Friday, July 10, 2020

Can Dostlar (2019)

Beste is a young girl frustrated with her dreary life. She's recently moved into a new neigbourhood, but the park outside her window is always empty, and her perpetually working parents aren't doing anything to help. Deciding to take matters into her own hands, Beste starts going door to door and inviting other kids to play. She successfully gathers/succeeds in gathering a sizable group, but their plans are hampered by the park's tenant, an angry recluse who wants the place to stay empty. Determined to help each-other with their problems and defeat their new enemy, this previously quite neighbourhood has its hands full!...

Can Dostlaris a highly entertaining kids movie, courtesy of Turkey. Getting off to an eye-catching start with a choreographed song and dance, it draws you in quickly, and delivers what it promises.

The movie is never boring, and has a very good structure. It sets everything up quickly, has a good main conflict, and there's always plenty of other stuff going on. The film is never solely focused on one thing, and has a 'slice-of-life' feel to it. Events and revelations come at a good pace, and the last act is less one big climax, and more a few little ones, that add up to something nice.

Certain story beats and ideas are pretty   (for example, we all know Kazım is gonna turn out to not be so bad after all, but have a tragic backstory, and redemption), but they're done so in a good way. Even if they seem familiar, you don't mind, and look forward to seeing how it'll play out. In movies where the outcome is even somewhat obvious, you've gotta put just as much effort into the journey getting there as the reveal.

While some elements here are familiar, others are refreshing and unexpected. The movie has a nice frankness to it amongst its lighthearted goofiness, and there are good/effective messages and themes. Such as seizing life while you're still young, overcoming grief and pain, and about one never being too old to play. You really get a good sense of community, and how one person can make a difference. If this one girl hadn't gone around door to door, none of these positive changes would have happened.

Another thing I like is how healthy these kids' interactions are when compared to American films. It's like night and day! The Yanks could learn something here!

The characters are a major part of Can Dostlar, and there was a chance for this to go very well or very badly. This is because we're treated to a pretty sizeable cast! There's Beste, Cem, Ozan, Fatoş, Doğa, Fırat, Eda and Seda, Eraydın, Atlas, and that's just the main group! There's even more kids in supporting roles, and all the adults to boot. It's a testament to the film's writing and direction that it's never confusing or messy. While there are some moments where I was a little unsure of who was who, or other times when characters were absent for a while, no-one feels underused or interchangeable, for the most part.

Something else the movie does effectively is rotate its characters. Rather than focus exclusively on one to the detriment of all others, or try and focus on all at the same time, it revolves around the group gradually. And whenever new characters are in the mix, other ones are shifted elsewhere doing their own thing. For example, when we meet the diabolical Ayberk, it's not as confusing getting to know this new character as part of the gang when a couple of them are busy elsewhere for the moment/time being.

Onto the leads specifically, Beste is a great protagonist! Adorable beyond words, she's also friendly and clever, a good influence to/on all those around her. Cem is cheeky but nice, but a little too untrusting regarding some people. Newcomer Fırat is a neat and snarky kid, but seemingly has something to hide. The twins are a great mix of funny and scary (don't mess with twins!), while Doğa is nice and sweet, and Eraydın is amusingly neurotic and a big eater, without coming off as gross or gluttonous.

The passionate speed-talker Fatoş is energetic without being annoying, and I liked her environmental/recycling crusade. The only one who gets the short end of the stick is Atlas, since he's introduced as being a super hyper kid, but this is never seen again, and he's pretty much normal for the rest of the movie. Overall though, every kid here has at least some distinctive character trait, and some depth and emotion too.

'Bad' Kazım is a good villain, being mean enough that you root against him, but not so bad that he's genuinely horrible. He's also gets times that you get a sense of his unease and inexperience with the outside world, endearing him. The supporting and minor cast all get a good amount of screentime, never hogging the limelight or getting too little to do. Highlights are the shopkeeper and his daughter, who make their scenes really count with their hilarious advertisements and songs, and the adult impersonator (I wonder if that was a real talent, or just the magic of movies!).

