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A physician on death row for a mercy killing is allowed to experiment on a serum using a criminals' blood, but secretly tests it on himself. He gets a pardon, but finds out he's become a Jekyll-&-Hyde.
Dr. Bernard Adrian is a kindly mad scientist who seeks to cure a young woman's polio. He needs spinal fluid from a human to complete the formula for his experimental serum. Meanwhile, a vicious circus ape has broken out of its cage, and is terrorizing towns people. Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
Very minor and frankly dull Boris Karloff vehicle, one of the "mad scientist" roles he specialized in during this phase of his career. The plot takes pains to render the idea of how despised his character is, presumably because of his unorthodox experiments, but I cannot fathom why surely what he was engaged in would prove exceedingly beneficial to mankind if successful (as readily acknowledged by an authority brought in from out of town to investigate him)! A measure of the film's ambivalence in this respect is that both views will be accounted for at the very end as Karloff's miracle cure does work, but he has had to resort to the despicable act of murder in order to procure specimens!; incidentally, this latter business and the fact that one of the protagonists is wheelchair-bound would both resurface to infinitely infinitely greater effect in a later Karloff picture, the Val Lewton classic THE BODY SNATCHER (1945). The titular creature, then, is seen prowling about a number of times even after having watched Karloff stab it: where we supposed to know that he was behind subsequent killings?; my brother actually arrived at this conclusion about three-quarters of the way in but I just could not believe Karloff would go to such extremes for Science (after all, he failed to save the immediate members of his family and had kept up the fight for a good 10 years afterwards why should he bother so much with the rest of the world, especially since they hated him for it?!) and, in any case, being a doctor does not automatically give one a propensity for taxidermy, does it?! All things considered, this is watchable but inessential and not nearly as much fun (in a guilty pleasure kind of way) as when Bela Lugosi did something similar i.e. in THE APE MAN (1943).
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