The Ape (1940)

May 12, 2011

Boris Karloff plays Dr. Adrian a wronged physician who has developed a cure for paralysis (polio) under not so legal circumstances. His last film for Monogram was directed by William Nigh with screenplay by Curt Siodmak and also starred Henry Hall as no nonsense sheriff, Gertrude Hoffman as the creepy housekeeper of Dr. Adrian, and Maris Wrixon as Frances the paralyzed girl. An escaped gorilla who Karloff kills and then assumes is the perfect cover for his killing spree to get the spinal fluid he needs for his experiments.There is a lot of soap opera with regards to Frances, her mother and boyfriend, and Dr. Adrian. While some feel this was an excellent effort from Monogram I really couldn’t get into this one very much at all except for Karloff. The gang of little rascal characters took away from the film as well as other subplots which added nothing at all to the storyline. Siodmak has certainly done far better work than what he put together for this film. Kay fashioned a more than acceptable score, creating a motif for the ape, something he rarely did. If you enjoy Karloff you’ll want to spend an hour of your time watching this otherwise pass on this one for another. The two stars are only for Karloff (**).

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