Steve Hawkes’ Family Film Plays The D, Jan. 1977

Steve Hawkes' Family Film Plays The D, Jan. 1977

Steve Hawkes may be best known to Cult Film fans as the star of Blood Freak, Brad Gritner’s infamous fake blood filled Anti-Drug Turkey Monster flick which was at least had a good performance by the Actor that showed at least he could have been a name in B films after suffering burns from the production of Tarzan and the Rainbow (best known as Tarzan and the Brown Prince) although a huge amount of ultra cheap special effects which are telling of how much money was put into the film is what it’s cult movie following usually watches it for. On a slightly better note, Hawkes is best known to some as the Tarzan that was put into a couple of cheap films and renamed Zan for his debut as the legendary character due to the production not having the rights to use the name but for also having an image that was fitting. Inspired by the adventures of Tarzan and his being rescued by a tiger called Samson on the set of Tarzan and the Rainbow, he decided to move onto forming a private sanctuary after trying to get his film career off the ground after the Gritner debacle with a Family film starring his son and two of the animals that were part of the early days of Jungle World, with Samson still around in the Early 2Ks.

Stevie, Samson, and Delilah was one of the first films for the Florida-based Libert (Ron Libert), and it played the usual round of Matinees before it was shelved and totally forgotten about by the next decade. There was not a VHS release from what I can recall, so don’t expect anything in disc form soon. Despite the lack of anything connected to the film except for the presence of ads and a Temple of Shlock report on the Endangered Film which also has a dismissal from a critic, there is a very small interest in fans to at least see this film.

As reported in Dec. 1972 by The Floridan, and archived by ERBZine, the film started off under the title of Born to Love, as well as Hawkes getting the rights to a film (could this be Blood Freak itself?). After the film not attracting much of an audience, and I could possibly imagine a film that was more with the sensibilities to the 1960’s than the 70’s really being the cause although we still have yet to see it, Hawkes, born Steve Sipek, decided to concentrate on Jungle World.

This ad is from the Detroit News’ 1-14-77 edition.

A full detailed look at Hawkes is here…

In 2001, Jungle World went online, offering the usual assortment of cups and other memorabilia, but also a service where you could send a photo of yourself as a character and have it put into a picture with one of Hawkes’ animals. Also, there was an offer to have a “cartoon” (really just an artwork) made up in the same way. One of the examples of a Boy and a Lion and a Tiger was based on the very ad you see here.

In the highly competitive world of Internet-based culture, however, the site was only had little interest and by 2003, it turned into a simple site that only had pictures of Hawks in his Tarzan years and featuring only five out of the nine animals featured in the startup of the page along with a set of links to animal related pages.

Reportedly, in 2006, Hawkes appeared in the low budget 2056 Escape from Zombie Island, Directed by one time Disco Music Producer Gary Davis, and filmed in West Palm Beach, FLA, it was a Direct to Video release.

As reported (and chronicled on the EWB site) In Feb. 2012, his animals were seized and in 2013, Hawkes was forced to give up the animals through court order,, and as of now the Jungle World site is no more, with the only way to see anything is to go to It was reported that he did not follow state regulations, and that he had to part from his animals, a lifestyle that raised some complaints from people who lived nearby.

Sadly, as this film was not a hit and there was very little interest to release it on video, the film is lost and would have been a nice reminder of Hawkes’ interest in wildlife and making movies. It may not have been as amusing as Blood Freak and not as B-Level Dramatic as his Tarzan films – Stevie, Samson, and Delilah might have been an outright dud – but to fans of both the infamous Regional Horror that delivered on a WTF level and the iconic character that Hawkes at least was proven fitting to play, it might be of interest for at least the running time of the film.


~ by screen13 on June 28, 2013.

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