Halloween Harvest 2011 --- Black Zoo
|If Newspapers Were Like This, I'd Have Chosen a Career in Journalism|
|The Best Thing About Black Zoo May Have Been Reynold Brown's Varied and Vivid Poster Art|
Tony was right in guessing I'd not see Black Zoo and expose his perfidy. Once a show left town, it was gone, especially in a small berg where management was disinclined toward second runs. It's only in a just past week, and thanks to Warner's Archive, that I've finally caught Black Zoo, forty-eight years not an unreasonable wait, I suppose, to know once and for all that no such scene as Tony described appears in the film. Is there primal need we all share to watch humans set upon by wild beasts? I admit looking forward to realization of lurid art shown here, even if Black Zoo but fitfully lived up to its promise.
|Show Me The Nine-Year-Old Who Doesn't Relish Seeing Men Eaten By Lions|
|Lions and Tigers In a Cemetary --- Why Didn't Anyone Think Of That Before?|
|Guess We'd All Take a Pass On Attacks Like This, Nocturnal Or Otherwise.|
|Micheal Gough Enacts Tender Black Zoo Love Scene|
Cohen had done "survey work" that identified "the booming community of suspense and terror buffs." He called theirs the biggest single audience movies have today. Herman had long been ahead of the pack for recognizing clubhouses shock fans gathered to, having used TV horror hosts to push Horrors Of The Black Museum in 1959. Now he'd widen the net to include monster magazines well entrenched by 1963. There was forgivable hyperbole in claims of "combined readership that runs into the millions," but little doubt these mags lifted Black Zoo attendance among that very group Cohen targeted, his a visionary outreach to a niche overlooked, if not ignored, by convention-bound merchandisers.
|Elisha Cook Gets Comeuppance For Tiger Taunting --- He'd Later Call Black Zoo "A Terrible, Awful, Picture"|
|How Many Of You Out There Still Have Your Copy?|
Now we at last have Black Zoo on DVD, properly wide and colorfully rendered. It's a handsome show for one done on modest budget. Herman Cohen told Variety in 1963 that Zoo cost a million, which seems hardly likely ... cutting that by two-thirds might get closer to the actual tab. Still, there's nice photography by veteran Floyd Crosby of more recent AIP accomplishment (he made their Poes look like the million Herman aspired to) while hired-for-a-day-or-two faces Elisha Cook, Jerome Cowan (Wilmer Cook and Miles Archer together again!), along with Virginia Grey, made Black Zoo inviting as a curl-up with late, late movies at home, said comfort zone being what Cohen no doubt had in mind when he cast these players.
|Michael Gough and Ill-Fated Rod Lauren With Looks-To-Be-Drugged Cub in Black Zoo|