The cast here all do a great job! They're a little over-the-top sometimes, and not all deliveries are perfect, but by and large they're a joy, especially given they're younger actors and actresses. No cringey performances here!

The music here is fun! We've got lots of nice tracks all throughout, with the highlight being the peppy main theme, which opens the movie very well, getting you in the mood.

Can Dostlar is a great time for the whole family, and I'm sure it could be a favourite for many kids. I recommend it for those interested, and can guarantee 90 minutes well spent...

Aslı Gibidir (2019)

Aslı is a frustrated young woman who's just been accepted into acting school. However, the institution wants a $20,000 lira tuition, and the broke Aslı has to figure out how to raise the money. By chance she stumbles across what turns out to be a live acting troupe. The employees are hired by clients to replace certain people, i.e. take the place of an ill lounge singer to make peace between two/rival football clubs, or pose as a fortune teller to convince a guy's fiancee to go for a cheap wedding, etc. Despite a rocky start, these jobs go off successfully, and Aslı gets used to them...until the biggest one so far pits her against a man she can't stand, soon to be a man she can't be without...

Aslı Gibidir (also known as Stunt School in English, since the original title is a pun that only works in Turkish) is a very entertaining comedy. Filled with fun ideas, great scenarios, and more, it's a real treat.

The characters here are a major highlight! From the get-go it's clear that they're not one-dimensional, but have depth to them, as well as many different characteristics. Taking Aslı's parents for example, her father is an  overly frugal cheapskate, and also has an honest but negative opinion towards his daughter's appearance (and her chances in ), but loves her regardless, and is supportive of her, even if he doesn't wanna spend several thousand lira on a tuition. Just one of those character traits would be expected for such a movie as this, but all of them just in one? It shows to me that the writer(s) really cared to create a well crafted cast.

Not every character is this rich, which is ok. The important thing is that they're likeable, and appear enough, and thankfully both are true here. The acting troupe are a fun bunch, and despite being a bunch of weirdos and eccentrics, you do get a sense of family with them as the movie goes on, and it's nice that they don't spend the whole movie being snide towards the new recruit, as you'd be likely to see in a hundred other movies like this.

Aslı herself is a fun protagonist, spunky and endearing, with enough flaws to keep her relatable, but enough spirit and passion to make her a fine protagonist. Alp is a nice love interest, with plenty to like. The romance between him and Aslı starts off in the usual way, with them at each-others throats. Would you expect it any other way? How it continues though is nice. The hating each-other phase only lasts for their first scene and a half, and once they actually get to know each-other rather than sparring on a bus, you can see the chemistry developing between them, and buy/believe the romance.

The movie has a good structure, made up of little episodes building together to a bigger whole. Seeing the missions is fun, and never distracts from the plot. There's also plenty of variety here, and I was never left bored.

While there are all/many of your expected romantic cliches on full display here, they're presented in a good way. And nothing is ever too awkward for too long. If Turkish movies are good at anything, it's resolving drama quickly!...Or prolonging it endlessly. Either, honestly.

The climax is a really fun watch. It's a testament to how rousing the music is and how much I liked these characters that I cared so much, even though I actually hadn't the faintest idea of what they were actually doing! I got the gist, but it's a little unclear since it plays over a montage, and some of the dialogue we do hear is indistinct or cut-off, even their show's finale. This isn't a huge deal, as it's generally clear, and it's still sweet. I was left with a mile on my face after this conclusion!

The cast here all do great jobs! There's a good mix of over-the-top with more grounded performances, and no-one ever goes overboard. Nothing too obnoxious, and the quieter and dramatic moments are effective. Aslı Inandık is a great lead. She reminded me a bit of Gupse Ozay sometimes, though not as a ripoff, but a kindred spirit (if that makes any sense). She's a fun actress, and her disguises are really good, physically and =.

