MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE (1932). Director: Robert Florey.
In this very loose adaptation of Poe's famous short story, Dr. Mirakle (Bela Lugosi), who works in a sideshow with an ape named Erik, kidnaps, binds, and tortures women, ultimately injecting them with the ape's blood, bringing about their deaths. (He callously drops their bodies through a trapdoor into the river.) Mirakle has developed an unhealthy interest in pretty Camille (Sidney Fox), and there is a recreation of a scene from the story when the ape comes into the home of a young woman -- in this case, Camille -- and her mother and attacks them. A disconcerting note is that close-ups of an obvious chimp are intercut with long shots of a man in a gorilla outfit, and they certainly don't match. However, there are some great Parisian sets and shots, and the acting isn't bad. Leon Ames [as Leon Waycoff] plays "Pierre" Dupin, a friend of Camille's who investigates the case when the police get nowhere. Not one of the great Lugosi's better roles or performances.
Verdict: For those who can't tell the difference between a chimp and a gorilla! **.