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Monday, April 11, 2011

The Monster Walks


STATS:
The Monster Walks
1932
Director: Frank R. Strayer
Writer: Robert Ellis (based on his novel)
Starring: Rex Lease, Vera Reynolds, Sheldon Lewis

WHA’ HAPPENED?
A woman returns back to her family’s crumbling castle to hear her dead dad’s will. She has to deal with a series of kooky characters, including a self-hating invalid, two creepy servants, and a murderous chimpanzee named Yogi. (Yogi is the titular monster, apparently.)

I’ll strangle you for a pic-a-nic basket.

People start getting attacked and strangled by monkey arms that pop out of secret passageways. Everyone suspects Yogi… because he’s, you know, a monkey. But could it be the creepy servants who would get the heroine’s inheritance if she dies?

Yes. Yes it would.

HOW CAN YOU TELL IT’S FROM 1932?
The characters murder each other over a $50,000 inheritance.

One MILLION dollars…

A black character is played by the actor “Sleep ’n Eat” (seriously).

Sleep ’n Eat has the last line of the movie, when he says that Yogi the chimpanzee reminds him of one of his uncles.

ISN’T THAT SPECIAL?
This film has absolutely nothing special about it. It has been forgotten by time and space. That said, I got it on a 50-movie pack for $5.00 and I wanted to watch something older than Leprechaun 3.

More than a cinema footnote.

Also, racism in early film history is a fascinating topic.

This is Stepin Fetchit. He appeared in dozens of films.

SHIRTS AND SKINS:
It’s from the 30s! We’re lucky when the heroine took off her raincoat to reveal an equally long evening dress. No skin whatsoever.

BLOOD AND GUTS:
One and a half people get strangled by a fake monkey hand (courtesy of the murderous butler Hans). One person (Hans) gets strangled by a real monkey. My interest in the film gets strangled by the long pauses, garbled audio, and wooden acting.

No caption. I’m taking another cheap shot at a celebrity.

RANDOM THOUGHTS:
I’ve documented my viewing experience of the first twenty minutes of the film HERE. It’s like Pop-Up Video, but stupid.

OK. IS IT GAY?
Well, it’s racist and sexist… but it’s not homophobic. (Probably because the topic never came up in its 60-minute running time.) There’s also nothing of interest to a gay viewer, unless of course he’s intrigued by film history. (Or chimpanzees.) I’ll give this a John Wayne.

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