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A Teenage boy with a passion for all things nerdy! Expect a lot of Doctor Who, Cult/Horror Movies, Literature and Novels, History, Comic Books and random thoughts. Posts published weekly on a Friday evening. DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the items reviewed on this site and i also do not own of the pictures (unless stated so). If you own one of the photos and wish for it to be removed contact me at this adress: Super.pig@live.co.uk. However all of the written work is my own and is protected under copyright law.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Night of the Bloody Apes Review (1972)

Everybody with any amount of knowledge of cult films has heard of the infamous video nasty’s list and perhaps even of some of the atrocities on there. Well today folks I’m viewing one but before I do something needs to be made perfectly clear... I’m against the use of gratuitous violence in the horror genre; plenty of movies have sacred people witless without it (just look at The Haunting from 1963, supposed to be one of the scariest movies ever made). Gore doesn’t scare, gore repulses and shockingly (in modern movies as opposed to classic horror) can be used instead of a plot. Yes it’s good to have a bit of blood in a horror movie and a large amount of the greats do, but as soon as you go over the top and sacrifice the films story for a gory gimmicks then despite what you say it is not a horror movie. It’s an exploitation flick (and a rather extreme one compared to some classics).


The movie I am watching is a strange beast as it does have a plot and is cheesy enough to be an enjoyable film however that’s not what this film is famous for (or infamous). You see this film is rather sickening because the distributor decided that in order for the money to make money overseas it needed to be spiced up with extra sex and gore and so went out and filmed gorier (and topless) deaths. This movie is more infamous however for some of the extra gore being REAL HEART SURGERY FOOTAGE. Before I get into a rant, let’s first have a story breakdown...

It’s pretty much your usual monster movie fair: a surgeon discovers there is no cure for his terminally ill son but thinks that if he gives his son the heart of a gorilla it could save him (or something). When operation is complete son turns into great big monkey monster and mayhem insures. Oh there’s also wrestling!

This is not a good movie. The majority of the acting is atrocious, the effects are terrible and the music is your usual B-movie music. This however does not mean it is not enjoyable and despite how bad you think this movie is you will still enjoy every second. This is the definition of a bad movie, the one that every cult movie fan must see at least once.

                                        ladies and Gentlemen, the best actor in the whole movie!

In the previous paragraph I mentioned that the majority of the acting is bad but there is one actor who gives it his all. This is José Elías Moreno as Dr Krallman the scientist behind the insane operation. Now it would be obvious to any actor starring in a movie like this that it is a cheap, badly written film that if seen will only be remembered as a cult classic or not at all. To still believe in the role you are playing after that realisation and to give the character real humanity is something only a true actor can do. I have never seen any of Moreno’s other work (I probably have and just forgotten about it) but he must truly be remembered as a great of Mexican B-cinema as he’s the only good actor in the film (see the end for evidence of this).

It’s also best to mention that this is a Mexican movie and those used to the adventures of Santo and blue demon may want to have somebody who knows CPR close at hand. This is will probably be of interest to fans of Mexican wrestling pictures however as it is a semi remake of the 1963 movie “doctor of doom” but with some changes. To begin with the wrestlers in this aren’t really superhero’s, there just stars like a normal female wrestler. Instead the hero is a police inspector and the wrestler is his girlfriend. Also the scientist in this isn’t trying to create some super race he just wants to save his son. This may seem to make the movie more realistic but...

                                          Mummy! Mummy! look what i made in art class!


If you want to watch this movie for realism (which is the wrong approach anyway) the monster will probably not float your boat. The makeup looks like something a five year old could do with Paper Mache and not a very creative child at all. This is defiantly not the sort of movie that had the kind of money to make a realistic monster; one scene with a monkey even uses stock footage and then switches to a man in a gorilla costume!

Now to return to my main point from the introduction and for me to finally have that rant. It’s quite depressing when you realise that the Mexican people behind the film thought that in order to make this film successful in the UK and America they had to fill it full of gore and sex. There’s just so many scenes that give way that this was not supposed to be how the film was, for instance the scene where the monster kidnaps the little child at the end is used in so many child friendly monster movies that here it just seems so...wrong. It’s even worse that the film became known because of the large gore content. The effects are not the most realistic (apart from the stuff that is real) but the amount of blood in it still makes it pretty nauseating, so it may not look like a decapitation but there’s enough blood to turn your stomach.

I really wanted to like this movie more than I did but I couldn’t help feeling disgusted because of why the large gore content was put in the film. For gore lovers this movie will probably be fantastic and depending on what kind of Mexican horror cinema you like (are you a Santo lover or more of a Brainiac fan?) you will either love or hate this film. I’m not a great fan of Mexi-horror so I didn’t have to make that decision.

THE DVD

Now I didn’t watch this on DVD but instead on Google videos (here if you’re interested: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=640630930151052324#) I do know however that there are several buying options for this DVD so although I will not be able to run through the presentation I can run through which is probably the best. I will begin with the options for customers in the UK. If you like I live in the United Kingdom then there are two buying options for you:


That is the first and the only uncut one issued in UK. It was issued rather a long time ago and is now out of print and hard to come by. It was issued by redemption and is apparently low any good extras (trailers for other movies, still gallery etc). Since this DVD is now rather hard to come by, you may think you’ve hit the jack pot when you see this on eBay:


Do not be taken in however by the words “uncut” as this is a filthy lie! Whilst the original uncut version is 84 minutes this version is 77, since I haven’t viewed it I’m guessing all the gore I was moaning about is the missing 7 minutes. Although I’m not certain I believe this version has no extras at all.

In the United States there are four (that’s twice as many as we got!) buying options for you. Before I begin please note that I did find mention of two other releases of this but alas I could find no real information on them.

This is the first and, like all the US releases of this movie is a double feature. This time the movie is paired with the Mexican horror flick curse of the doll people from 1961. Extras are trailers and other such items I believe, also available in a box set (pictured below) featuring these other Mexican horror movies: Doctor of doom 1963 (the original movie NOTBA was based on), Wrestling Women Vs the Aztec mummy (it’s sequel), The New Invisible Man and Spiritism

The other two options are the same disc, one is just featured in the Beauties and Beasts box set which features other monkey orientated fun. It is of course the something weird video disc (pictured below) featuring as second feature feast of flesh which originally played alongside NOTBA. There really are too many extras for me to go into but put it this way: when placed alongside the easy to find region 2 disc they make the movie look like an extra.


GORE: I think after what I’ve said in the review I don’t need to fill this or the nudity section in.

OVERALL RATING: 5/10 enjoyable but leaves you with a sick feeling

4 comments:

  1. Nice review. I quite enjoyed this movie actually. Had a wierd atmosphere. Reminded me a bit of some of Herschell Gordan Lewis' efforts.

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  2. thanks for the comment! as you can probably tell from the opening paragraph im against gratuitous violence, so i haven't actually seen any of H.G lewis's "classics"

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  3. Oh but they are such good fun! And not actually that bloody. Seems hard to believe that a film like 'Blood Feast' was banned in it's uncut format in the UK until a few years ago, i.e. post 'Saw' and 'Hostel'.

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  4. well mabye then, looking back at an old HG Lewis article in HOH they do seem rather cute...

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