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The Show

The Ape Man

In this 1943 sci-fi thriller, Dr. James Brewster (the incomparable Bela Lugosi) injects himself with a serum from the spinal fluid of a gorilla. When he starts to act—and look—like “The Ape Man”, he decides the only antidote is the spinal fluid of a human, um, donor. You can probably imagine where the plot goes from there.

An icon of sci-fi and horror of the 20th century, the Hungarian-born Lugosi studied at the Budapest Academy of Theatrical Arts and was a matinee idol before emigrating to New York City in the early 1920s. He appeared on stage, gaining his big break into the American scene with the title role in a Broadway production of “Dracula”. Though reputedly not the director’s first choice, Lugosi was eventually cast as the vampire in Tim Browning’s film adaptation of the play. The role shot Lugosi to stardom and, though he went on to appear in more than 60 additional films and begged casting directors to consider him for non-horror roles, it is said he was buried in one of his Dracula capes.

The Science

Cameron Hastie

Cameron HastieApe Keeper Cameron Hastie of Utah's Hogle Zoo, discusses primates and the film “The Ape Man.”

 

More Science to go with the Show

Related Resources

Utah's Hogle Zoo

Animal Care and Service Workers

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