237. Africa Screams (1949)

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*The Warlock opens the door to his lair. He’s wearing a black leather jacket, black t-shirt, blue jeans, white sneakers and gargoyle shades. He’s holding a wine glass of Dr. Pepper*

Warlock: Welcome to my lair…welcome I don’t think so, but enter. Enter my lair if you dare. I’m your host The Warlock.

*Warlock levitates before walking inside*

Warlock: Tonight we are joined by Mr. America.

*Mr. America stands from the left side of the couch wearing white camo fatigues, vest and hat along with black combat boots and aviator shades*

America: TEN HUT!

*America salutes, Warlock returns it, America sits down*

Warlock: Oh and I forgot…making his return to the Realm….the one….the only….MR. WALLSTREET!

*Mr. Wallstreet spins around in the recliner, he’s wearing a black armani suit with white undershirt, red tie and brown dress shoes*

Wallstreet: Guess who’s back…back again.

Warlock: Now that the band is back together, its time to go back to the past for tonight’s movie.

America: And what movie is that?

Warlock: Wallstreet handpicked this one himself. Its called Africa Screams, starring Abbot and Costello but with guest appearances by people we know.

America: This better be good.

*Warlock takes his seat on the right side of the couch*

Warlock: It better be, so let’s get started with Africa Screams.

 

Directed by Charles Barton

Written by Earl Baldwin, Martin Ragaway and Leonard Stern

 

*Warlock reads the tag-line*

Warlock: “Abbot and Costello search for diamonds in Africa, along the way meeting a visually-impaired gunner, a hungry lion and a tribe of cannibals”

America: Huh??????

Wallstreet: Sounds promising.

 

*Opening credits*

Warlock: Look at the bottom two names.

Wallstreet: Joe!

America: Shemp!

 

*Opening song*

Warlock: The song would be scary for another movie.

 

*Stanley Livington (Lou Costello) tries to tame a kitten who scares HIM off*

Warlock: The smittens.

America: Hahahahha

 

*Buzz Johnson (Bud Abbot) holds up the kitten and Stanley freaks out. Stanley says when he was a baby he was terrified of his piggy bank*

Warlock: Hahahaha

 

*Grapper McCoy (Max Baer) and Boots Wilson (Buddy Baer) pulls Stanley over the counter and says they’ll give him 1,000 dollars to draw a map of Africa*

Warlock: The Baer brothers. Both were boxers, Max was world champion and Buddy knocked down Joe Louis.

 

*Diana Emerson (Hillary Brooke) asks about the Safari book. Buzz introduces Stanley to her. Buzz says Stanley is a big game hunter and Diana says she’ll offer 2500 dollars for him to draw the map. Later on Boots and Grappler are working for a mob boss…Diana. They figure out they both tried to hire the same guy. Diana says after Buzz and Stanley walk in to give them the business. Diana tells Harry (Joe Besster) to answer the door. He whines and answers the door*

Warlock: That was his act, he was a whinebag.

 

*Harry takes their hats and has the faucet that was on Stanley’s hand stuck to his hand now*

America and Wallstreet: Hahahahaha

 

*Stanley tries to take the thing off Harry’s hand. Harry “Not so hardddddd”

Wallstreet: So that’s where it comes from.

 

*Diana brings in Clyde (Clyde Beatty) who is a real explorer. Her plan to wipe out Stanley and Buzz, Buzz listens in. Harry gets water sprayed in his face*

Warlock: Are ya listenin…bubbbaboo,bubbabbooo

*America slaps Warlock*

 

*Diana asks Harry where they are, he says the living room. He still has the faucet on his hand. Stanley spots Clyde and gets scared*

Warlock: Kind of like Jackie Gleason. By the way Moe Howard considers Lou Costello’s act a knockoff of Curly.

 

*Stanley tells Clyde without knowing who he is that Clyde Beatty is a phony and he’s the real lion tamer. Clyde introduces himself and Stanley spazzes out. Stanley introduces himself and Clyde introduces himself causing Stanley to spazz too. They’ve been treading on his name for years. Diana walks in and says Stanley needs to draw the map. Clyde leaves and Diana pulls Harry aside. She says Grappler and Boots are waiting and tells Harry to call them off. Buzz tells Diana that they won’t draw the map but they’ll go for 5 grand apiece.  She says she’s bringing in a crack shot to help them. There’s a knock on the door*

Warlock: Gee I wonder who that could be.

 

*Diana brings in Gunner (Shemp Howard) who wears goggle glasses and cant see*

Warlock: Who’s that?

America: I know who that is.

