Monday, August 4, 2008


Let it be known: if you deem yourself a scientist and still insist that your assistants call you "master," then your work might not really serve the best intentions. If nothing else, NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES, directed by Rene Cardona, reminds us to question doctors who perform illicit ape-human heart transplants to save their own children from debilitating diseases, especially when said children transform into blood-thirsty monsters determined to rape, scalp, and decapitate anyone who crosses their paths. Dr. Krallman performs this kind of surgery with these results, and indeed, he insists that his assistant call him "master."

Tenebrous Kate, whose scandalous reflections demand your every day attention, promised us a "rapey half-mans, half-monkeys" a few days back, and for SURE, I thought, she meant that she'd discuss NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES. Thanks to my flimsy background in Naziploitation horror films, I failed to realize she meant to school us on SS HELL CAMP. I could have just cried in my tequila, but I realized that all this just meant that it was up to me to give NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES its due.

In 1969, Cardona not only brought us NIGHT THE BLOODY APES, but also SANTO IN THE TREASURE OF DRACULA, which does a decent job of adapting parts of Bram Stoker's novel into the framework of the "lucha libra" wrestling film that has proved so popular in Mexico for so long. Likewise, NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES borrows tropes from this genre, incorporating a sub-plot involving a detective and his wrestler girl-friend, who conveniently makes a point of being in the shower every time her boyfriend calls on her. As a whole, NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES contains plenty of sleazy exploitation elements and no doubt kept its targeted drive-in crowd more than happy. While the detective's girl-friend struggles with the fact that her stunning wrestling moves put her opponent in a coma, Dr. Krallman decides to transplant the heart of an ape into his son, hoping to cure his cancer. Instead, the transplant results in his transformation into a horrible ape-human, who subsequently goes on a rampage. Hoping to cure his son, the doctor performs another transplant, using the heart of the coma victim, but of course, this goes south as well, and the monster goes on to scalp, rape, and decapitate anyone who gets in his way, including the poor assistant who calls his boss "master."

I can't in good conscience call this a "good" film, but I always have loads of fun with it. BCI recently released it as part of their SOUTH OF THE BORDER Vol 2 DVD Collection. Get it, and remember to always call me "master."


Tenebrous Kate said...

I LOVE the smell of rapey half-mans-half-monkeys in the morning!!! There are enough movies with this trope to fuel... well, several days worth of reviews anyway.

Cardona *also* brought us Rene Cardona Jr. who brought us "Night of a Thousand Cats," so--bonus points to him for that.

I adore Mexihorror :}

wolfkahn said...

Movies like this are why I keep going through the DVD sections of dollar stores. Glad, I'm not the only person to find it watchable

Kitty LeClaw said...

George Hamilton... it is imperative that you CEASE THE TANNING!!!! NOW!!!! Now, I say!!!

You're the best. Nobody disputes that.