Night of the Bloody Apes (1968)

I was silly enough to buy the British version of this title because it was cheaper ... stupid me. I think the extra spice deleted by the uptight Brits would have really helped this little gem. Oh well, I've learned my lesson. This is a fun little Mexican piece which features nudity, female wrestling, gore, medical horror and men in cheap ape suits. What more could you want?

The plot's pretty basic. An elderly doctor's son is suffering from Leukemia. The medicine of the time (1968 I guess) cannot help him, so along with his crippled, limping assistant, who of course refers to him as "Master" - why can't someone call me Master? - they tranquilize a captive Gorilla, remove the heart and replace it in his son's body, in order to invigorate his deteriorating condition. Shockingly, while this revives the youth, it gives him a sort-of ape's face and a bad attitude, along with a giant scar on his chest. The heart transplant scene is a real one, and it's pretty icky for it's reality.

The Ape-man escapes and runs amok as you'd expect, raping, gouging out eyes, scalping, decapitating and killing all and sundry. Even after the creature is caught and has a human heart put into his chest, his ape-nature still reasserts itself. I've seen pictures of the eye-gouging and scalping (always favorites) but they weren't on my accursed British disk. Damn my ancestors!! Anyway, the Detective on the trail finally corners the re-escaped "Monster" as he's referred to, who has kidnapped a little girl from a hospital. Some bullets fly and our little film comes to an end, with certain parties dead. Is it all worth a look?

I'd say yes, in it's full form. Director Rene Cardona has fashioned something which should be seen by fans of Mexican exploitation Cinema. I love "Medical Horror" and have always been a fan of wrestling. This one has a little sub-plot of the girlfriend of the Detective, and her wrestling career. She has a pretty nifty devil-girl costume, does a brief nude scene and the Mexican wrestling scenes are fun. The Ape-Monster is a must-see - strange how his ape-ness ends at his face - with his stiff mask and silly growling eliciting more humour than horror. There's lots of endless padding scenes of people walking up stairs and through rooms, but the general air of seriousness combined with the ludidrous goings-on and English dubbing make for an entertaining ride. There's still a bit of nudity and gore left after the British snips, but get your hands on an uncut American version, with a few more extras to it.

Now, whip yourselves up some nachos and have a good time. Do make sure it's an uncut good time, though!

© Boris Lugosi 2003.


Review written: 01/05/2003 14:57:41