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If you haven't figured it out by now, we (meaning, myself, Bro. George and Jumpin' Joe) like to practice what we preach. The films we watch, review, and base episodes of our show on are not so much about entertainment, but more about what I like to call "the bad movie lifestyle." Culture, b-movie culture, we try and live it in our daily lives. We don't work this site to get free DVDs like most of the "schlock film" sites do, I am not knocking you if you have found a way to get free product. That's just not our motivation. We don't care if someone wants to send us stuff, we will review it because that is what we do on the site, but the site is really about us, well us and these films we watch, not about selling more shit for a distributor or bootlegger. We don't get free tapes, unless they are folks who we have: a.) Become friends with and they think we would enjoy a film they distribute or b.) Become friends with and they ACTUALLY make films. Every thing else, we have bought, traded for or in some cases stolen. Hey, we are not above stealing just to get our mitts on something; this is a lifestyle, right? Okay, well maybe not steal in the traditional sense just maybe never return it to the corporate cheese factory that happened to rent to us. I'm digressing again.

What I am saying is, we actually like some of these films which were beyond just box office duds, they are considered unviewable by many, because we empathize with the folks who were and are trying to be filmmakers. They had ideas, they had to raise cash, and they had to deal with folks who were not professional actors, lighting techs or cinematographers in many cases. But, bottom line they got the job done, their work exists. The proverbial sweat off their balls and breasts made it out there and by God, that is saying something. I say all of this as I begin my review of THE BLOODY APE, because Keith Crocker, the force behind the film, shares many of these same ideals when it comes to shitty film and I can honestly say that for 14 years he has managed to inspire us, personally, to pay more attention to what most consider the bottom rung of the film world with his zine THE EXPLOITATION JOURNAL (EJ). Keith is one of the "good guys" is this fucking "business" and it is with great pleasure I discuss THE BLOODY APE.

Imagine reading Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" as you wolf down a funnel cake at Coney Island while a Orthodox Jew tries to sell you cheap jewelry and you have this perpetual, lingering hard-on you can't rid yourself of. Now that I have painted this wonderful, atmospheric picture for you, THE BLOODY APE involves a carnival sideshow barker, Lampini, (played by longtime (EJ) contributor Paul Richichi) who is in love/lust with a gal and only wants to settle down and marry her, but the fact that his hairy seven-foot, 350 lb. Gorilla has escaped, gets in the way. Well, that and the fact the crack has decided she doesn't want to marry him. That is our basic plot, but along the way we are privy to a racist auto mechanic who refuses to service the car of a "spade." A Rabbi who wholesales jewelry ("Why do you think they call them Jews?!) out of his coat pockets and of course, overcharges. And my favorite character brought to life marvelously by another EJ contributor George Ries, Lt. LoBianco, who is like an Andy Sipowitz with hair and a degree from David Duke University. Thank goodness, he has a more sensible partner in Kerry (Joe Zazo, who I believed was actually a pseudonym for a Crocker, turns out was quite the actor prick according to sources) who tries to keep LoBianco on track with the facts of the case. Oh, what case you ask?

Well, just as Lampini's ape shows up missing, murders begin to take place around the area. Lampini is searching for the ape as bodies are turning up. Crocker somehow coaxed, prodded or forced more than one attractive female to shed their shrouds for THE BLOODY APE, and as with any quality exploitation film, these are some of the highlights. In a scene that was actually meant to be in a completely different film, actually THE BLOODY APE was supposed to BE a completely different film, we see hairy paws attack a nubile blond in the shower, grabbing and clawing until she is left bloodied and dead. Crocker originally had intended the film to be titled BIGFOOT ON CAMPUS and the plot involved a mad scientist, a mutated Bigfoot son and mating. Of course like any project born of love which involves partners (Joe Parda, Crocker's co-editor for some years at EJ, subsequently, was kindly asked to leave the project) arguments ensued, ideas changed, others became interested in the project and the film itself mutated into THE BLOODY APE. Crocker had shot murder scenes, nudity and such on 16 mm in order to edit a trailer to help lure investors, much of this footage is in THE BLOODY APE. When Crocker found that tight asses wouldn't pony up the much deserved cash for a "guy in a gorilla suit' action film, Crocker decided to finance the film himself, which meant scaling back from 16 mm to Super 8. In the late 80s and early 90s film stock prices began their rise that truly shut the little guy down, as far as film and processing on a budget went. Over the next 2 years Crocker and his cohorts, scripted, re-scripted, shot and re-shot until in Fall of 1994 they wrapped.

They had used the carnie setting; the boardwalk and such in the same way Lenny Kirtman's CARNIVAL OF BLOOD had so effectively shown this environ, ripe with the stench of cotton candy and shit, with assholes who would as soon jip their grannies as breathe. The film also harkened back to Andy Milligan's finer qualities of filmmaking. Crocker a self-avowed Milligan mark captured some of the same spirit of Milligan's "best." Footage of most-likely a Gratefull Dead show pays off large when a acoustic guitar wearing, patchouli-reeking "head" goes to take a leak and unfortunately for him, leaves his Johnson with THE BLOODY APE. The special effect in the scene leaves a little to be desired, but it is the spirit of the act that matters and one cannot help but think that Andy Milligan relied on the same spirit, which translates to heart, in his work. But, the film sat on the shelves while Crocker, who at one point had ended up in the hospital while working on the film due to overwork and asthma, and Reis put their attention into EJ. In 1996, Crocker finally edited THE BLOODY APE from almost 4 hours of footage down to 100 minutes before transferring it to video for the final 80-minute edit.

