Monster and the Ape
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
At the Bainbridge Research Foundation, Professor Franklin Arnold displays his creation, a robot called the Metalogen Man, to Professor Ernst and three other colleagues. Shortly afterward, the three associates are killed by Thor, a huge ape trained by Erns
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
Eventually Arnold learns who is behind these dastardly deeds and retrieves the robot, but unfortunately its critical metalogen disc is missing - without it, the robot will not work. The disc contains a very rare, mysterious metal only obtained from meteorites.
Beneath all of the various story lines, fist fights, and cliffhangers, the fundamental driver for these actions is the need to find additional supplies of metalogen in order to manufacture these robots . . . either for good . . . or for evil. . . .
Cliffhanger escapes: mundane. In all cases, Mr. Morgan escapes by luck. The most unusual of the dangers he'll face is a machine throwing out arcs of electricity - Morgan is pushed into a pit beneath the machine, which then erupts in a spray of sparks. How does he survive? I am not telling. . . .
Extras: "Other Cheezy Flicks" (film trailers) and "Intermission Time" (clips from drive-in theater intermissions).
DVD - 2010. Picture: good, but worn. The black & white picture has low contrast, occasional flecking, and several vertical light and dark scratches in Chapter 3. There is obvious cropping on the right side (most noticeable when it shows newspaper headlines) but otherwise not a problem. Sound volume normal, clear. Subtitles: none.
The so-called "Monster" is a robot, developed at Bainbridge Laboratories by Professor Franklin Arnold (Ralph Morgan) and Professor Ernst (George Macready) as a means freeing mankind from doing tiresome, repetitive and potentially hazardous tasks such as sitting through 15 chapters of a Columbia serial without going berserk. Known as "Metalogen Man" after the rare material used in the control unit, the robot is demonstrated, first by lifting a large, empty cardboard box badly disguised as a block of granite -- it wobbles as the chains around it are grabbed, seen also in the chapter titles -- and then, in a curious application for a law-abiding robot, by pulling a bank vault door out of a mock-up wall. But later, three of the lab's associates, Professors Ames, Marsden and Shaw, are mysteriously killed by a gorilla named Thor (Ray Corrigan). Arnold tells Ernst that an engineer from the company planning to build the robots, Ken Morgan (Robert Lowery) is coming to move the prototype to a safe place, but Morgan is waylaid by a couple thugs, Joe Flint (Anthony Warde) and Dick Nordik (Jack Ingram) who steal his credentials. Morgan is picked up by a car containing Professor Arnold, his daughter, Babs (Carole Mathews) and his chauffeur, Flash (Willie Best) who were looking for him. They are not surprised that the robot has been stolen, but discover the hard way that Ernst is behind all the trouble. Ernst has a lot more trouble to cause in his quest to control the world by robots, with many serial-movie hurdles to overcome such as finding more Metalogen, a problem also for our hero.
The robot, identified on the DVD package as being played by Ray Corrigan isn't badly done, though a little too human in shape and motion, and Corrigan's gorilla is familiar from several earlier serials. The dual role is possible since, contrary to the cover art, the Ape never appears while the Metalogen Man is active. As far as the plot allows, the acting is up to serial standards; Ralph Morgan and George Macready do quite well, and Robert Lowery is a reasonable hero most of the time. He has one inexcusable sequence for a role model, in which he has entered a cabin looking for some stolen Metalogen, lights a cigarette, and then drops it, still burning, on the floor. Smoking was still legal in 1945, but such careless behavior was expected only from the bad guys and he shows no other signs of being a nicotine fiend. It looks like a creative shortfall in finding a source of ignition. I wouldn't want to give away the plot, but there are a couple nearby drums marked "Danger - Flammable" and "Explosive." Carole Mathews seems studious enough to be Professor Arnold's daughter, shows initiative in following clues and screams convincingly when required to do so. Willie Best is mostly restricted to uninspired and racially stereotypical "comic relief" routines of the era, fortunately not too often. Still, he proves in the next to last chapter that unlike his captors he has something other than sawdust for brains, and he was one of the five actors who received screen credit. Use of two "creatures" helps propel the action, and while it might be wondered why Ernst's supposedly-abandoned house isn't guarded more closely, his hidden tunnels are a nice touch, clever enough to fool most serial-movie heroes. The cliffhangers have a few minor "cheats" where the hero gets burned to a crisp in a brickyard furnace or is squashed flat by a giant boulder, only to be shown at the start of the next chapter rolling out of the way in the nick of time; nothing unusual. Forgetting cliffhanger details is one reason why these are supposed to be watched with time between the chapters. As for the activities of the Ape, the cover art on Cheezy's DVD appears to be of an actual movie poster with the tag lines "A Thrilling 15-chapter serial of a mechanical monster GONE MAD!" and "His companion...the ape that fights crime...in a wonderful fantasy!" Apparently, Columbia's marketing people were in a wonderful fantasy of their own, having never watched the film they were advertising.
Cheezy Flicks' edition, number 10-007, is on two DVD's. In most chapters the print is clear enough and in fairly good condition, but no extensive restoration has been done. Chapter 3 is badly scratched, in a band covering about a quarter of the frame width all the way through. The other chapters are much better; the image is a little unsharp and mildly muddy, not "from the original negative" quality but reasonably good. There are a few splices and some dirt, fairly minor defects. The transfer to DVD is fine, the only obvious videotape artifact is the normal head-switching blip a few lines above the bottom of the frame, usually off-screen. The sound is loud and clear, if occasionaly with a little noise, and mild low-frequency distortion common in 1940's Columbia serials. The package advertises an "original theatrical trailer" and it is present, but following the last chapter and not indexed. The picture quality of the trailer isn't very good, looking a bit faded, and is from "A Columbia Reprint" but at least it is authentic.
So while not an outstanding serial, it has entertainment value, proceeds with more logic than many and given the poor representation of Columbia's serials it is good to have it on DVD. The transfer is good enough, and for two discs, the price is reasonable.
FYI, I bought this from Cheezy Distribution via Amazon along with several other titles because they offered the best price, and they refunded me more than 90% of the system-generated per-title shipping costs, only charging me what it actually cost to ship the DVDs. For the volume of titles I bought, purchasing them at a lower price from Cheezy and paying only five bucks to ship the lot was a far better deal than buying the DVDs at a higher list price from Amazon to get the free-shipping-over-$35 deal.