THE BRIDE AND THE BEAST
***/**** Image B+ Sound B
starring Charlotte Austin, Lance Fuller, Johnny Roth, William Justine
screenplay by Edward D. Wood, Jr.
directed by Adrian Weiss
THE WHITE GORILLA
***/**** Image C+ Sound B+
starring Ray Corrigan, Lorraine Miller, George J. Lewis, Francis Ford
screenplay by Jo Pagano
written and directed by Harry Fraser
by Alex Jackson It would be easy to dismiss The Bride and the Beast and The White Gorilla, sight unseen, as dated trash encapsulating the lamentable racist attitudes of the era in which they were produced. Both films belong to a sub-genre of pulp fiction in which great white hunters penetrate the jungles of darkest Africa and quickly conquer the continent's great beasts, much to the awe of the childlike natives. Told directly and on the level, it's possible for this material to have a raw, primal power--this is the stuff of myth, right? The hero slaying the dragon and bringing peace to the land. I don't find the "White Man's Burden" position nearly as offensive as I find films like Jungle Goddess, where the white saviour passively conquers an African civilization and then just as passively leaves it behind. Certainly, you should be able to have a romantic fiction without marginalizing an entire race of people.