Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 18th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: Mexico, 1968 (Night Of The Bloody Apes), Mexico, 1960 (Curse Of The Doll People)
Directors: Rene Cardona (Night Of The Bloody Apes), Benito Alazraki (Curse Of The Doll People)
Cast: Armando Silvestre, Norma Lazareno, Carlos Lopez Moctezuma, Jose Elias Moreno, Agustin Martinez Solares (Night Of The Bloody Apes), Elvira Quintana, Quintin Bulnes, Ramon Gay, Roberto G. Rivera, Alfonso Arnold (Curse Of The Doll People)
DVD released: August 22nd, 2006
Approximate running time: 81 minutes Mexico 84 minutes US (Night Of The Bloody Apes), 83 minutes Mexico 70 minutes US (Curse Of The Doll People)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame (Both Films)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono (Both Films)
DVD Release: BCI Eclipse/Crypt Of Terror
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.98
Night of the Bloody Apes: A female wrestler is injured and taken to the locale hospital. Dr. Krauman’s son Julio will die in a matter of days if he doesn’t get a heart transplant. When his colleagues give up hope he is forced to proceed and take drastic measures to save his son. Dr. Kraumann gives his son the heart of a Baboon and shortly after the operation Julio starts to transform into an ape. The injured female wrestler still lays in coma from her injuries so Dr. Kraumann decides to use her heart in place of the defective baboon heart. After escaping his fathers lab Julio is on the loose destroying anything and killing anyone who crosses his path. Can Dr. Kraumann find his son Julio before the authorities do?
Night of the Bloody Apes was directed by René Cardona one of Mexico’s most prominent and productive filmmakers. The film opens in style with blood soaked credits that are accompanied by ominous music. The acting is pretty much pedestrian as no performances stand out. Dr. Krallman is not your typical mad scientist since he has no ego that quests for world domination. He has only one goal and that it to save his son Julio’s. When the Julio character becomes the ape monster his movements and his demise reminded me the Frankenstein monster played by Boris Karloff is the 1931 James Whale film of the same name.
The American version is about three minutes longer and it contains more gore, nudity and extra footage. This extra footage was shot without the participation of the director. The Mexican version is the true directors’ cut and they way the film is intended to be seen. Overall the effects are primitive and the plot leaves a lot too be desired still Night of the Bloody Apes is an enjoyable adventure that reviles in its B film badness.
Curse of the Doll People: Archaeologists steal a sacred idol from the ancient grounds of Coombas. A voodoo priest who had been guarding the sacred idol follows the archaeologists back to America. The voodoo priest has put a curse on the four men. After a few mysterious deaths occurs the remaining Archaeologists decide to investigate and find out what is really going on and who is behind all of this so called voodoo.
Benito Alazraki direction is one of Curse of the Doll People strongest assets as he makes excellent use of light and shadow. This also helps add an extra amount of creepiness to the dolls that stalk and murder through out the film. These dolls are actually played by midgets who are wearing distorted masks that give their faces a sinister look. The film starts off slowly as we are told of the finding out of the sacred idol that the archeologists stole. The middle section moves along quickly and is by far and away the best part of the film. The ending is hokey and leaves a lot to be desired.
The American version runs nearly thirteen minutes shorter then the Mexican version. While this may seem like a lot of the film had been cut and thirteen minute sis a lot the cuts most likely are due to the fact that the print used was one that was used for television which would explain its seventy minute running time. The Mexican version is the directors’ cut and it is too bad that transfer for this cut of the film is the worst looking of the four transfers included for this collection. Overall Curse of the Doll People doesn’t really live up to its cools premise outside of the creepy looking midget dolls.
BCI Eclipse presents both films in their American and Mexican release version. Both films are also presented in their original 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratios. Night of the Bloody Apes the American version comes with a colorful transfer that has some mild print damage and the details look reasonably sharp through out. The Mexican version look more ruff around the edges with details being hard to make out during darker scenes. Curse of the Doll People the American Version the black and white transfer has good shadow detail and print damage is noticeable but never distracting. The Mexican version is in horrible shape. The image looks blurred and lacks detail throughout.
There are four audio options two English and two Spanish audio tracks presented in a Dolby Digital mono. Each version of the two films comes with one audio option which corresponds with the country of its release. The English audio mixes outside of some minor instances of hiss sounds pretty damn good considering the age of these two films. The Spanish audio mixes suffer from hiss, distortion and other audio defects. Dialog sound thin and music and effects sound muffled. The Spanish audio mixes also come with removable English subtitles.
Extras include the American trailer and outtakes for Night of the Bloody Apes. The outtakes mostly consist of more gore and some extra nudity. Other extras included with this release include still galleries for Night of the Bloody Apes and Curse of the Doll People. Rounding out the extras is a booklet that contains liners notes written by David Wilt about Night of the Bloody Apes and Curse of the Doll People. The liner notes are a nice addition that gives more insight and background into these two films.
Crypt of Terror is a new budget line of Mexican horror films being released by BCI Eclipse. There latest offering a double bill with Night of the Bloody Apes and Curse of the Doll People is packed to the gills with content which includes two versions of each of the films included in this set and best of all its low retail cost.