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>
A U.S. look at French horror through a German lens
Much creepier than any mad scientist and his monkey movie has a right to be. Much of the credit must go to cinematographer Karl Freund (The Last Laugh, Metropolis) who gives the movie the feel of a German horror film. Charles D. Hall's distorted sets also help make this often resemble a sound remake of "The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari." The script has a very European flavor as well with lines that sometimes sound as if they were translated from another language. The ape is more convincing than all those later films because of quick cutting between an actual ape's snarling face and a man in a suit, the latter shown not enough to destroy the illusion. At one point stop motion is used to show the ape carrying a woman across the top of buildings a year before "King Kong!" There are three failings, however. Near the end is a long attempt at humor concerning French bureaucracy that hurts the build-up of tension. The other two failings come from the lab. They lay over one sequence a fog effect with the fog blowing at hurricane strength despite no apparent wind anywhere else in the shot. And at the end is a very obvious matte shot with lots of squiggly lines around the characters.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this