“They never forget their hatred”
Phillip Earlton has died. His daughter Ruth (Vera Reynolds) has returned to the old estate mansion with her fiancé Dr. Ted Clayton (Rex Lease) for the reading of the will. Her invalid uncle Robert (Sheldon Lewis) lives in the house with their servants Mrs. Krug (Martha Mattox), the housekeeper, and her son Hanns (Mischa Auer).
Also in the house is an ape. Yep. Phillip Earlton was a doctor that had an ape in his house for medical studies. Whatever those may be. The ape is kept in the basement and periodically howls. Apparently he knows his master is dead. He also does not like Ruth for some reason. By the way, the ape is a chimpanzee not a gorilla.
Earlton’s lawyer Herbert Wilkes (Sidney Bracey) gathers the heirs together in the parlor for the reading of the will. Phillip Earlton left the bulk of his estate to Ruth. Robert is allowed to live in the house. Mrs. Krug and Robert are to receive a monthly allowance. Should something happen to Ruth the estate would then go to Robert. Mrs. Krug’s son Hanns is upset about the will. He believes that after so many years of loyal service, his mother should have been given a share of the estate.
That night after Ruth goes to bed a hand, covered with hair reaches out through the headboard for her. She screams and the hand withdraws. Her fiancé, Ted, and Mrs. Krug rush to her. To comfort her Mrs. Krug agrees to stay with her through the night. Mrs. Krug takes the bed. Again the hairy hand appears through the headboard. It strangles Mrs. Krug by mistake. There’s a killer in the house and it’s after Ruth.
“The Monster Walks” was released in 1932 and was directed by Frank R. Strayer. The movie features many of the typical 1932 horror/mystery type low budget “B” movies. It has an Old Dark House, a thunderstorm, creepy staff and an ape.
Add to that the scared bug-eyed black chauffeur that white people thought was soooo funny in the thirties. His character’s name in the movie was Exodus. At the time the movie was filmed he went by the name “Sleep n’ Eat”. His real name is William Best and he has over 130 acting credits to his name, 124 of them films. He was also a musician and songwriter. He has worked with some of the best comedians of the era, such as; Bob Hope, Shirley Temple, and The Marx Brothers. His acting career spanned from 1930 to 1955.
As for the movie, there’s not much to it. It’s basically a page out of every spooky house story ever made. And not much mystery either. My favorite part was the thunderstorm. I love thunderstorms.