Tuesday, October 02, 2012
The Ape (1940)
Who's in it?: Boris Karloff
What's it about?: A well-meaning mad scientist uses the escape of a circus gorilla to cover up the murders the scientist commits to further his research.
How is it?: Karloff is a different kind of mad scientist, because he really does have good intentions. He's trying to help a young girl who suffers from the same paralyzing disease that killed his daughter. To do that though, he needs spinal fluid from recently deceased bodies. The movie does a nice job of showing the progression of Karloff's descent into madness. His first victim actually is killed by the escaped gorilla, but as Karloff needs more fluid, he gets more involved. It's heartbreaking to watch him, especially because the film constantly dangles hope in front of him.
As sad as it is though, it's also got its fun moments. The gorilla costume is awesome and there's also a good police procedural as the local sheriff tracks the ape and tries to stop the murders.