The Ape Man (1943)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Creature Film  |   Release Date - Mar 5, 1943 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 64 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

The Ape Man is for many a made-in-camp-heaven classic; for others, it's a sorry waste of a talented actor whose typecasting doomed him to a sad life. If one can forget that horror star Bela Lugosi was forced to forego his considerable talent and appear in dreck such as this and that this contributed to his early death, it's easy to have a ball at Ape Man. This is, clearly, one of the worst horror films ever made. Inept is too kind a word for the writing and directing. It's almost as if writer Barney A. Sarecky was trying to prove something, perhaps that it is indeed possible to write a screenplay at one sitting, with your eyes closed, creating dialogue only by drawing it blindfolded from a goldfish bowl filled with random sentences cut from "The Big Book of Cliched Sentences." Director William Beaudine's work is atrocious, as is typical of this reviled hack, with no imagination or interest evident at all. The acting, even by the talented Lugosi is at best substandard. All of which, if one is in the right mind, does mean that Ape can be a hoot, especially the ending, which seems to have wandered in from a Tex Avery cartoon. For camp mavens, it's a treat; for Lugosi fans, it's an ordeal.