The Ape Creature (1968)

aka Der Gorilla von Soho
Article 2488 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-26-2008
Posting Date: 6-4-2008
Directed by Alfred Vohrer
Featuring Horst Tappert, Uschi Glas, Uwe Friedrichsen
Country: West Germany

Foreign millionaires are turning up drowned in London. Witnesses believe that a gorilla may be responsible for the murders, and authorities begin to suspect a charitable institute and a criminal organization known as “The Gorilla Gang”.

It’s hard to know what to make of this frenetic, rather twitchy comic Edgar Wallace krimi, especially since my print runs only 67 minutes; from what I gather, my copy is missing a lot of the sleaziness. The whole trend must have been pretty close to running its course by this time, and director Alfred Vohrer had already adapted this particular story once before in DEAD EYES OF LONDON. Its fast pace keeps things rather entertaining, though, and the fact that I’ve seen two other versions of the story (the earlier Vohrer version and THE HUMAN MONSTER) means that I can navigate the confusing plot with a minimum of effort. It’s the odd comic approach that is the most disconcerting; the (badly dubbed) dialogue is almost a non-stop barrage of clipped, snippy humor, and the character names include a Dr. Jeckyll and a Sgt. Pepper. No, it’s not very good (in fact, it may be pretty bad), but it’s more entertaining than I would have guessed.



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