Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sons of Kong?: The Ape (1940)

A slightly-silly, but otherwise nothing Film.  We're in a new Decade with the Sons of Kong DVD Set and with a new Star: Boris Karloff.  This seems to be his only appearance in the set, so let's see if he can make it count.  Today's Film is The Ape, a 1940 Film about, well, a Gorilla.  The whole Ape vs. Gorilla vs. Monkey thing is all sorts of mixed up in these Films and I certainly don't have the Degree to get into it.  Let's move on, shall we?  The Film involves a Scientist, a paralyzed girl and an Ape on the loose.  How does it all tie together?  It is all kinds of silly, so you just have to see this.  To find out the whole story, read on...
Boris is a Scientist who people in the town don't seem to trust.  Is he really evil or just misunderstood?
He can't be that bad, as he is working to help this young lady get her ability to walk back.
At a Circus that night, the Ape escapes after killing its handler...who was abusing it because it killed his father.  Super-forced irony, anyone?
After the fire (why not?), the escaped Ape goes on a rampage, but is stopped and captured by Karloff.
The Ape goes back on the loose and all sorts of trouble rises from this.  The Cops and local Criminals are on the case!
Meanwhile, Karloff's treatments seem to be working as the young lady gets sensation in her legs!
He keeps working on her, but there is some suspicion growing towards him and what he may be up to in order to get his results.
The Ape is finally shot in front of Karloff's house was him wearing a suit (or the skin)!
The Police are nice enough to disguise his deeds from the young lady (literally taking him out of the suit) and she can now walk.  Yea, I guess.  The End.
Not really bad, but definitely weird.  These Films usually either feature a really-redeemable Scientist or a batshit insane one that is evil.  In this case, they kind of split the difference.  Karloff apparently finds the cure for paralysis...or at least one form of it.  That seems like it should be a big deal, right?  The set-up for him doing some devious and deadly things for his research to bear fruit is worth noting.  He sets an important vial on the table and looks away.  The tiny thing rolls off and breaks on the ground.  Could you imagine if people treated the Polio Vaccine that way?!?  Seriously dude, they have things specifically-designed to hold beakers of all sizes.  To be fair, at this point he had only played the Monster/Adam and not Dr. Frankenstein (or the guy from House of Frankenstein), so he hadn't learned that kind of thing.  I also like the weird logical leap he makes to skin the ape and then dress like it.  How do you decide to do that?!?  This Film is light on Action and Suspense, so it is kind of a mixed bag.  It is not quite a lost gem, but isn't one that should be buried.  If nothing else, Karloff is always good, even when he's doing his 'I am not amused' face...
Next up, another Sons of Kong Film and the return of...ugh, Mantan Moreland.  Don't tell the NAACP about this one!  Stay tuned...

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