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Killer Ape

USA 1953
produced by
Sam Katzman for Columbia
directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet
starring Johnny Weissmuller, Carol Thurston, Max Palmer, Burt Wenland, Nestor Paiva, Paul Marion, Eddie Foster, Rory Mallinson, Ray Corrigan (= Ray 'Crash' Corrigan), Nick Stuart, Michael Fox, Pedro Regas, Harry Wilson
story by by Carroll Young, screeenplay by Carroll Young, Arthur Hoerl, based on a comic strip by Alex Raymond, musical direction by Mischa Bakaleinikoff

Jungle Jim, Jungle Jim (Johnny Weissmuller)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Jungle Jim number 12:

All the animals of the jungle seem to have lost their will to defend themselves. Jungle Jim (Johnny Weissmuller) decides to investigate and finds a clue that leads to the Valley of the Man Ape (Max Palmer), a towering brute who has obviously been brought up by apes and who is known to kill and kill violently. On the way to the valley, Jim meets the hunting party of Mahara (Paul Marion), who capture animals to sell them to the highest bidder. Jim gives Mahara a fair warning not to go to the valley, but Mahara and especially his temperamental sister Shari (Carol Thurston) and her hothead fiancé Ramada (Burt Wenland) do not trust him as they believe him to be a competitor.

Next, Jim visits Doc Andrews (Nestor Paiva) and gang, who conduct animal experiments in a cave on the edge of the Valley of the Man Ape, and whom Mahara and company presently sell their animals to. He tells Andrews about the killer ape as well, but Andrews and crew also distrust Jim and even try to chase him away - which arouses Jim's suspicion, so he spies a bit on them ... and finds out that they have found a mineral that deprives creatures of all their drive to defend themselves - which they now test on animals but ultimately want to sell to the highest bidder to use against humans as well ... evil, evil. And of course, this mineral is only found in this here cave ...

Ultimately, Mahara decides to pay Jim a visit to find out if he has spoken the truth about the man ape ... instead he runs across the man ape, who kills him ... but incidently makes it look as if Jim has killed him. This in turn drives Shari wild, and she wants to kill Jim in return ... and only when she herself is attacked by the man ape - who soon develops a soft spot for her and repeatedly kidnaps her - and Jim saves her does she start to trust Jim.

In the meantime, Ramada has brought some more animals to Andrews ... and suddenly realizes what an evil man Andrews is - but by then, he suddenly finds himself all tied up ...

Eventually, Jim ends up in the clutches of Andrews and gang as well, but is freed by his chimp sidekick Tamba, and Shari ends up kidnapped by the ape for the umpteenth time, but by the end, the ape and Andrews and gang crash and they all die in a fire in the caves while all the good guys survive ...

Crash Corrigan, who owns the locations where all the Jungle Jim movies were filmed, can be seen in this one too, but who thinks in a film called Killer Ape, Corrigan, one of the leading Hollywood gorilla impersonators, has to play the title character will be in for a bit of a surprise, because he only plays the unimportant part of one of Andrew's henchmen ...


Like pretty much all films of the Jungle Jim series, this one is cheap, silly and cheesy, and of course it's also a bad film ... but if you like a bit of camp in your jungle movies, you might as well like this one.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD