The Ape Man Review

Directed by William Beaudine

Starring Bela Lugosi

The Ape Man tells the story of Dr. James Brewster who is working on a serum derived from gorilla spinal fluid. Testing his experimental fluid on himself, Dr. Brewster transforms into a simian-like creature.

The film begins six months after the discovery of his serum with his colleague Dr. George Randall, Dr. Brewster’s sister Agatha arrives back home to learn what has happened to her brother.

But Agatha is not the only person that wishes to know what has happened to Dr. Brewster, especially when some strange man puts ideas in the reporters’ heads. Even if the reporters are merely looking for some truth behind ghost stories at Dr. Brewster’s home, their investigations lead them to reveal the truth of Dr. Brewster’s whereabouts.

Dr. Brewster turns vicious and malevolent when he realizes that the cure derives from human spinal fluid. But Dr. Brewster uses some nefarious methods to extract his needed supply.

Using his captive gorilla as a weapon, Dr. Brewster murders several people to gain the needed supply of spinal fluid. His old colleague Dr. Randall refuses to help Dr. Brewster inject the human spinal fluid, destroying his supply and earning his death by the hands of his dear old friend.

In the end of The Ape Man, Dr. Brewster is killed by his mistreated captive gorilla, which after his murderous plot to retrieve enough spinal fluid to transform him back to normal is his just rewards.

For what it is worth, Bela Lugosi is another legend of horror, especially considering he was often typecast because of his accent, which was a part of his image. And even if he is the villain once again in this film, Lugosi has such a presence about him.

The Ape Man was a decent film centered on a scientist’s murderous methods to regain his normal life. But my biggest issue was that the viewers were not able to see the transformation of Dr. Brewster.

The interesting element in The Ape Man was the mysteriously strange man who instigated the reporters’ investigation. In the end of the film, the strange man reveals himself as the author of this story.

He is spotted throughout the film, but I was unaware of his identity until he revealed it. I was thinking “Who the hell is that man?” during the entire film because he was always around in the background or hinting to the reporters about the strange happenings surrounding Dr. Brewster’s disappearance.

If you are interested in horror films starring Bela Lugosi consider seeing The Ape Man, but this film is certainly not for everyone. It certainly is not on my top 100 list of horror films (If I ever wrote such a listing), but if you want to expand your horror film watching to some oldies but goodies by all means see The Ape Man.

~ by nicmarray on January 22, 2010.

One Response to “The Ape Man Review”

  1. I remember seeing this movie for the first time. It had a big reputation as a piece of trash, but I love Lugosi so I wanted to see it anyway. When it finished I watched it again. Despite the limitations of the film, I thought that Lugosi was great, as he always is. I mailed a friend and ranted about it. It sounds funny, but I said “Gone with the Wind? Citizen Kane? No, this is the greatest film ever made!” His reply was “I know what you mean.” I haven’t seen it in a while, but I think it’s time to watch it again.
    Anyone interested in Bela Lugosi might like to visit my blog, Howlin’ where they can find an archive in support of the Lugosi autobiography Vampire Over London: Bela Lugosi in England by Frank Dello Stritto and Andi Brooks.

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