Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Not really a monster movie, but tolerably good
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 01/23/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Earlton household is a rather strange one, particularly now that the head of the family has died suddenly. The Earltons have something that most families don't-a savage ape caged up in the basement (apparently, the late Mr. Earlton was some type of scientist). Yogi the ape detests Ruth Earlton for some unexplained reason, and he has a restless, sometimes rather raucous night once daughter Ruth returns to her old home for the reading of her father's will. Her uncle Robert, an invalid, welcomes her home alongside the family attorney and long-time servants Mrs. Krug and her son Hanss. Even though Ruth brings along her fiancé, she is in for a restless night, one punctuated by murder. When Ruth is first awakened during the night by a hairy arm coming from out of nowhere to try and strangle her, suspicion falls on the ape, but there seems to be no way the ape could have escaped his cage. Unsurprisingly, there are dark secrets in the house, ones which the audience has a good handle on from the start (which, unfortunately, takes away from some of the potential suspense). Nonetheless, there is one aspect of the full story that I did see coming.Filmed in 1931, this movie does feature some comic relief in the form of Exodus (played by Willie Best, who is identified in the cast list by the name of "Sleep N' Eat"), a stereotypical black auto driver who conveys Ruth back to her family home. If you try to look past the racist element of the role, the character does provide some welcome humor in an otherwise bland, plodding film. In point of fact, Exodus is really the only character with enough sense to be afraid of whatever is going on in the weird house. Basically, there is really nothing special about this early film to make it stand out, but it is a tolerably good mystery-horror story."
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.
Monster of Comedy
Brad Baker | Atherton, Ca United States | 09/08/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"In 1931, Universal Pictures released "Frankenstein", starring Boris Karloff. Instead of joining Paramount Pictures, and other studios on the brink of Depression Era receivership, Universal thrived! Americans flocked to see the Monster. Poverty Row studios tried to cash in with their own "Monster" flicks. Thus was born "The Monster Walks", released in 1932. The story involves people in an old dark house on a stormy night menaced by a killer ape(see short man in gorilla costume). If extremely poor filmaking intrigues you, pick up this lemon. Otherwise, save your dollar. The sets are so cheap they waver, and threaten to collapse at any time.One bright spot is the performance of Mischa Auer, a Russian actor emmigrant in a small part as Hanns. One year later, he'd shine working for Howard Hawks in the classic "Viva Villa". "The Monster Walks" plods forward at a pace a snail could challenge. In fact, the Monster doesnt't walk, it crawls."
The Monkey Squawks...
Bindy Sue FrÝnkŁnschtein | under the rubble | 06/12/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"THE MONSTER WALKS is a perfect sub-zero budget fright feast! There's a big house full of secret passages, a raging thunderstorm, creepy servants, a dead guy in an upstairs bedroom, a lurking killer, and a crazed chimpanzee in the basement (this mad ape has a shriek that'll pucker up your armpits)! Mischa Auer lumbers along in his usual way, proving once again that he is the poor man's Boris Lugosi / Bela Karloff. While there are no true monsters in this movie, I still found it enjoyable enough for repeat viewings. Show it at your next horror ho-down..."