In 19th Century Paris, the maniacal Dr. Mirakle abducts young women and injects them with ape blood in an attempt to prove ape-human kinship. He constantly meets failure as the abducted women die. Medical student Pierre Dupin discovers what Mirakle is doing too late to prevent the abduction of his girlfriend Camille. Now he desperately tries to enlist the help of the police to get her back. Written by
Gary Jackson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Having decided not to do the Frankenstein monster, Bela's next film for Universal was this rather stagey thriller about a demented doctor trying to mix the blood of an ape with a virgin. The story is a bit far-fetched, and Lugosi is as over-the-top as he can get, but for the most part the film is good, solid entertainment. The film is a bit slow, and its has no music in the background. Add to this some stoic acting on the part of the cast as a whole(Lugosi excepted of course)and some frequent, flat direction from Florey(say that a few times quickly). Florey shows flashes of brilliance(many of them coming through the magic of Karl Freund's camerawork) with scenes such as Lugosi's pitch in the carnival tent, Lugosi murdering a street prostitute, and the finale of Paris above ground. Florey is also remarkably mundane in many scenes too, adding little depth to many of the characters as well as not creating enough suspense where always needed. Florey does deliver more often than not, however. This film is a good example of the traditional Universal horror film, as well as vehicle to display the talents of one Bela Lugosi. Look for Arlene Francis(of What's My Line fame) as a prostitute tied to a cross of woodbeams(possibly one of the best sequences in the film).
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