DVD region 1. Wild Eye Releasing.
shot for nothing in the mid 1990's, The Bloody Ape
is a homage to low rent exploitation cinema that does its job
a little too well. While the combination of a man in an ape suit,
sloppy gore and naked women should ensure a degree of fun, this
doesn't really cut it.
story concerns carnival barker Lampini, who runs an act with his
pet gorilla and has an ill-defined relationship with fianceé
Ginger. The gorilla escapes and goes on the rampage, murdering
Ginger and her flatmates, a racist garage mechanic, a Jewish stereotype
and various other people. Meanwhile, racist cop LoBianco is determined
to blame the spate of killings on a black man.
on super 8 film, The Bloody Ape certainly looks
like an Andy Milligan reject, but it doesn't quite manage to capture
the demented feel that made so many of those earlier films fascinating.
The racist satire isn't subtle or well-written / acted enough
to actually work as satire - although director Keith Crocker defends
it in the accompanying documentary and claims the film to be anti-racist,
it's hard to avoid thinking this is just for shock value.
taste, however clumsy, is forgivable - being boring isn't. And
the first half of this film is entirely lacking in bloody ape
action. There's only so much you can take of bad actors spouting
bad dialogue, and this stretches the limits. The second half,
thankfully, perks up, with an old school gorilla (ie a man in
a suit) on the rampage. He rips off a hippy's dick (in tribute
to video nasty Night of the Demon), attacks a
naked women in the shower - in fact he attacks several naked women
- and generally has a fine time disembowelling, decapitating and
mutilating various people in a welter of crude, unconvincing gore
effects. He also steals a car at one point! Welcome as this action
is, it unfortunately comes too late to save the film.
the movie itself is pretty poor, the DVD at least pulls out all
the stops. There's a commentary track from Crocker and co-writer
/ star George Reis, a retrospective documentary, a 6 minute short
film by Crocker (this is more impressive than the feature) and
assorted art galleries, including a cover gallery for Crocker's
fanzine Exploitation Journal.
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