Night of the Bloody Apes (1968)

Article #1223 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-20-2004
Posting Date: 12-17-2004
Directed by Rene Cardona
Featuring Armando Silvestre, Norma Lazareno, Jose Elias Moreno

A doctor desperate to save the life of his son transplants the heart of a gorilla into his body. Unfortunately, this turns his son into a half man / half beast who then goes on a violent rampage.

One of the things I love about much of the Mexican horror I’ve screened so far is underneath all the silliness and wrestling there was a sense of charming innocence. This remake of DOCTOR OF DOOM has certain things going for it. For one thing, I like the use of color; especially during the wrestling scenes. Also, I like the fact that the doctor performing the operations is not a madman out to rule the world, but a grieving father who wishes to save the life of his only son. However, the sense of innocence is gone. In its place, we get gratuitous gore (open-heart surgery, several graphic mutilation sequences) and gratuitous sex and nudity (a rape sequence and a lot of female nudity). It’s always a bit gratuitous to have a woman interrupted while she’s in the shower; to have it happen twice in the same movie also shows a real lack of imagination as well. In some ways, it shows a bit more skill than some other Mexican horror movies, but I really mourn the loss of innocence here, even if much of the silliness is still intact; after all, how many movies have their monster running around in pajamas during the last half?


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