"Night of the Bloody Apes" (aka "La horripilante bestia humana" which, I believe roughly translates to "Make Love to Me, Monkey-Man!") begins, after a series of blood-soaked opening credits, in a shocking and bold new scenario for Mexican cinema: A wrestling scene involving masked wrestlers! But not only are these masked wrestlers, these are female masked wrestlers! And despite our desire to get down to the business of watching some serious bloody-ape action, we are subjected to an extended scene of watching two women pummel the shit out of each other (SPOILER: There WILL be more wrestling scenes later in the film). The wrestling scene continues until one woman tosses her opponent out of the ring and seriously injures her. [Note: The connection between female masked wrestlers and bloody apes escapes me for the moment, but I think it has something to do with the director needing to find some sort of an excuse to include masked female wrestlers in his movie.] The story now shifts to a Dr. Krallman who we soon learn has a son dying of leukemia. Apparently, despite all that he and his fellow doctors have tried, there is nothing that can be done to save the lad (who, by the way, resembles an even more emaciated version of Jude Law). Since time is running short, Dr. Krallman decides to take matters on a serious new angle so, with the aid of his assistant (who obsequiously always refers to the doctor as "master" ala Igore ala Torgo), he visits the local zoo and locates the nearest gorilla (which, via the magic of stock footage, poor editing and general goofiness, transforms into an orangutan and then into a man in a cheap gorilla suit). In one of the most memorable (read: laughable) scenes in the film, he fires a tranquilizer dart into the gorilla which does the classic grabbing of his heart with both hands gesture (I shit you not) and then keels over backwards flat on its back. The doctor and his assistant get the zonked-out ape back to the doctor's home laboratory where we soon discover their intentions. Krallman, despite the fact that it is deadly to transfuse human blood of the wrong type to another person, is going to transfuse the gorilla's blood to his dying son. And what is more, to make this more effective, he is going to transplant the gorilla's heart to his son as well. So, giving modern science "the bird" he proceeds with the operation which amazingly seems to work! But before you can say, "Planet of the Apes is THE greatest movie of all time!" 17 times really fast, we find out that not all went as well as originally thought. In fact, we soon discover that not only will the transplanting of a gorilla's heart and blood into a human cause the patient to suddenly, and without adequate warning, transform into a pasty faced version of Michael York after freebasing too much Jagermeister, but will also cause him to gain body weight faster than DeNiro between movie roles. Yes, you guessed it... the transplanting of the gorilla's heart and blood turned the young lad who is dying of leukemia into a murderous, raping, blood thirsty ape-man who is dying of leukemia. Well, you can't win 'em all, I suppose. But in any case, the bloody ape escapes from the doctor's home and, of course, goes on a murderous, raping, blood thirsty rampage. When the doctor and his servant discover this tragedy, they realize that they need to undo what they have done and stop the bloody ape before he throws poop at anyone!
Here are a few points worth noting: (WARNING: Keep your SPOILERS off of me, you damn, dirty ape!!!)
- The film's USA title is somewhat misleading, as it actually takes place over the course of several nights and, in fact, only involves a solitary bloody ape (actually an ape-MAN). The film should have, therefore, been titled: Nights of the Bloody Ape. Makes you wonder if there was ever a large outcry of people demanding their money back due to the lack of a plurality of bloody apes in this film.
- Fans of MST3K (or of Mexico produced holiday fare) may recognize the actor who plays Dr. Krallman, Mexican cinema standard José Elías Moreno, who also played the title role in the jaw-droppingly surreal Santa vs. Lucifer epic, "Santa Claus" (a film which, by the way, has to be watched either with the aid of MST3K riffs or copious amounts of illegal narcotics to be fully appreciated).
- Don't get your bananas in a bunch...there IS a link between the injured masked wrestler shown at the beginning of the film and the bloody ape, though the connection isn't made until about an hour into the film. I won't tell you what the relation is, but I will say it DOES NOT involve the bloody ape and the masked wrestler getting together and going off on love-fueled killing spree road-trip that ends with the two of them driving off over a cliff while being chased by the police. So you know that much, at least.
- There is abundant amounts of gore in this film and it's not for the squeamish...particularly because much of the gore is REAL. That is, during the transplant scenes they used actual shots of heart surgery being performed...yeesh! This shrew's gotta admit that there were moments during those scenes that he wishes he hadn't been eating leftover lasagna at the time of the viewing (*pukes slightly in mouth*). However, on the other hand, there is also cheezy stage blood up the wazoo to complement the real blood and guts. And I mean cheezy enough to make a chunk of Velveeta look like a delicate slice of Brie de Melun. Some of the most memorable money-shots include a "scalping" performed by pulling the blood-soaked toupee off of a bald man (no joke) and an eye gouging which reveals the human eye to only be a half sphere type of thing backed by what appears to be a racquetball sized amount of grade-school paste (or some kind of hot breakfast cereal).
- The skin factor is fairly decent, at least in comparison to other "bloody ape" movies, of which I'm aware of none, though many of the nude scenes involve the monster ripping the clothes off a screaming woman in pseudo "rape" fashion or killing a woman as she steps out of the shower. Funny how all the men conveniently die fully dressed. Is it just me or does it say something about the filmmaker's views towards the opposite sex that all of the woman in the movie die or are attacked in this manner? Hm... (*strokes beard*)
- One of the more WTF moments of this film is a brief appearance of a "beat" cop who is clearly Mexican, but who sports an Irish accent. All one can say is, WTF?
- The version of this film that I own is the one issued by the incomparable "Something Weird Video," purveyors of some of the finest in grade B and exploitation movies. The print and transfer is surprisingly good considering the age of the film, the grade of the film, and the typical quality that you get from SWV. As is typical with these DVDs, you get a second feature on the disc ("Feast of Flesh") as well as a number of trailers, shorts, and even some outtakes from the main movie. There's even an Easter Egg! For only $10 you could do a lot worse!
Check out the trailer for "Night of the Bloody Apes" here! (Warning: Contains nudity and violence)