The look of Aslı Gibidir is great. The locations we get are both/a mix of familiar and varied, with the recurring locations feeling distinct. The new ones add little pockets of spice all throughout, from the noisy nursing home, to the decorative fortune teller's lair, and the stuffy college admission hall, etc. My favourite was definitely the acting troupe's headquarters. It looks authentic and lived-in , and the fact that we can see all of it in pretty much one shot makes it feel comfy(?), if that makes any sense.

The soundtrack here is a delight too. The main theme is funky, with a great beat, and some of the later instrumental tracks are really nice as well.

Aslı Gibidir is a great little film! A very pleasant surprise, it proves that despite what people say, Turkish cinema has still got it! I look forward to future projects from these people, and checking out what they've done in the past...

Sunday, July 5, 2020

The Doll (1919)

Silent cinema in Germany was a wellspring of horror, with films like Nosferatu and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari still being influential today. The period also had a treasure trove of other genres too, and their comedies could get just as weird as the expressionist horror films ever did!...

Lancelot is a young heir, riddled with nerves, and anxiety about women. This concerns his domineering father, who insists he marry. The pressure causes the boy to run away and hide in an abbey, among a group of monks who care little about anything beyond hedonistic pleasures. Eventually news gets out that his now ailing father is so desperate for an heir that he's promising a luxurious dowry for when Lancelot comes comes with a bride. The greedy monks decide to use this to their advantage, and hire a local toymaker to construct a lifesized doll for them to pass off as the new bride. Things take a turn for the awkward though when the doll is damaged, and the toymaker's daughter must take its place...

The Doll is a funny and cute little film. At just an hour it delivers a pretty packed story, with enough comedy and romance to keep everyone entertained. At no point does the movie take itself seriously, with wildly exaggerated characters, a silly plot, and more.

If I had to find a problem with the film though, it'd be that the plot is fairly complicated/complex for such an otherwise simple tale, to the point where it takes half the film just to put/get everything in place! I wish they had've streamlined things better, as none of what we see is superfluous. Even the priests who seem absent for much of the movie aren't pointless, as their actions spur on the majority of the story. But if things were arranged better we could've had more shenanigans with Lancelot and his new companion!

There's a plethora of social commentary on display in The Doll, with the most surprising being its critical eye on religious corruption. Few movies back then dared cover this topic, as the church was fiercely critical of what could and couldn't see print. Basically if you dared say they were corrupt, they'd use their corrupt powers to prove to you how not corrupt they are by banning your films and having you tarred and feathered (probably). I must say it's a joy to see this hypocrisy villified, and so humourously too. These piggish monks make for great baddies, even though they don't pose much of a threat.

Other commentary is on general life and society, and can be seen in moments like Lancelot's father on what seems to be his deathbed, and his family are bitterly squabbling over who gets what when he dies, while he's right there! [They even break what they argue over, and have the nerve to blame it on him for not making his will clearer].

The cast is small but well defined. Lancelot is the exact opposite of a macho figure, deferring to his mother and a wailing mess of nerves, perpetually running from the opposite sex. Ossi meanwhile is a clever and industrious young woman, eager to help save her father's skin, even if it is against her better judgement. The romance that blooms between the two is cheesy, but works.

The toymaker Hilarious is amusingly eccentric, but its his young assistant who really steals the show, getting hilariously overdramatic moments for such a young kid, delivering lines like "Hear the confession of a broken man!" as if he were a seasoned adult.

The actors here are exaggerated in a funny way, with the highlight being Ossi Oswalda as the titular doll. She has such great expressions, and no-one in Germany looked cuter when sticking their tongue out than her! Hermann Thimig is an amusingly drippy leading man, while Victor Janson is suitably over-the-top as Hilarius. And lastly, Gerhard Ritterbrand is a hoot as the somewhat crazy assistant.

The look of The Doll is very distinctive. Everything that an intentionally fake quality to it, like it's a school play. This lends a great feel to the proceedings. The cartoonish sun is adorable, as are the other bits of animated scenery. The whole production has a superb fairy tale atmosphere.

