(1943) *1/2 (SBIG)
I squeezed this one in while Crystal was off tutoring because of its short running time and hilarious looking cover art. I must remark that it is a sad yet undeniably amusing experience to watch a washed up horror legend hobble around like an ape in a terrible B-movie. At this point in his career Bela’s addiction to painkillers resulted in fewer and fewer desirable role offers. The Ape Man arguably marks his rock bottom.
Lugosi plays the reclusive Dr. Brewster, forced into hiding after his experiments transformed him into a hairy man with a beard and poor posture. Fortunately he has still has his loyal gorilla to assist him with his dirty work. It’s somehow determined that he needs human spinal fluid to reverse the effects, prompting him to go on a clumsy no budget killing spree. It’s all very silly and nearly impossible to follow due to the ghastly sound quality. (I’m not expecting a digitally remastered deluxe edition anytime soon, although I would be more than tempted to check it out.)
I have nothing else noteworthy to say about this other than it inspired me to tackle Bela Lugosi's career next October. Today I traded in some crappy CDs and DVDs at Amoeba and picked up the Dracula Legacy box set. Only 11 more months to go!