The Ape Man

The Ape Man

Director: William Beaudine Cast: Bela Lugosi, Wallace Ford, Louise Currie

DVD (Black & White)

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Terrible as it is, not even William Beaudine's The Ape Man deserves the shoddy treatment that it gets on this DVD from the Alpha Video. Derived from a dark, barely servicable print, with rough sound and lots of variations in detail and density, it's a chore to watch even within the context of delightfully bad horror movies. Of course, given that the movie lapsed into the public domain in 1971, the chances of anyone turning up a source significantly better than this are next to non-existent. Dark clothes in any shot simply have no detail, and the smallest drop in light shrouds upward of a third of the image at any given moment -- when Minerva Urecal as the sister of the man-turned-monster enters the basement where her brother (Bela Lugosi) is hidden, the light and the detail simply disappear, and scenes on night-shrouded streets are utterly worthless. What makes this disc strange is that there is evidence that it source could have looked better -- not only are some scenes passable, but in the transitions between shots, one does see signs of good detail and useful light levels, only to have them brought down again, apparently by the telecine operator. This reviewer has seen better quality 16mm transfers done on old 60's-era decks, and it speaks pretty ill of the producers at Alpha that they couldn't come up with a better source than this to work from. The five chapter breaks are also less than adequate, and the first copy that this review had also locked up during playback at several points.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/30/2002
UPC: 0089218402196
Original Release: 1943
Rating: NR
Source: Alpha Video
Region Code: 0
Presentation: [B&W]
Time: 1:07:00

Special Features

[None specified]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bela Lugosi Dr. James Brewster
Wallace Ford Jeff Carter
Louise Currie Billie Mason
Minerva Urecal Agatha Brewster
Henry Hall Dr. George Randall
Ralph Littlefield Zippo
John Farrell MacDonald Police Captain O'Brien
George Kirby Townsend, Butler
Wheeler Oakman Brady
Emil Van Horn The Ape
Jack Mulhall Reporter
Charles Jordan O'Toole

Technical Credits
William Beaudine Director
Jack Dietz Producer
Glen Glenn Sound/Sound Designer
Arthur Hammond Asst. Director
Sam Katzman Producer
Edward Kay Musical Direction/Supervision
Jack Kietz Producer
Dave Milton Art Director
Carl Pierson Editor
Barney A. Sarecky Screenwriter
Mack Stengler Cinematographer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
2. Chapter 1 [10:32]
3. Chapter 2 [11:18]
4. Chapter 3 [14:12]
5. Chapter 4 [13:54]

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