Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 5/4/00
Edition - 1970 (2000) - Something Weird (Image)
review by Todd Doogan of
The Digital Bits
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:
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
Prentices cousins Max Matthews and his bed-hopping wife Doris,
next in line to inherit the fortune if she isnt 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 lets 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 didnt think Id 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.
Its there that they make the oh, so shocking (yeah, right)
discovery that Prentice is now Algona, the white goddess of the
tribe. Couldnt 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. Its 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 theyre 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.