The Monster Walks (1932)
I pressed this earlier and for some reason it got trashed. Here I go again…
This low-budget old dark house thriller from Astor Pictures is so old it creaks. I found this one on a 100-disc Mill Creek public domain horror film collection. The print isn’t half bad for a film over 80 years old! The Monster Walks (1932) features Mischa Auer (You Can’t Take it with You, 1938) as looney-tunes Hanns; Sidney Bracey (a veteran of over 330 films!) as Herbert Wilkes; and mumbling funny guy Willie Best (as nicknamed, get this —Eat N’ Sleep) as chauffeur Exodus.
The Monster Walks features a somewhat familiar story, where a Chimpanzee named Yogi stalks a house full of stuffy guests and family members. Huh? Basically this is a rehash of The Cat and the Canary (1927) and there are plenty of better films of this nature to check out rather than this drawn out mess. Both The Cat and the Canary (1939) and The Ghost Breakers (1940) feature Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard, and the later also stars Willie Best. I also like James Whale’s The Old Dark House (1932).
The Monster Walks is pretty slow and not a good selection after the daylight savings time shift. Yawn.
Russian-born Mischa Auer is fun as the heavy, and he appears to be doing his best Frankenstein Monster walk in a few scenes. He’s good at playing loonies (just check out Capra’s You Can’t Take it With You).
The Monster Walks was directed by Frank R. Strayer (The Devil Bat, 1932; several Blondie films), who probably had his hands full with the chimp Yogi. Not much is showing with the actors.
Never trust a violinist…
Willie Best is, as usual, terrific.
Wow, films have changed in the last 80 years. Some folks might take offense to the dialogue and portrayal of Willie Best’s character Exodus. Keep in mind this was how Willie Best established his career. Check out this exchange:
Exodus (Willie Best), Looking at the caged Chimpanzee Yogi, then replying to Mr. Wilkes: Excuse me boss… But what’da they doing with them things around the house?
Herbert Wilkes (Sidney Bracey): Well Dr. Earlton was an exponent of the Darwinian theory.
Wilkes: He believed that they were our ancestors…
Exodus: You mean that he’s led to me?
Exodus: Well… I donno I had a grandpappy that looked something like that but he wasn’t as active…
They don’t make ’em like they used to!