The Monster Walks (1932)

the monster walks poster 1932 movie
3.5 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 4/10

Short little mystery-horror film

Dated stereotypes, underdeveloped characters

Movie Info

Movie Name:   The Monster Walks

Studio:   Ralph M. Like Productions

Genre(s):   Horror/Mystery/Suspense/B-Movie

Release Date(s):   February 7, 1932

MPAA Rating:   Not Rated

the monster walks ape candle

Lights out!

With the death of her father, Ruth Earlton (Vera Reynolds) returns home with her new fiancé Dr. Ted Clayton (Rex Lease) where she learns that she will be inheriting his fortune.  Her father’s experiments with a chimpanzee leaves a potential killer in the house as the ape continues to act out from his master’s death.  When Ruth is targeted in her sleep, is it the ape or is something more sinister happening?

Directed by Frank R. Strayer, The Monster Walks is a horror-mystery B-Movie.  The film is in public domain and readily available at multiple locations.

the monster walks hand attacks vera reynolds

Worst turn-down service

Movies like The Monster Walk are the type of movies you imagine playing on Saturday mornings.  The film is short (just over an hour) and when people talk about spending the day at the movies, it is probably more along the lines The Monster Walks than Gone with the WindThe Monster Walks isn’t great, it is predictable, but it does have a few moments.

The story for The Monster Walks is rather typical of a generic horror mystery.  The film plays a bit with the classic Edgar Allan Poe story The Murders in the Rue Morgue with an ape as a potential murderer, but how the movie is constructed, it is obvious that the ape isn’t the murderer.  There is a bit of a twist (that isn’t entirely unpredictable itself), but it does help change up a rather mundane plot.

the monster walks ape vera reynolds mischa auer

The damsel in distress!

The cast is a pretty typical cast.  Rex Lease primarily did Westerns but was a regular on the screen.  Vera Reynolds is a very generic damsel in distress in the film but I do kind of like Mischa Auer as the man who turns out to be her cousin trying to kill her.  The movie also has the unfortunate racist stereotype played by Willie Best (who despite the lack of roles did well in Hollywood).

The movie is generally in poor quality since it is in the public domain.  It is hard to find a good copy of the movie.  Scenes where the “ape” is out to murder do have some atmosphere.  As mentioned, the racist stereotype of the African-American servant is hard to swallow (especially when comparisons to the ape are made at one point)…at least he was never suspected as the murderer.

The Monster Walks is a generic thriller that doesn’t take much time to watch (so that’s a blessing).  The movie has moments and feels less like a movie and more like a bad episode of a mystery show…all it needs is Jessica Fletcher or Perot solving the crime.  A detective character might have actually added some spice to the movie…I just kind of wish The Monster Walked had built a better mystery.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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