Night Of The Bloody Apes (1969) (Video Nasty review #4)

Director: René Cardona

Starring: José Elisa Moreno, Carlos Lopez Moctezuma, Norma Lazareno

“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.” (Dr Martinez, Night Of The Bloody Apes)

Night Of The Bloody Apes is easily in my top ten Mexican-luchador-wrestling-ape-based monster movies, and I can assure you that’s a highly competitive list. Given its title though, it’s actually a little disappointing since there’s only one ape in the film and it’s not really a proper one. Let me explain.

The movie has two main plotlines. Lucy, a masked wrestler, is having problems living with herself after she puts another wrestler in hospital by throwing her out of the ring during a match. Meanwhile, in the same hospital, the mad scientist Dr Krellman is upset that his son is dying of lukemia and so decides that the only way to save his life is by giving him a heart transplant.

"I hope everyone likes my new church outfit"

Maybe hearts aren’t too easy to come by in Mexico – I’m no Top Gear presenter so I’m not really touching that one – but for some reason Dr Krellman decides that, rather than waiting for a human heart to become available, he’ll kill a gorilla and take its heart instead. Because that’ll definitely work and won’t fuck things up.

After the transplant, it quickly becomes clear that it definitely hasn’t worked and things are very much fucked up when Krellman’s son becomes a sort of half-man half-gorilla. His face turns into that of a strange monkey man and he has the sort of rage that can only be matched by watching someone watching two hours’ worth of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

"I only came here for bunion surgery"

Monkey chap then escapes the hospital and goes on the warpath, raping and mutilating various ladyfolk living nearby. It’s up to Dr Krellman to find out how to stop him… possibly by replacing his monkey heart with another human one. If only there was some sort of hospitalised female wrestler close to death with a heart that could be sneakily removed and used instead…

Wayne Rooney relaxes at home

Night Of The Bloody Apes is just silly from start to finish and while it’s understandable why it was considered a video nasty at the time it’s still very tame compared to some of the others. The ‘rape’ scenes are thankfully clothed and very brief and the blood is a bit unrealistic. In fact, perhaps the most controversial moments in the film are the two heart transplant scenes, which actually use stock footage of real-life human heart transplants for added realism. If you’re a bit squeamish when watching operation footage then, this isn’t for you.

By far the best thing about the film is the terrible dialogue. Since it was originally filmed in Mexico it’s all dubbed, but the translation to English is so literal that many of the lines make no real sense (like the example at the top of this review). This results in some quotable classics, like the scene where Dr Krellman tries to convince his accomplice to take the injured wrestler’s heart: “A little slither of bone lies in her cerebrum. And if by some miracle she lives she’ll be an idiot for the rest of her life.”

If a big group of you want to have a laugh while watching something pleasantly crap, Night Of The Bloody Apes is a good shout. Watch it on your own though and the novelty will wear off about half an hour in. Naturally, the trailer makes it look a lot more exciting than it really is:

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