After turning down the role of Frankenstein, Bela Lugosi starred in this atmospheric chiller for Universal Studios. He plays Dr. Mirakle, a sideshow performer who has an ape named Erik. He abducts women and tries to mix their blood with ape blood and gives Darwinism speeches. During an experiment, Erik strangles Mirakle and is chased by the police through the rooftops of Paris. Director Robert (The Coconuts) Florey (who was the first choice to direct Frankenstein) adds Impressionistic touches, excellent camerawork (especially the scene on the swing), and some shocking (for the time) imagery to keep the audience off balance. The irritating comic relief is really out of place though. Noble Johnson co-stars as Lugosi’s assistant and Arlene Francis has a small role as a victim. Lugosi is excellent as always and the ape suit (along with matching insert shots of a real ape) are pretty convincing. John Huston co-wrote the screenplay (based on a story by Edgar Allan Poe) and Karl (The Mummy) Freund was the cinematographer.