Wallstreet: Heh

 

*Gunner walks into pool cues and aims a rifle the wrong way. Stanley goes to escape but Harry accidentally slams a door in his face*

Warlock: They’re missing Moe in spirit.

 

*Next frame is the opening theme as the African Safari takes place*

Warlock: We got an hour left, can you make it?

America: Mmmhmmmm

 

*Buzz and Stanley yell at each other while an alligator follows*

Warlock: What’s the alligator’s name?

Wallstreet: Andy.

 

*Stanley sees the alligator and paddles away using the wrong side of the oar*

Warlock: Hahahhaa

 

*Harry is on the Safari as well. Gunner ties Harry up by accident. Harry whines and leaves. Gunner “Always complaining.”

Warlock: Surreal to see Shemp and Joe, Joe replacing him and all.

 

*Clyde tells Diana things are going to plan. Boots and Grappler complain and Diana slaps Grappler saying not to mention diamonds. Buzz gives a nickel to Stanley to draw a map. Buzz says to Diana he wants a new deal. He wants 20% of the profits they generate and she says sure. Buzz opens the map and he drew a map to a local department store. Buzz walks away as Diana tells Harry to fetch Boots and Grappler. Stanley reveals the map he’s been drawing for years is the map to the store and wonders why they wanted to pay so much money for it. Buzz realizes they’re in trouble and go to leave, only to be stopped by Boots and Grappler who threaten them. As soon as they walk away, Stanley whispers  threatssoftly so they can’t hear him*

Warlock and America: Hahahahaha

 

*Stanley and Buzz argue as Harry runs around like a mad man*

America: How long before they ask him why he’s running back and forth.

 

*Harry says his tent is on fire*

Warlock: 4 seconds.

 

*Clyde, Stanley, Buzz say to pitch camp and Diana agrees. Gunner fumbles around*

America: Hahahaha

 

*A lion cub shows up and Stanley gets freaked out. Buzz picks it up*

Warlock: Awww lookit der smittens.

 

*Stanley runs after the baby cub and runs into the real lion, Stanley runs like hell the other way*

Warlock: Hahahahahaa

America: I knew that wasn’t going to end well.

 

*Stanley pulls a gorilla (Charles Gemora) out of a hole and Stanley faints*

Warlock: Why is it every movie Shemp is in has a gorilla in it?

America: You’re asking the wrong person.

Wallstreet: He’s bananas.

 

*Frank (Frank Buck) says they have a trap laid out*

Warlock: What the hell?

 

*Buzz and Frank introduce each other. Frank says he’s looking for Orangutan Gargantua*

Warlock: The gorilla they found?

 

*Bobo (Burt Wenland) opens the trap and Buzz figures out Stanley is in it. The natives run away*

America: This is making a monkey out of the situation.

Wallstreet: African League of Road Improvement?

 

*Stanley and the gorilla imitate each other*

Warlock: I think they better get back to camp.

 

*Grappler and Boots put Andy the Alligator in a cage but it escapes*

Warlock: Andy made it.

 

*Stanley wants to take a bath and Buzz says Diana maybe has the diamonds already. Stanley scoffs as Andy swims into the lake. Buzz makes Stanley dive onto the wrong side of the lake where crocodiles are*

Warlock: This is not gonna end well.

 

*Buzz sees Andy and faints. Andy starts tickling Stanley. Stanley sees Andy and swims for it*

Warlock: Swim for your life!

 

*Boots and Grappler complain about Stanley and Buzz while Clyde does his lion taming act*

Warlock: Good thing Neyzor Blades can’t see this.

America: 36 minutes left.

Wallstreet: I believe we’re going to make it.

 

*Clyde wants to bring lions back to the states. Stanley pulls Diana aside and has Buzz dress as a lion. Diana spots the Buzz as a lion and freaks out. Buzz then sees a real lion and faints*

Warlock: What’s his name?

America: Who?

Warlock: The lion.

America: Burt.

 

*Burt the Lion walks into the camp and Stanley puts him in the cage thinking its Buzz. Stanley locks himself in and throws both the key and his gun away. Grapper and Boots scoff*

Warlock: Hahahaha

Wallstreet: This is going to be funny.

 

*Stanley talks to Burt like its Buzz and Burt swipes at him. Stanley bites Burt’s paw and it growls out. Grappler, Boots and Diana leave. Buzz shows up and Stanley acts like he’s not even in the cage. He laughs as Buzz says to get out of there. Stanley acts like the lion is fake until he realizes its a real one. Buzz finds the key and walks back, thinking Burt ate Stanley. He laments as Clyde opens the cage. All the lions are let in the cage and Clyde tames them all*

Warlock: Neyz would hate this.

