OCTOBER 3, 2008
The Ape Man is is more or less the exact same movie as The Ape, except that instead of Karloff you get Lugosi, and instead of a guy dressing up as an ape for plot reasons, you get a guy dressing up as an ape for “a real ape probably can’t be trusted to only fake killing Lugosi” reasons. Otherwise, same shit – dames in distress, reporters, something about spinal fluid, inept police, etc.
This one’s a bit better though. Lugosi is turning into an ape, and he has fun doing the walk and wearing the hairy makeup. The transfer is also a hell of a lot better, so I was actually able to follow the story at all times. But still, like all these 40s movies, it’s pretty dull, and I spent half the movie wondering what the equivalent of these movies are today. I would guess DTV scarecrow movies. I’m really curious as to how these movies were received by horror fan audiences back then. Did they get annoyed when they’d see a cool poster/star’s name but wind up with the umpteenth “let’s run around the house finding bodies until the final 2 minutes” movie?
This one does have a pretty unique element though. At the very end of the film, the screenwriter drives up and talks directly to the camera about what a ridiculous story it was. Then he rolls up his window, on which THE END is printed. OK, whatever.
I also dug how Lugosi’s character dealt with both gorillas and apes, as it kept alive my streak of not knowing which is which.
What say you?