NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES
(La Horripilante Bestia Humana)
There are claims that Night of the Bloody Apes was a remake of Rene Cardonas earlier Mexican horror film Doctor of Doom (1962), which was one of the Wrestling Women series. Not having seen the original, I am not in a position to comment a description of the plots is similar but also have a number of differences. Certainly, if that is the case, the Wrestling Women aspect seems to have dropped. We do get heroine Norma Lazareno who is a female luchador and looks unbelievably foxy in the opening scenes when she puts on a scarlet red cat-like mask and bodysuit to go into the ring against an opponent but she is not the heroine and is relegated to the role of the detective heros love interest, while the luchador aspect is of little relevance to the story.
The rest of Night of the Bloody Apes is a mad scientist film. It feels like absolutely nothing has changed since the cheapo efforts that were being made at Monogram and Republic in the 1940s starring either Bela Lugosi or George Zucco. The main difference is the addition of colour, lots of bare boobs and a high degree of gore. Take that away and the plot could have served for any other 40s mad scientist film. When it gets to the main plot about the scientist placing a gorilla heart into his sons body and causing him to turn into an ape creature that goes about killing women, very little has updated in sophistication (or science) since the very similar Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) thirty-seven years earlier. There are even lines at the end about the scientist ruing the fact that he defied the dictates of God by trying to save his sons life. There are prize schlock lines like where scientist Jose Elias Morena commands hulking and deformed lab assistant Carlos Lopez Moctezuma to: Prepare the gorilla.
As a B movie, Night of the Bloody Apes is too crude to work. In most regards, it is cheap like the ape man makeup that clearly ends at the neck even though the ape man runs around bare-chested for most of the film. The numerous scenes with the ape man ripping off womens tops and appearing intent on raping them gives the film a sordid pitch. There are plentiful gore effects scenes of eyeballs being popped out, throats torn and the manservants head being ripped off. What is spectacularly exploitative is the scenes of open heart surgery that have been edited in (purportedly by the English-language distributors). Modern medical dramas have tended to make watching this seem passe today but it was enough for the British Film Classification Board to list Night of the Bloody Apes as a Video Nasty during the 1980s.