Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Monster Walks|
Actors: Rex Lease, Vera Reynolds, Sheldon Lewis, Mischa Auer, Martha Mattox
Director: Frank R. Strayer
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Member Movie Reviews
Matt B. from GETZVILLE, NY
Reviewed on 9/14/2011...
Upon the death of her father, Ruth must return to the old homestead for the reading of the will. She brings her fiancée, a doctor, to meet her uncle, who is confined to a wheelchair. We understand why she fears returning home. Her father died no apparent causes. Although the housekeeper is nice if morose as she sneaks around the house, her son gives off an unstable vibe. Worst of all, kept in the basement is an ape (in fact, it’s a chimp – it’s a low budget movie) that detests Ruth out of jealousy. The ape, it seems, is part of experiments conducted by the late father.
They are driven to the creepy manse by the comic relief Exodus, whose real name per the credits is Sleep N Eat (sic) who was black comedian Willie Best. In one scene, Exodus reports a resemblance between his relative and the movie’s chimpanzee. Heaven knows, I make allowances for unabashed era of a less knowing era, but this is over the top even for me.
The prejudice mars what’s otherwise a tolerable movie for such a shoestring budget. Mischa Auer plays the son in a myriad of creepy ways. Thousand yard stare. Odd teeth. Lumbering gait. Furious, vengeance-filled vibes. Big hands. Playing on the violin out of tune lullabyes. Auer - who was a good actor - stands in contrast to the other players. They deliver the dialogue is stiff, mock portentous way that brings to mind the stage – the high school play stage. At only an hour long, it was just as entertaining as a couple of installments of One Step Beyond.
Lonnie E. Holder | Columbus, Indiana, United States | 10/06/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was so *yawn* exciting, I was hardly able to keep my eyes open. The opening was incredibly original. Wealthy Mr. Earlton died. The relatives and various interested individuals gather for the reading of the will. The daughter becomes wealthy and everyone else gets an allowance. Unfortunately, some people seem to think that their mere existence gives them the right to someone else's money.
The deceased Mr. Earlton had a pet ape in the basement. It seems as though the pet ape is getting out somehow and attacking and killing people. Bad ape! Or is he? You may play some dramatic music now. You might also wonder whether it is coincidence that the now-wealthy daughter is the target of these attacks.
From this point forward you see a lot of lurking by nearly everyone except for daughter Ruth Earlton (Vera Reynolds, who had a lengthy career in silent movies, but this film was one of her final films) and Dr. Ted Clayton (Rex Lease, whose career survived this film and extended beyond another 200 film and television appearances). Well, there might have been minimal lurking by other people, but then this review would be less fun.
I have to leave the viewer to watch this movie, because to say any more would be to give away the surprises, of which there are several. I am guessing that when this movie was released in 1932 the plot surprises were quite shocking to the audiences of the era. I must confess that some of the "surprises" you could see coming. But a couple of the plot twists still amused me.
The sound in this film was acceptable. The picture was also reasonable with only modest deterioration. I was pleased that the night scenes were very visible, as some older films suffer most during night scenes.
Perspective matters a lot with this film. I could easily see how silent movies significantly influenced the production of this film. I suspect that audiences found sound to be so mesmerizing in the early 1930's that their expectations were different from ours. The result is that much of this movie is predictable and seems to plod in places. In spite of these problems, fans of old dark house movies may find this early thriller to be interesting from a historical perspective. Just keep your expectations modest.