Other touches of hyper-reality are some of the casting choices, the way =, and the amusingly styled choreography, with the actors sometimes making movements like they're in a dance. There's a nice attention to detail and embracing of the absurd here.

To finish, The Doll is great fun! It might not be for everyone, but if you're looking for silent fun, or new to the era and want a good (if thoroughly bizarre) example, this is the film to choose!...

The Court Jester (1955)

In Medieval Britain, a ruthless tyrant controls the local kingdom, and is subjecting the people to all manner of oppression. All that stands against him and victory is the cunning Black Fox and his band of rebels, which includes the entertainer Hubert Hawkins. He's sent out on an important mission with rebel captain Jean to escort the infant heir to safety. While on the way, the two develop a plan to infiltrate the castle, and Hawkins disguises himself as Giacomo, king of jesters and jester for the king. Expected at the castle, it proves to be an easy way inside, but once there Hawkins must work out who's on his side, evade the villains as well as the attentions of a lovestruck princess and her = witch, all while trying to ...

Out of the many performers back in the 1940 and 50s, Danny Kaye was really the [cat's meow]! =. I saw a few of his films as a kid on public-domain sets, but the one that really caught my attention was The Court Jester! While not a failure upon its release it wasn't a major hit, but it took a very short time indeed for it to receive a critical reappraisal, and it's consistently been voted as the star's best film.

From beginning to end this is a fun movie. While fairly long, it moves by at a brisk pace, as if it was half its length, and there's never a dull moment, with various forms of shenanigans taking the stage. There's action aplenty, clever mile-a-minute wordplay, and a sense of exuberance throughout the whole production.

The story is simple but effective, and there's never a moment where you're too lost, even if you can get swamped in the cast sometimes.

The tone of The Court Jester is a really good one. I've heard it described as a parody of the old swashbucklers, and I suppose that could be true, but to me it's simply a swashbackling adventure that also happens to be a comedy. It inhabits both genres perfectly, never letting the story get in the way of the gags or let the comedy overshadow the story. This is a great example of what parodies should be. Movies that respect the genre they're parodying, and work just as well as the genuine article!

Something I really appreciate here is the characters! Overall they're great, though there are perhaps a few too many. There are quite a lot of names here to remember, and not all of them were necessarily necessary, but for the most part they're =. The best of course are the leads. Hawkins is a likeable hero, somewhat hapless, but never useless, or so clumsy he never gets anything done. Jean is a tough dame,   What I like most of all is their relationship! With characters such as these they usually hate each-other for much of the film, spending all their time sniping before finally falling in love halfway through. Here though it's the opposite, as these opposites attract! They fall for each-other fairly early, and it's sweet seeing how they interact. It always feels sincere and romantic, and seeing this endure for the whole film is a real treat.

The remainder of the cast is fun. Lord Ravenhurst is the main villain, and  The king is =, and I like that he and Ravenhurst are characterised differently, rather than being Evil Overlord No. 1 and 2. While Ravenhurst is a traditional power hungry villain, the king is more like a =. This must've rubbed off on his daughter too, as she's good at heart, but a little crazy, and jumps to execution as a threat a little too quickly to win the hearts of many men I'm sure. She's fun, though a little underused.

The actors all do splendid jobs. Kaye is a great lead, and really gets to cut loose with his various disguises, all of them convincing. Glynis Johns is as pretty as she is talented, providing a straight man, action, and half the romance, all in one. Rathbone is a delightfully evil villain, never failing to be charming, and a young Angela Lansbury is fun as the slightly amoral princess.

The Court Jester looks truly spectacular! You can really see the money and attention to detail on the screen, with lavish sets, great costumes, and dazzling colours. If there was anything to criticise, the film is a little overproduced in places, and dare I say cluttered? None of these moments are bad per se, of course, and don't hurt the experience.

