OOM #20 – Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)

Improbable events! Horrific consequences! That is everything that has been happening in the real world as we go through the horrors of Filmland, that become more and more benign when compared to the disaster that is the world around us. Let’s be together in this one, let’s shelter us from the evil that is outside by watching some fictional evil and horror on our screens, let us wonder at the horror films that have become classics, and those that not so much, but still bring us the goods.

Today’s film is brought to us as part of the series of videos that has guided us since the start of our first Horror Madness, the Cinemassacre’s Monster Madness has been the master, the one that has managed to make us into horror fans, and we must thank James Rolfe for today’s film, based on the short story by Edgar Allan Poe. You can see the video here. Let’s see the horrors that await us!

Universal always made the most impressive horror movies of the 1930’s and their first era is maybe the most surprising in terms of quality, but one can’t expect that every movie becomes a classic, and such was the case with ‘Murders in the Rue Morgue’ (1932) which would be completely forgotten if it wasn’t for the case that it’s based in one of the most iconic Edgar Allan Poe stories, about the most spooky scary detective. The difference here is that the detective isn’t actually the most important character, as is the girl that the mad scientist wants to rob so he can mate her with the bloody killer ape.

The film may actually be one of the most mainstream, at the time, adaptations of the concept of evolution as Darwin said in 1859 (yeah, I’m just kidding), with the concept that the mad scientist wants to accomplish with mating the gorilla with the woman, but it does turn into something funny and terrifying at the same time, with how the scientist is really keen on the situation happening, making the ape as human as possible, acting as if he had a language, conversing with him, and treating him with the characteristics that some owners nowadays treat some of their mascots.

It ends up becoming watchable in the end, with a slight but really interesting use of lighting and cinematography, as well as the performance of Bela Lugosi as the scientist, but maybe too many scenes take place within the ranges of normal people, that are either boring or just too hysterical to even become likeable. The sequences with Lugosi are a delight and the scientific concept, while ridiculous, is in itself quite delicious to savor for the genre fanatics that like to see that kind of stuff happen. The movie is barely over an hour long and it feels short but not in a good way, it seems that we are missing more scenes with Lugosi and we are left with the stuff that they couldn’t cut out.

7/10

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