MISTRESS OF THE APES (1981 U.S.) D/W: LARRY BUCHANAN P: JOHN F. RICKERT
This particularly odd Buchanan concoction opens with some street punks with guns holding-up a NYC hospital for drugs. Jenny Neumann is a pregnant patient who suffers a miscarriage as a result. While recuperating she gets word that photographs taken by her photographer husband who went missing in the Congo have been discovered. They seem to show missing link ape men (pretty good face make-up by Greg Cannom, assisted by Rob Bottin). So she goes to "Africa" (Malibu State Park, not a convincing substitute) to continue the research. Her guide and most of the men she meets (including Stuart Lancaster from Russ Meyer movies as a poacher) are total sleazeballs, so a welcome alternative is to befriend the ape men, eventually sleeping with one (!) and staying in the jungle to become a mother (or "Ape Lady" as the jaunty, out-of-place theme tune, not disimilar to the one from QUEEN KONG, puts it). Amid this loopiness, the sexy, very leggy Neumann has welcome topless scenes. One guy says to his girl "why don`t you just shut up and...function". With Barbara Leigh and a man-in-a-suit gorilla. It`s just the kind of endlessly tedious yet hypnotically odd obscurity that late night tv was made for. Nicholas Josef von Sternberg (son of highly respected Golden Age Hollywood Director Josef von Sternberg) was the Cinematographer (he had previously shot DOLEMITE, ALEX JOSEPH AND HIS WIVES and DEATH DRUG among others, and went on to shoot the likes of SKINHEADS, NO RETREAT NO SURRENDER 2 and HOSPITAL MASSACRE). Buchanan made THE LOCH NESS MONSTER next.

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