 

*Stanley was hiding inside the box the whole time.He goes to run out and the other lions chase him away. Stanley runs into Buzz who laments about him, Stanley plays along*

Wallstreet: Hahahahaha

 

*Buzz says he’ll get the lion and Stanley says don’t do that. Buzz realizes its him next to him and acts like he’s a mirage. Buzz calls him a doublecrosser and bops him. He falls and lands on a real diamond*

Warlock: Don’t get hoggish.

 

*Stanley says those aren’t diamonds, they’re broken milk bottles*

Warlock: Its a trap!

 

*Cannibal Chief (Martin Wilkins) set the diamonds to lure them into a trap. Buzz and Stanley are caught and prepared*

Warlock: Ever seen Cannibal Ferox?

America: No.

Warlock: Good.

America: I’m guessing its better that I didn’t?

Warlock: Mmmhmmm

 

*Chief looks over Stanley and Buzz*

Warlock: 20 minutes left, let’s finish this.

 

*Stanley frees himself but forgets to untie Buzz. Buzz gives him shit for it*

Warlock: That would be something you’d do, America.

America: Yeah, I;m better off leaving you behind.

 

*The cannibals attack but George The Gorilla bops them down. Stanley hits the tree*

America: Yeah you really showed that tree.

 

*Buzz confronts Diana about the diamonds. He says he can lead her to them. He says he wants 50 percent, take it or leave it. Diana says she’s going to fire Clyde and take the offer. Buzz says to move his stuff and to leave Stanley’s stuff there. The cannibals show up and Harry goes to get Diana. Diana tells Clyde he can go and Harry brings Diana to the cannibals. Chief wants a conference with the interpreter (Bill Walker). The translator wants to trade diamonds for Stanley. Diana says sure. Buzz listens in and asks Gunner if he sees Stanley, tell him to hide. Buzz looks for Stanley as he happens to walk right into the conference. He babbles for awhile before he runs for it. Grapper and Boots are told by Diana to go after Stanley. Buzz watches from in hiding. He grabs the diamonds*

Warlock: You greedy sonovabitch.

 

*Stanley runs from the cannibals*

Warlock: He runs fast for a fat guy

America; He does move real well.

 

*Buzz walks into George The Gorilla and faints. Stanley picks him up and they run for it. Buzz grabs the diamond bag and says he’ll hide them. He hides them with George watching. George steals them as Diana is caught in one of Frank’s traps. She asks where Stanley and Buzz are. They run to the cannibal camp as Harry has Gunner by the hands*

Warlock: Hahahahhaa

 

*Stanley and Buzz split up*

America: We all know how that works out.

 

*Gunner and Harry corner Stanley.  Harry says to hold him while he gets help. Stanley points Gunner’s gun at a tree. Later he pretends to be Harry and carries Shemp away. Buzz finds the spot where the diamonds were buried but they’re gone*

Warlock: So who stole the show in this movie?

Wallstreet: Lou Costello.

 

*George calls all the monkeys using a horn. Grappler and Boots abandon the cannibals and run into the monkey trap. They think the other tripped them and they start brawling. Boots “I’ll hit you harder than Louis ever did.”

Warlock: They probably really are hitting each other, that’s the best part.

 

*The monkeys knock both men out*

Warlock: Louis beat both of them.

 

*The cannibals run into the 20 foot tall Orangutan Gargantua. Stanley sees him too and runs like hell*

Warlock: Nice special effects for 1949.

 

*The monkeys bop Stanley when George shows up. George grabs the diamonds, picks up Stanley, Stanley sees him and runs*

Warlock and America: Hahahahhahaa

 

*Buzz goes to leave and Stanley wants on the raft. Buzz refuses to let him on and tells him to get lost. Andy the Alligator shows up as Stanley walks off. Next frame is Stanley a millionaire playboy with his own building*

Warlock: What the hell?

 

*Stanley meets Mr. Mercer (Arthur Hecht) and then gets in the elevator. Buzz is the bellhop. He wants a raise and Stanley says he’ll talk to his partner. His partner in the office is George the Gorilla. Stanley says he’s in. End credits*

America: What?

 

Mr. America’s Assessment: I give it a 5

Mr. Wallstreet’s Assessment: I give it a 7

The Warlock’s Assessment: I give it a 6

Final Grade: 6 out of 10: Good

 

*Warlock rises from the couch*

Warlock: It was interesting to see so many comics in one movie and have it still be entertaining. Its not great but its 1949 so there’s not much to complain about in terms of modern standards. Its worth a one time look.

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