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.