THE BLOODY APE continues on his trek of mayhem, wiping out the same assholes who set out to rip off Lampini, LoBianco believes that Dwayne, the black character who tried to stand up to Vic the mechanic is the crazed killer, even though his theories are all based only on the fact that Dwayne is "colored." Vic, whose dialogue is given an air of absolute believability by the very capable Larry Koster, is a standout in the film, letting the racial slurs fly with real Jersey chutzpa. This character alone would offend most knee-jerking liberal film viewers, but if that isn't enough for you, Salvatore Finkel, the Rabbi, is a hoot as he is so close to home in his portrayal in what most would deem "stereotypical" and "hate-filled," that one cannot but simultaneously giggle and grimace. Isn't that what great satire is supposed to do. Aren't we supposed to feel uncomfortable because, more likely than not, the satirist is giving us an over-exaggerated version of the truth, possibly a truth we don't like facing? I'll fucking answer that question myself. Yes, that is what a competent satirist is doing. If you are offended by films that show fat folks flattening chairs, black folks eating watermelon and Jewish folks as tightwads, I wonder why that is? Who has the problem there? Look, white guys have male-pattern baldness, beer ponchs and some of you have little dicks, and it is not like that ain't exploited. From Homer Simpson to Fraiser, as long as the stereotypes are comfortable for you they are funny, but don't go making funny haha of anyone other than rednecks, queerbaits or working class slobs because you might be deemed racist or anti-Semitic. Sorry for the political views, but by God, I am speaking the truth! Okay back to the plot. THE BLOODY APE is fucking shit up, quite literally I might add. In a classic scene (not only because I love the naturally plumpish nude actress involved) THE BLOODY APE goes for it. I mean it; he bones with reckless abandon this curvaceous brunette "Ape-Style," I guess you would say. Vulgarly incredible, as Crocker and his Bloody Ape cross the line with rape, bestiality, non-missionary position sex, mutilation and of course, a guy in a Gorilla suit.

The guy in a Gorilla suit is not uncharted water, from Ron Ormond's Untamed Mistress, (featured in the BOF episode Swamp/Jungle Nite) to the Vanity fuckfest Tanya's Island to a gazillion others, a man sartorially bedecked as a Simian stud has been used in films from those with a budget of $120 to $120,000,000 (as with Tim Burton's abysmal revisiting of Planet of the Apes). For some odd reason it is one of the easiest "effects" to sell an audience. It seems after the obligatory "that's a guy in a Gorilla suit" comments, we totally buy into it. And coming from a guy who has worn a Gorilla get-up, there is something quite nice and almost soothing about being dressed as a prim primate. Maybe its that DNA strand that branches ever so slightly and makes us the talking apes, that feels a little closer to home in a Gorilla suit. Just maybe. Or maybe it is the fact that is just damn funny. I swear to you, there is nothing funnier than a guy in a Gorilla suit, driving…anything; car, boat, motorcycle. Okay, one thing funnier, if the guy uses his hand signal when he turns, then fucking forget it, it is just plain genius.

All in all THE BLOODY APE offers everything that a fan of cinema du bad needs. Violence, blood, nudity, exploitation, satire, nipple twisting, ape rape, hippie dick removal, a nickel and dime budget and more than anything, a filmmaker who gives a shit. That is all you can ask. Crocker's description of THE BLOODY APE speaks volumes about where he was coming from, it wasn't JUST a guy in a Gorilla Suit, "The film tells of the dire consequences suffered due to the inability of people to communicate properly. The film is a plea for mankind to see things the way that they really are, as opposed to how they perceive it to be." Lofty? High-minded? You decide after you see it...I say passionate about his God damned work. That is why spent his own money to see it through! That is enough to demand you see it, you owe THE BLOODY APE that, fanboy!

Buy yourself a copy of THE BLOODY APE from Keith Crocker himself, how in the fuck is that? Think you can buy that Planet of the Apes DVD by emailing Tim Burton? You don't have to go through any sort of middleman just visit Cinefear and Keith will hook your ass up. I mean it, get it. Monkey boy.

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A Deadhead gets ready to loose his noodle!

Lampini, American!

My favorite real character is the mirror dude, he deserved more lines!

The Bloody Ape, not to shabby a Gorilla Suit, eh?
The Bloody Ape, from Cinefear with love!

Lampini, Paul Richichi, barking about his monkey!

Lampini's love interest...note the stylish late 80's Jersey Tease!

Lt. LoBianco. Need I say more, he is a man of sophistication.

There, before you get bored, there are some boobs, those nipples don't last long though.

The Rabbi, after counting some well earned cash!

Larry Koster as Vic the racist, rip-off mechanic, buddies up to Lampini.

Okay, already, here's another pair.

This girl is Prof. Tread's favorite character, no lines just a brilliant performance. (ahem)

She's just waiting for her man.

But he is such an animal. Bloody Ape getting it on!

Lampini goes a little....okay that was too easy.

The Bloody Ape earns his name the hard way.

And rewards himself with a little head...er, scalp!

Dwayne tries to help a bloodied Lampini.

A nice patrolman loses his head to THE BLOODY APE!

LoBianco and Kerry sort through this mess!

Elephant ear, anyone? Man, I love a carny!
Brains On Film 2003