The songs here are a real treat! Predominately sung by Danny Kaye, they're peppy, funny, and really get you in the mood for =. The highlight is the opening/closing track Life Could not Better Be, which has a certain unique touch to it to boot! I do wish they were spaced out a little more evenly though, as it's quite a long movie, and there are only = tracks. Some are only a few minutes apart, while others might be separated by half an hour.

The Court Jester has truly stood the test of time, and is one of Danny Kaye's best films, and one of the best comedies to come out of the era. It's well worth a watch...

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Robin Hood, Men in Tights (1993) and Dracula, Dead and Loving It (1995)

Robin Hood, Men in Tights (1993)

Robin of Loxley has returned to England after fighting in the Holy Land, and find that his family is dead and is property seized by the government. The corrupt Prince John has ruled = in his brother's stead, raising taxes to the extreme, and oppressing the people. Determined to fight back against these injustices, Robin must build together a team and =...

Robin Hood, Men in Tights is one of comedy legend Mel Brooks later movies, and while it's not as good as his older classics, it's still a great time!

The plot   though some  feel a bit  such as the battle at the halfway point. It's great, but it's so decisive you wonder how the villains are still active! Besides that things move along well enough, with enough tension and =, often broken up in amusing ways, like Robin getting another chance in the = context because it says so in the script.

As a parody, this hilariously skewers then-recent Prince of Thieves (but in a nice way, never meanly), while also spoofing Robin Hood lore in general, not sticking to just one version. As a film it also stands on its own, too. Some parodies really only make sense in context, but this is just as good even if you haven't seen Prince of Thieves, and not having seen that doesn't mean you've missed anything (or at least, I hope not, 'cause I've not seen it either!).

The comedy in Men in Tights is mostly really effective! There's various types of jokes, with a heavy (not not too forced) fourth wall breaking habit, cultural references, and all manner of other things. Not all the jokes land for me, and some of them reallly felt =, but at its worst moments, the movie's just a little cringey. It's made with such a fun spirit that it's infectious. This is even more apparent when you watch the behind the scenes featurette and see how much fun everyone has on a Mel Brooks set. It's all so good-natured.

The movie is not only funny, but it's really quotable! Sooo many lines here have imprinted themselves on/in my memory, and I could probably recite half the script to you!

Quite the packed movie, this is also a musical, with four numbers, and they're great fun, from the surprisingly neat mix if a hip-hop tune with a 'Hey nonny' one, to the = Men in Tights song, the sappy and overdramatic (yet also kinda sincere!) romance Marian, and the = opera crooning The Night is Young.

The acting is a highlight. Cary Elwes has great comedic timing and a handsome charm as Robin Hood. It's the role he was born to play! Still definitely his most memorable performance next to The Princess Bride. Roger Rees is deliciously evil as the Sheriff of Rottingham, while Richard Lewis is amusingly neurotic as Prince John. Dave Chappelle, Mark Blankfield, and Eric Allan Kramer, et all, do fine jobs, amusing in various ways. Amy Yasbeck is an adorable love interest, while Megan Cavanagh is great as Broomhilda. And lastly, Tracey Ullman is = as the witch Latrine, and Mel Brooks is fun in his role of Rabbi Tuckmann.

Dracula, Dead and Loving It (1995)

Real estate agent Thomas Renfield visits the mysterious Count Dracula, secretly a vampire, and is hypnotised into becoming his slave. They journey to England, where he begins feeding on innocent young Lucy Westenra, and her friends and family must figure out how to stop this terrible affliction, and put a stop to the demonic Dracula  before it's too late...

Dracula, Dead and Loving It is another highly enjoyable outing from Brooks! His last film to date, it's well worth that distinction. Upon its release it wasn't

Where this really succeeds is in how expertly everything is placed together! The look and atmosphere of the film is convincing, and =! That's how you know the mark of a good parody. If you take out all the comedy, do you get a convincing vampire film?

