Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)
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as Dr. Mirakle
as Pierre Dupin
as Camille L'Espanaye
as Prefect of Police
as Morgue Keeper
as The Mother
as Erik the Ape
as Franz Odenheimer
Critic Reviews for Murders in the Rue Morgue
Whether as camp or as legitimately great horror... the film is awfully fun to watch.
Rue Morgue disappoints because it gives us too little of Lugosi's hijinks, but its best scenes are nearly as memorable as anything that Universal produced during the era.
It crams into its first ten minutes as much bestial subtext as King Kong
Robert Florey's atmospheric horror tale, starring Bela Lugosi.
Audience Reviews for Murders in the Rue Morgue
In the 1930s, Universal was at the forefront of Horror Cinema. Beyond their famous parade of Movie Monsters, they also made some other quite good horror films, three of which were adaptations of Edgar Allen Poe stories. This one, is quite good, with Bela Lugosi playing the creepy villain, and some fantastic cinematography with swift camera movements, some unique camera placements (I really liked the swing shot), and a style very reflective of the German Expressionism movement (like much of the Universal Films). It also didn't shy away from death, with some gruesome murder scenes you really didn't see in some of these earlier horror films. Interesting to note that the director and Lugosi originally wished to make "Frankenstein", only to be reassigned by Universal to this picture, it may not have been as successful as that film, but it is still excellent.
The title makes this movie sound like something exciting, but it's not. Lugosi plays a mad scientist who has a circus act where he exhibits an ape who can "talk". The ape cannot talk, he just pretends that he knows what it's saying. I'm sure the audience was asking for their money back after that. He has some crazy idea about how people are descended from apes and he wants to make people more like apes, so he kidnaps girls and murders them when his experiments don't work out. The story is stupid, the characters are stupid, I didn't care for this movie at all, I don't know why they included it in the universal monsters collection.
Bela Lugosi stars as "Dr. Mirakle," a carny scientist with a trained ape and a penchant for conducting medical experiments on prostitutes, in this loose but effective adaptation of Poe's short story. It's fascinating to consider that the villain here is a foreigner with a unibrow who preaches evolution, and the "good people" he terrorizes are closeminded and casually racist. Also interesting for the bestiality subtext, and the fact that this gorilla-abducts-white-woman tale predates KING KONG.
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