Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla

Bela Lugosi turns a handsome night club singer into an ape in this wacky Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis-style comedy.
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Format:  DVD-R
item number:  X9W7

DVD Features:

  • Associate Producer Herman Cohen
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 14 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Released: January 21, 2003
  • Originally Released: 1952
  • Label: Alpha Video
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Packaging: Keep Case
  • Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Performer: , &
Directed by
Screenplay by
Cinematography by
Produced by

Entertainment Reviews:


Total Count: 7


User Ratings: 213
...Petrillo pulls off a nearly dead-ringer Lewis during the star's geek epoch...
USA Today
Sep 28, 2001
Rating: 1/5 -- Truly bad film with Lugosi hamming it up, yet marginally entertaining.
Dec 20, 2005
Rating: 0/4 -- Perhaps the worst movie ever made.
Apr 24, 2008
Rating: 1/5 -- Lugosi is at his scary best, but the movie is awful, with Mitchell and Petrillo doing awful imitations of Martin and Lewis. Full Review
TV Guide
Nov 28, 2018
Poor Bela. Full Review
Mar 29, 2019
Rating: 5/5 -- Although it carries a horrid reputation, it is actually one of the greatest comedy films ever made.
Film Threat
Oct 22, 2004
Rating: 3/5 -- Wow! Mesmerizingly bad with a nice late in the day turn from Lugosi
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Jul 30, 2002

Description by

Comedians Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo encounter mad scientist Dr. Zabor on a South Pacific island. The doctor is maniacally jealous of anyone who expresses an interest in the beautiful native princess, Nona. When Duke and the princess fall in love, Zabor subjects the comic to his fiendish experiments and turns him into a singing gorilla. As the newly transformed ape runs wild on the island, Sammy must find a way to remain human himself while searching for a way to restore his partner to normal. Bela Lugosi seems to enjoy sending up his screen image and Petrillo's imitation of Jerry Lewis is flawless. William Beaudine, who directed over 250 films in his career, had worked with Lugosi in The Ape Man and Ghosts on the Loose (both 1943). In addition to writing numerous comedies and Bowery Boys movies, writer Tim Ryan also acted in dozens of Poverty Row productions spanning over forty years. Associate Producer Herman Cohen later gained international fame for his productions of I Was a Teenage Werewolf, How to Make a Monster, Horrors of the Black Museum and several other drive-in classics.

Product Description:

The not-very-famous comedy team Mitchell and Petrillo doing their shameless Dean/Lewis impersonation meet Lugosi who promptly injects Mitchell with a serum that turns him into a gorilla. A.K.A. "The Boys From Brooklyn."


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Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

Customer Rating:
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Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla Movie Lover: from PLANO, TX US -- September, 8, 2014

Sammy Petrillo bore a strong resemblance to Jerry Lewis and made a career out of impersonating him. Petrillo teamed with crooner Duke Mitchell (a Dean Martin substitute) to form a nightclub act.
In the movie, the boys arrive on a tropical island where they discover a primitive tribe and its beautiful college-educated princess. Mitchell and the princess hit it off, evoking the jealousy of a scientist (Lugosi) who lives on the island. The scientist decides to culminate his experimentation and get rid of the competition by turning Mitchell into a gorilla.
Martin and Lewis contemplated a lawsuit over this movie, although it also reminds me of a Road movie. Perhaps Crosby and Hope should also have thought about suing too.
Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide calls Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla one of the all-time-great bombs and warns, “Proceed at your own risk.” I think is a fun but low-budget movie

Entertaining Historical Camp Document Movie Lover: from San Francisco, CA US -- October, 4, 2009

You can find this one in the dollar bins. It's definitely worth that much. The production values are very good and Bela is excellent. The film is of historical value (Quick! Call the Smithsonian!)because of the extremely blatent copying of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis's radio / stage / screen personae. Jerry sued them and won (obviously). The movie was taken out of distribution. We are the lucky ones to see this aping: to hammer the point home, Duke even turns into one in the movie! If you've never seen Martin and Lewis, time to get their 'Colgate Comedy Hour' DVDs or 'At War With the Army' (also in the dollar bin!). It's all great trash!

One of the All-Time Great B-Movies Movie Lover: from Clifton, NJ US -- July, 4, 2005

I had searched for this film for a decade after reading a review of it in Michael Sauter's must-read guide to bad movies, "The Worst Movies of All Time." Along with Ted V. Mikels's "Astro Zombies" and the "Santo" films, the book's description of "Brooklyn Gorilla" made it seem priceless, something I needed to see before I died--and now that it is finally available on DVD, I realize that my search was not in vain. Although described as cheap-looking, the production values here are on par with many films of the era, and feature good-natured and enjoyable performances from Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo, a real-life vaudeville act known for doing many impressions, not just Martin & Lewis (others included Johnny Ray). The real Jerry was apparently VERY freaked out by how closely Petrillo could mimic him. I wonder, watching this and other Lugosi films made at this time, how Lugosi's son can continually demonize Ed Wood as an opportunist and a user who tricked his father into doing awful films. Does he consider films like this to be superior to "Glen or Glenda"?

Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla Movie Lover: from edgein -- May, 22, 2005

What makes this movie great is that it so unashamedly a rip-off of Martin and Lewis. Duke kind of looks like Dino, but sings even worse (if that's possible) and Sammy's antics make Lewis' wackiest characters look like Sir Laurence Olivier. Thankfully for Bela, Ed Wood was looming in the distance......

Bela Lugosi Meets A Brooklyn Gorilla (sort of) Movie Lover: from Lincoln, NE US -- September, 20, 2003

Strange movie that grows on you over time. Interesting to watch the blatant rip-off of Dean and Lewis by Duke Mitchell and Sammy Petrillo. Plot is weak and ending is weaker, but over-all the movie is very entertaining. Enjoy this campy movie!

Low budget shlock - you just can't help laughing Movie Lover: from Wilmington, MA US -- June, 13, 2003

I laughed all the way through this movie. I'm not sure if I was laughing WITH it or laughing AT it. The point is, I was laughing (and that's a good thing).

Hey, the movie is impossibly cheap, and the comedy team of Mitchell and Petrillo is a SHAMELESS Martin and Lewis rip-off. But for a short evening of mindless fun, you can't go wrong with this movie.

In addition, the DVD quality is quite good.

In my opinion, this was money well spent!

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 3,680
  • UPC: 089218409898
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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