The Ape 2002 Horror Movie Review
Horror movies Review
I love campy old movies featuring a guy in a gorilla costume, especially when the guy is supposed to be a real gorilla. A movie with a moth-eaten gorilla outfit is even better when paired with Boris Karloff as kindly Dr. Bernard Adrian.
Dr. Adrian has been diligently working on a serum that will cure paralysis. Unfortunately, the doctor makes his serum using human spinal fluid. Even more unfortunately, his “donors” need to be alive when he makes his serum. Most unfortunately, his “donors” do not survive the experience. Dr. Adrian would probably call the death of his donors an unfortunate side effect.
I guess the FDA had yet to enforce the 1938 Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in the area that Dr. Adrian was living, because he was injecting his untested serum into Miss Frances Clifford (Maris Wrixon, “Meet John Doe” and 70 plus other film and television appearances).
Backing up a little, a circus went through town. One of the features of the circus was a gorilla. One of the animal keepers seemed to enjoy tormenting the gorilla. One of the rules of horror movies is never abuse anything with the potential to kill you. After taking care of business, the gorilla takes a stroll through town and then into Dr. Adrian’s house, where the injured keeper was brought after the ape attack.
The ape keeps hovering about Dr. Adrian’s house, and keeps killing. I guess the gorilla enjoyed killing the keeper and took it up as a hobby.
A bunch of stuff happens to the end of the movie. We get to see how kindly Dr. Adrian is. We see that Dr. Adrian’s serum is not likely to kill Frances Clifford and it might even do some good. The townspeople think the good doctor is evil and we wonder whether the townspeople will burn him at a stake (I exaggerate). Since the townspeople are reluctant to run the doctor out of town and they are reluctant to burn him at the stake, they stalk the ape instead.
You are left with a bunch of questions that the end of the movie will resolve. Do they catch the ape? Does Frances Clifford enter a marathon? Do they will the gorilla suit to another movie? Incidentally, I am thinking this gorilla suit might have been bleached and used in “White Pongo,” which also featured Maris Wrixon. So many questions for a movie that is so short. Also, does Dr. Adrian win some sort of prize for his miracle serum or a short trip to the electric chair?
This movie makes a real shot at having a clever ending. I thought the ending was one of the better ones in a horror movie from this era, even if it was somewhat predictable for modern audiences. I liked Boris Karloff as Dr. Adrian. Dr. Adrian was a rather interesting variation on the Jekyll and Hyde theme. The gorilla suit was cheesy and I wonder if the same Gorilla suit has been making the rounds of Hollywood for decades. The townspeople were stereotypical and seemed to be the townspeople from “Frankenstein.” The result is roughly three stars. Fans of Karloff’s early movies will probably enjoy this one. Fans of Maris Wrixon might also like this film. If you are following the progress of the gorilla suit in this film, you might be interested in this movie. Everyone else can just go ape somewhere else.