The Ape (1940)

     On September 30, 1940, Monogram Pictures released The Ape (1940) starring Boris Karloff as Dr. Bernard Adrian.  Dr. Adrian is trying to cure a young woman’s paralysis brought on by polio.  Dr. Adrian’s methods are considered unorthodox and spurs distrust among the towns people.

     The Ape is an actual gorilla, which escaped the local circus.  The gorilla, who has murdered two men, menaces the town but does not play much into the plot until the end of the film.  Most of the film centers around Dr. Adrian removing spinal fluid from medical cases, where death has occurred or is imminent.


Boris Karloff from the Public Domain

     Dr. Adrian’s treatments begin to work, which causes him to need more spinal fluid for treatment.  Will Dr. Adrian actually committ murder to continue the girl’s cure?

     Monogram Pictures took advantage of Boris Karloff’s standing among horror fans from the Universal Horror franchise, where he starred in films such as Frankenstein (1931) and The Mummy (1932).  Monogram made a number of forgetable films with both Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi although there were a few gems in the batch.

     Unfortunately, The Ape is not one of them.  The film runs about 58 minutes.  I would only recommend it for Karloff fans, who want to see all his movies.  If you don’t fall into this category, I would give it a miss.

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