Night of the Bloody Apes [La horripilante bestia humana] (1969)


The Creepy Human Beast (Literal title)]

Blood and boobs .

I suppose it’s because most of the Mexican Horror films I’ve seen have been from the Fifties which was admittedly a tamer era, but it does come as a bit of a shock to see one which is so thoroughly exploitative.

Why there’s even a female masked wrestler. Not that she gets to do much.

There was a fair amount of blood and nudity in those final four Boris Karloff films but nowhere near this much — and it was seen as somewhat exceptional at the time.

But here the trailer makes it clear just what to expect. This is your full-bore exploitation film (even if it seems a few years early and from the more conservative Mexican film industry) and it comes complete with all the usual sex and sadism of the breed.

Or, in other words:

Blood and boobs.

So we have the usual highly respected doctor, who’s trying to save his son from a terrible disease. He has tried every cure known to man so now he’s going to try something risky: a transfusion of gorilla blood.

Apparently Gorilla blood is super powerful: it’s like injecting nitrous oxide into your hot rod’s supercharged engine.

Which, of course, means that the human body isn’t strong enough to handle all that raw power, so we have to transplant a Gorilla’s heart into the boy.

And, as anyone who’s ever seen a mad scientist film knows, this means that the boy is going to start turning into an ape man.

Now, like any self-respecting ape man, the boy immediately escapes and starts attacking busty females.

And that’s about the size of it.

As this is an exploitation film — and one on the nastier side — there are a lot of hints of rape without it being explicit. Apparently there was a much tamer Spanish language version, and it is easy to see where some of the worst shots might have been stuck in later. In the most obvious of these, a girl runs for help, her clothes partway off. She is attacked again and left nearly naked, then she finally  runs into a nearby shop with her clothes back the way they’d been after the first attack.

Aside from this we are in fairly straightforward mad scientist territory, even if the doctor is saner and more sympathetic than most. He even has a crippled lab assistant who is willing to anything for him, even kidnapping and murder.

Not bad for a respected and kindly old doctor.

We even have the expected tragic ending, with, of course, the requisite final transformation.

With a lot of blood and boobs along the way.

But there is one strange thing about all this: after spending so much time with our masked girl wrestler, watching her in match after match, tossing other girls around, she never even ends up fighting the ape man. Nor is she given anything to do during the big finale.

At least she looks good in her red devil suit.

(A word of warning to all the nitpickers out there: there is only one ape in the whole movie!)

(Available for free on Tubi)


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