The story is your typical adaption of Dracula, familiar enough to be =, while doing enough of its own thing to feel unique. It adapts certain scenes from the book (or other versions) very well, and honestly some of these wouldn't be out of place in an old Hammer Horror if this was played straight! Meanwhile, the comedic = work great too. Just like how Young Frankenstein looked at serious scenes like the dinner with the blind man and said 'What if he were really clumsy?', Dead and Loving it also takes = scenes from the book and turns them on their head, in a way that's both faithful to the source material while also wickedly funny.

One area where I feel the movie really succeeds as an authentic Gothic film and Dracula adaption is in how it's a chamber piece.

Leading into the set design, it's fantastic! From the Transylvanian village, to Dracula's castle, Dr. Seward's asylum, and Carfax Abbey, etc, there are many great locations, each distinctive and evocative.

Dead and Loving it is a hilarious time! There's good balance of all kinds of humor. Direct parody, wordplay, slapstick, absurdist, etc. There are a few setpieces, and these are fabulous, from the big ballroom dance, where the reflection-less Dracula dances with Mina by a mirror, or the staking of Lucy, which might be the best moment in the film. The lunch with Dr. Seward and Renfield is great too.

The acting in Dracula, Dead and Loving It is great. Leslie Nielsen is used sparingly as Dracula, appearing plenty, and definitely the film's true lead, but not hogging the limelight so much that any mystique of Dracula is lost. Peter MacNicol is hilarious as the insane Renfield, getting many of the film's best moments. Steven Weber is funny as the repressed Johnathan Harker, while Harvey Korman is a great straight man, getting many goofy moments but delivering them with such a straight face. Amy Yasbeck and Lysette Anthony are funny and gorgeous as the two = babes Mina and Lucy, =. And lastly, Mel Brooks is a lot of = as Van Helsing, almost sounding like Inspector Clouseau with his accent. The film operates with a small cast, which works in its favour. We get to know everyone onscreen well, and =.

The music here is another element that works. Effective as both a sincere Gothic score, as well as amusingly overdramatic in some scenes, lending = to the comedy of some scenes.

While Dracula Dead and Loving it may not have been warmly received upon its original release, time has been kind to it, and if you're in the mood for a good old fashioned vampire romp, this is the movie for you!...

Blithe Spirit (1945)

Charles and Ruth Condimine are a happily married couple, getting along splendidly and enjoying life at their nice country estate. When some friends come over for a party, Charles arranges for a visit from kooky psychic Madame Arcati, who performs a seance. Unbeknownst to everyone but Charles, it works, and he begins hearing the voice of his dead wife Elvira, before seeing her too. Feeling playful, she begins messing with her former husband, creating an escalation of events that can't end well!...

Blithe Spirit started out promisingly, but it started to get on my nerves a bit as it went on. It begins by introducing its leads in a good way, as nice enough people, if a tad flawed, and the seance happens quickly enough too. There's plenty of funny dialogue, and everything is entertaining.

Where the film started to lose me was partially due to the thin plot, but also the direction it took. One of the main characters just disappears from the movie just like that, as if the writer couldn't be bothered anymore, and just wanted to focus the story exclusively on Charles and his dead ex.

Another problem is that nothing is ever accomplished. The characters try one exorcism to get rid of Elvira, and it doesn't work. They try another, it doesn't work. They try many more over a montage, and none work. Then they realise an important fact they missed, and conduct one last exorcism to finally spend the ghost[s] back to the afterlife!...and it doesn't work. Bloody hell! After that, the characters give up, and the movie just stops, after one last =.

The ending annoyed me too. It's a resolution that might've been effective or funny  if done right, but it felt so rushed, and was honestly a bit of a downer! I wasn't sure what to make of the film's overall message too. We start out with a happy couple, and end with [3 dead]! Ultimately, I think Blithe Spirit went on for too long, as if it was an hour long story stretched out to almost 100 minutes. It's never boring or tedious, but it feels endless, with its small story and minimal setting and characters stretched to the limit.

