image   You could argue the star of THE MONSTER AND THE GIRL is Charles Gemora as the monster. (Gemora worked in Paramount’s make-up and effects dept. and conceived the monster ape costume).

I liked this 65 minute thriller which had a good cast.

Ellen Drew is a small town girl who yearns for the big city. Her brother, played by Phillip Terry tries to dissuade her, but she leaves anyway.

Before she (or you) can draw a breath, she’s met charming Robert Paige who cons her into a fake marriage. ( We know the marriage ceremony is phony when the Justice of the Peace, Joseph Calleia reveals his shoulder holster).

Ellen wakes up after her wedding night,to find Paige gone and Gerald Mohr making it clear she’ll be working for him from now on. Poor Ellen’s life takes a nasty turn.

Calleia,Paige and Mohr (along with Marc Lawrence) work for gangster Paul Lukas.

When Terry comes looking for her, he’s quickly framed   and convicted of murder.Watching his trial is scientist George Zucco who persuades the death-row Terry to let him use his brain for scientific reasons. Zucco transfers the brain into a gorilla! The dead man had threatened Lukas and his gang ( and the court D.A.)  they’d pay for what they did to him.

The gorilla escapes ( and Zucco doesn’t tell the police). Right away, the prosecutor is killed. The press call the killer,’the Mangle Murderer’ – the killing is gruesome and involves bone crushing!


Marc Lawrence has the iconic line, “I don’t wanna get mangled!”

It’s not clear what the gorilla does during the daytime, but he’s very nifty at night,traversing high buildings. He’s a very quiet ape (and not very big) ,

but Charles Gemora makes the monster sympathetic.

Of course, the monster goes after the gang,one by one.

Lukas,Mohr,Lawrence and Calleia make a great underworld team. Also in the cast is Onslow Stevens as the D.A., Minor Watson as the trial judge and Rod Cameron as a reporter.



6 responses »

  1. I love THE MONSTER AND THE GIRL a total triumph of style over content,
    if ever there was one!
    Always felt Stuart Heisler was very underrated as a director.

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