‘Half man, Half beast. All horror!’
Night of the Bloody Apes is the title of the 1972 English language version of the 1969 Mexican science fiction horror feature film La Horripilante bestia humana (“The Horrible Man-Beast”), also known as Gomar – The Human Gorilla.
The film was directed by René Cardona Sr. (Invasion of Death) and is a remake of his 1962 film Las Luchadoras contra el medico asesino (“The Wrestling Women vs. the Murderous Doctor” aka Doctor of Doom).
A mad scientist transplants a gorilla’s heart into his dying son, saving his life but transforming him into a monstrous, ape-like creature who embarks on a spree of sexual assaults and murder before being brought to justice by the police inspector boyfriend of a luchadora (female wrestler).
The English language dubbed version of the film includes additional scenes directed by Jerald Intrator. The new scenes add more explicit gore effects, including footage of open-heart surgery.
This version was banned in the United Kingdom as a video nasty, and is noted among bad movie aficionados for its awkwardly-phrased dialogue, a result of translating from Spanish word-for-word, without adjusting the phrasing and syntax to English norms: “I’ll say that’s absurd, the proofs are circumstantial, it’s more probable that of late more and more you’ve been watching on your television many of those pictures of terror,” for example.
Night of the Bloody Apes rapidly made its way onto the so-called video nasties list at the start of the decade, its blend of ultra-realism and scientific plausibility apparently a threat to the ever-gullible British public who would, presumably, immediately start kidnapping gorillas and transplanting their hearts into family members if allowed to see it. Or maybe wrestling in devil-masked catsuits and talking wildly out-of-sync nonsense.
Whatever the reason, the fact that we’re only now seeing the film uncut is more ridiculous than anything you’ll see in this gloriously mad, deliriously tasteless and hilariously ludicrous movie. It’s a must-see for trash cinema fans.
David Flint, MOVIES and MANIA
“A goofy monster… lame, excessive gore… atrocious dubbing… This, folks, is what enjoyably bad movies are all about. Alongside their U.S. counterparts, I believe the exploitation auteurs of Mexico can proudly lay claim to have produced the best ‘So Bad They’re Good’ flicks in the world. Night of the Bloody Apes does not disappoint in this regard.” Eccentric-Cinema
“All visceral delights aside, the film is actually quite well-directed, with Cardona managing to whip up a fair amount of atmosphere, especially during the scenes where the monster creeps around the city searching for victims. More importantly, he manages to keep things moving along at a brisk pace, and although the film is free from tension or dramatic excitement, it never slips into the same kind of dullness which tends to plague such vintage genre pieces…” Beyond Hollywood
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Some image credits: Cinema Arcana