The actors, few that there are, do a great job here. Rex Harrison is amusing as , while Kay Hammond is fun as the mischievous Elvira. Constance Cummings is good as the ore levelheaded Ruth. Hugh Wakefield and Joyce Carey are fun in their small roles at the start, and Jacqueline Clark is alright as the beleaguered maid Edith, but somewhat underused. And lastly, the main attraction/draw is the great Margaret Rutherford! She has a truly great spirit here, coming off as old in visage but young in spirit. She has such a childlike and energetic frivolity to her, it's great to watch!

For a film based on a stage play, Blithe Spirit looks good. Many scenes are slower and comprised entirely of dialogue, and while this nature does sometimes show, the film is directed well enough to avoid feeling like it's just a filmed play. The set is great too, a nice lush mansion you'd love to stay at. The psychic's house is suitably cluttered too.

While the direction is good, the editing is sometimes strange, and we'll change location without realising. A minor issue, that only happened a couple of times and might not be a problem if you're really paying attention, but still a bit weird.

The effects here are great, especially for the time! I expected the film to be lazy, and simply show the ghosts being intangible by having the actors be off camera, or other =. While it does do this at times, there are more than plenty scenes of making contact, and passing right through. The poltergeist effects are great too. Objects lift up on their own convincingly enough, and there are no wires to be seen.

Blithe Spirit certainly has its share of good aspects, and it's not a bad film at all, but I didn't really enjoy it by the end. Still, I'm glad I watched it, and I still recommend it for a few reasons. After all, how could you pass up a British screwball picture with ghosts and Margaret Rutherford?! How I ask?...

The Monster Walks (1932)

In the Earlton household, young woman Ruth has come back for the reading of her late father's will. There's a disquieting atmosphere thanks to the shriekings of his pet ape, locked safely away...or so it seems. After a furry attempt on Ruth's life, her fiancee begins investigating, determined to see no harm come to her...

The Monster Walks is an interesting little horror film. Coming from 1932, it feels like an earlier prototype for a lot of the old dark house mysteries/comedies we saw in the 40s, complete with a suspicious ape too! Although in this case it's a real one, not a guy in a suit.

The film is a bit quiet, and a little slow, but never boring.

Despite these issues, it does some things very right! It builds up a good atmosphere of =  and oppression, and the cast is well utilised. While the characters aren't the most well-rounded, there's a small amount of them, and they're distinct enough. The girl, the old maid, the creepy guy, the handsome guy, the old guy, the old guy in the wheelchair, etc. This makes the mystery better than when you've either got too many or not enough suspects.

The plot element of the ape in the house is good. It doesn't feel too fanciful, and is a good =  means of building a spooky vibe where anything can happen. Well...I say anything, but really the = is incredibly specific, but you know what I mean!

Something that really hampers The Monster Walks is the complete lack of a soundtrack. Some movies can survive not having music, but this isn't one of 'em!

I like that they never blindly believe the ape's guilt until the last 5 minutes, but instead = frequently, to confirm or deny the theory, and always suspect something more is afoot/going on. However they are guilty of an incredibly stupid act in the climax, when they leave Mary alone with the only possible suspect remaining!

Brilliantly named Exodus, the comedy relief chauffeur is a great addition.
Oh no, when he knows there's danger on the loose, he packs heat! The dude's got a 44 magnum, and is ready to use it!

acting   but   sometimes weird enunciations. Coupled with the = cheesy dialogue, it's honestly comparable to Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, so if you like that show, you've gotta see this!

The leads here all do perfectly respectable jobs, despite a few lines coming out weaker than others. Mischa Auer is fine as the = creepy foreigner, and he's particularly god in the climax. Lastly, the most notable and recognisable performer is the great Willie Best. It's not his best performance, and he's much better in other films, but his natural charisma still shines through, and livens the proceedings. As the film's only source of comedy, he does his job well, and gets a few funny lines, namely one to end/close the movie out on.

The Monster Walks isn't an amazing example of its genre, but it's not bad, and has got some merit to enjoy.