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Site created 12/15/97.


review added: 5/4/00



Trader Hornee
Special Edition - 1970 (2000) - Something Weird (Image)

review by Todd Doogan of The Digital Bits

Trader Hornee: Special Edition Film Rating: B+

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B+/B/A

Specs and Features

84 mins, NR, letterboxed widescreen (1.66:1), single-sided, single-layered, Snapper case packaging, commentary track (with Something Weird's Mike Vraney and director/producer David F. Friedman), gallery of exploitation art, theatrical trailer, scene access (15 chapters), languages: English (DD 2.0 mono), subtitles: none


"The ee’s are silent."

15 years ago, the Matthews family headed out into the wilds of Africa in search of the legendary white gorilla Nabucco, only to be murdered by the carny-speaking tribe of the Meshpoka. Although unconfirmed, their young daughter, Prentice, was believed to still be alive and living somewhere in the jungle. Hamilton Hornee (a broken down private dick - the ee's are silent) and his assistant-slash-girlfriend Jane Sommers are asked by the Vice President of the Bank of Wabash to find the long lost Prentice Matthews, heir to the Matthews vast fortune. Along for the ride are Prentice’s cousins Max Matthews and his bed-hopping wife Doris, next in line to inherit the fortune if she isn’t found. Also making the journey are Tender Lee, the syndicated columnist (also sleeping with the Vice President of the Bank) with plans on breaking the epic story, and zoologist Stanley Livingston (he doesn't like to be called daddy by his two teen lovers), who has visions of finding Nabucco himself and becoming famous. Oh... and let’s not forget their drunken guide Kenya Adler, who can't seem to shoot a gun to save his life.

Trader Hornee is a pretty funny, well-made exploitation flick. There are ample amounts of comedy, sex and sight gags to keep any jaded film fan entranced for an hour or so. I honestly didn’t think I’d like it very much when I got it, and it surprised me. The story ends up going the obvious route, with the expedition getting abducted by the Meshpoka. It’s there that they make the oh, so shocking (yeah, right) discovery that Prentice is now Algona, the white goddess of the tribe. Couldn’t see that one coming. Still, it ends up having some funny (if dated) moments of real humor. A bevy of naked chicks help, and Deek Sills makes an impressive showing as Algona/Prentice, playing the role like a cavewoman with a wink and a smile. This is a fine movie to kill a few hours on a late Saturday morning with while eating your Boo Berry cereal.

The disc from Image is a show-stopper. The film looks very nice. There is some obvious edge enhancement right from the start (showing up in the map of Africa that kicks things off). But that, and the fact that this is a non-anamorphic transfer, would be my only complaints. The colors and contrasts (especially the skin tones) are spot perfect and the print that was used is virtually flawless. Also thrown in is a very loooooong trailer, a gallery of artwork from the advertising of Friedman films and an entertaining commentary with Mike Vraney (from Something Weird) and producer/director David Friedman. It’s a good track that manages to provide some information on the filming, characters behind the scenes and some of the sight gags and the references made to "real" movies Trader Hornee was spoofing. All said, a very fine DVD special edition.

These films from Something Weird are treasures in and of themselves, but on disc they’re sure to impress everyone. Head into the wilds of your local DVD shop and pick yourself up a copy of that monkey-lovin’ Trader Hornee. You might be as entertained as I was.

Todd Doogan
todddoogan@thedigitalbits.com




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