Friday, October 13, 2023

Blood Of The Vines - Going Ape

Pairing‌ ‌wine‌ ‌with‌ ‌movies!‌  ‌See‌ ‌the‌ ‌trailers‌ ‌and‌ ‌hear‌ ‌the‌ ‌fascinating‌ ‌commentary‌ ‌for‌ ‌these‌ ‌movies‌ ‌and‌ ‌many‌ ‌more‌ ‌at‌ ‌Trailers‌ ‌From‌ ‌Hell.‌ This week, we will go ape and find wines to pair with a simian set of cinematic celluloid.

How in the world, you may wonder, is he going to tie in wine with primates? It's going to be easier than you thought. Some monkeys have quite a taste for alcohol. There are scientists who make a living by studying chimps going ape over palm wine. Poor things can't get hold of any good stuff. 

There are some monkeys who actually come out of the jungle to nearby resorts and raid the bar when no one is looking. That's absolutely true, you could look it up. Do they crack open a bottle and watch movies about themselves? They probably would, if given half a chance. We certainly can.

Jungle Captive was released in 1945 as part of Universal's wave of horror films. It was the final film in the studio's Cheela, The Ape Woman series. Jungle Captive was the sequel to the previous year's Jungle Woman, which was a sequel to Captive Wild Woman. I am beginning to notice a theme emerging. It was re-released as Wild Jungle Captive, although there is no evidence that it was any wilder or more captive under that title. 

TFH's head guru Joe Dante once included this picture in his list of the worst horror films of all time. Joe tells me that he thought so little of Jungle Captive only because he hadn't seen Jungle Woman, which he says "makes Jungle Captive look like King Kong."

Denver's Infinite Monkey Theorem is a woman-owned winery named after the notion that if you turn an infinite number of monkeys loose in a vineyard, somehow wine would be made. Or something like that. They specialize in canned wine with inventive names like "White Wine" and "Red Wine." 

From 1943, Captive Wild Woman features Acquanetta as the Gorilla Girl. Acquanetta had nothing to do with Aquanet hair spray. John Carradine is seen in what is probably not one of his more memorable roles. If you like finding 1960s TV actors in movies that gave them a leg up, you'll love seeing Milburn Stone in a role other than "Doc" on Gunsmoke.

Gorilla Wines has a number of Italian bottlings, all of which contribute to the conservation effort to save the African Mountain Gorillas. They say there are only a thousand of them left, so it is a good cause. Try the Gorilla Primitivo, which is actually Zinfandel in an Italian disguise.

If you want some down-and-dirty, low-budget thrills, 1958's The Bride and the Beast should be number one on your program. The screenplay was penned by none other than Ed Wood. It shows. The movie gives new meaning to the phrase "low budget." 

The story follows a newlywed couple who discover that she was a gorilla in a previous life. He has a pet gorilla. I'm gonna let you turn your imagination loose to figure out how that marriage plays out. Here is a hint. The one-sheet cries out, "Human mate for jungle brutes." Oops, I gave it away.

Elgin Winery of Arizona has a Naughty Monkey wine that fits nicely with this movie. It is a sweet Moscato which would please an ape and the gorilla his dreams. 

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