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10.24.2017
Ivory Ape, The (1980)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger
12.22.10

Ivory Ape, The (1980) This is an odd "Killer gorilla" movie, one of several life action flicks produced by Rankin-Bass, who had done THE BERMUDA DEPTHS and THE LAST DINOSAUR. A full grown albino gorilla is discovered and captured by some natives in Zaire, Africa. A woman scientist, Lil Tyler (Cindy Pickett of SLEEPWALKERS), who is devoted to protecting endangered species, gets wind of it. But an English poacher beats her to the ape and buys it from the natives. He hauls it aboard a ship bound for Cuba, where he'll sell the simian to the highest bidder. However, the ship gets caught in a storm and is sidetracked to Bermuda. There, Lil Tyler and her colleague (and former boyfriend), Baxter Mapes, try to intercept them. But the ape has escaped its cage and is loose on the island.

Baxter is reunited with an old rich friend (Jack Palance), who is also a big game hunter.

This guy recounts how his eight year old son was attacked by a crocodile the year before and how he shot him to spare him the horrible pain of dismemberment. It's a good scene but some of the "oomph!" is taken away because Palance sounds like he's channeling William Shatner. When he finds out about the ape he wants to hunt it, though what happens at the end of the movie surprises him.

For the most part the deaths caused by the gorilla are accidental. The ape costume itself is decent, particularly the face, but the full-body costume doesn't quite work with the front arm extensions. Still, an entertaining movie.

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