey that's a neat trick isn't it? Making a full grown rhino, a zebra, and a giraffe all disappear into thin air. They weren't packing them through the jungle in their travels so I'm not really sure where they went.

The writing in this film, was more serious than it was in Ed Wood's other films, and I think that was to its detriment. I get the feeling that he was trying to make a more serious film here, but all he really accomplished was to turn his back on what made his other, more goofy films great. You have to have fun when you're watching a b-mpvie, otherwise you probably won't enjoy it all that much. Ed Wood understood this concept quite well, but unfortunately, he seems to have forgotten it in this particular film. I only semi-enjoyed this one, so I'm giving it the semi-decent rating of...

B-Movie Central's Rating: 3 Bees

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