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Film / Night of the Bloody Apes

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“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.”
Lt. Martinez

Night of the Bloody Apes, originally titled La Horripilante bestia humana ("The Horrible Man-Beast"), is a 1969 Mexican exploitation horror film directed by René Cardona, Sr. and starring José Elías Moreno, Carlos López Moctezuma, and Norma Lazareno.

The plot concerns a Mad Scientist named Dr. Krallman (Moreno) who transplants a gorilla's heart into his dying son Julio (Agustín Martínez Solares), saving Julio's life but causing him to mutate into a monstrous, ape-like creature who embarks on a rape and murder spree before being brought to justice by a luchadora named Lucy Osorio (Lazareno). The plot of the film does not concern Lucy bringing the ape-man to justice — rather, she has a much less pronounced role in the plot, the focus being primarily on Dr. Krallman and his increasingly desperate attempts to rescue his son from death.

Absolutely no relation to Planet of the Apes.

Tropes of the Bloody Apes:

  • Artistic License – Biology: Needless to say, transplanting a gorilla's heart into a human patient won't cause the patient to mutate into a super-strong, murderous beast, much less cure leukemia as the doctor intended. In fact, doing so is more likely to result in tissue rejection.
  • Billy Needs an Organ: Julio is dying of leukemia and therefore requires a heart transplant, but there are no donor organs available. His father Dr. Krallman, however, believes that the blood from a more powerful animal such as a gorilla might potentially cure him of his cancer. He therefore decides that the best course of action is to break into the local zoo and steal a gorilla in order to use its heart to replace Julio's.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: As shown by the page quote, the translation in the English dub is very literal, having been translated word-for-word without adjusting the phrasing or syntax to English norms.
  • Dub-Induced Plotline Change: Originally released in 1969, the film was re-released three years later in an English-dubbed form, with new scenes inserted by another director to increase the gore for the American audience. The recut also changes the conclusion of the film so that it is Lucy's boyfriend Lt. Martinez rather than Lucy herself who finally dispatches the wayward beast. Unfortunately, this has the effect of rendering much of Lucy's screen time rather redundant.
  • Exploitation Film
  • Eye Scream: Julio's beast form squeezes the left eye out of one of his victims (which apparently consists of what one reviewer describes as "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.")
  • Fan Disservice: A lot of the beast's female victims are either fully or partially naked when they are assaulted.
  • Gorn: Of all kinds, including Stock Footage of an actual transplant operation.
  • I Owe You My Life: The reason why Dr. Krallman's assistant Goyo remains loyal to him throughout - the doctor helped save Goyo's life after he was injured in a horrific car crash. Even so, his allegiance is tested by Dr. Krallman's increasingly criminal behaviour.
  • Inconsistent Dub: Dr. Krallman's dub actor seems to have a bit of difficulty agreeing on the pronunciation of Julio's name. Sometimes he will pronounce it correctly, and at other times he will pronounce it as "Giulio".
  • Insistent Terminology: Thanks to the dub; they're not horror movies, they're "pictures of terror."
  • Mad Scientist: Dr. Krallman fits the trope to a T, though he's a more sympathetic example than most.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Lucy has at least one extended nude scene.
  • Never Trust a Title: There is only one "bloody ape" in the entire film, and the action takes place over the course of several days rather than a single night. Averted by the original Spanish title, which far more accurately reflects the plot of the film.
  • Off with His Head!: Goyo has his head ripped clean off by Julio's beast form.
  • Papa Wolf: This is Dr. Krallman's primary motive - he is desperate to save his son's life by any means necessary.
  • Tragic Villain: Dr. Krallman is not actually evil, but driven by desperation. He has an understandable reason for his actions, even if he is clearly wrong for doing it.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Dr Krallman's goal of saving his son's life is ultimately a noble one, but stealing zoo animals in order to harvest their organs and later kidnapping Lucy's injured friend in order to use her as a live organ donor is perhaps the worst possible way to achieve this.