Fans of the weird and strange exploitation films might have heard of René Cardona’s 1969 film Night of the Bloody Apes, which I have to say is one hell of a title. Honestly, if the trailer alone doesn’t get you to watch the movie, nothing else will. But it was a remake of Cardona’s own film Doctor of Doom (1963) but in color with some nudity, blood & guts, including some stock footage of some real surgery! It is a great little flick for those akin to this kind of twisted cinema.
At the last convention I was at, I picked up the new Blu-ray of this film that was released by VCI Entertainment. I had the old Something Weird DVD but figured it was “now restored in 4K from original 35mm negative” I could always use an upgrade. Plus, this new release also had a bonus feature of the previous mention Doctor of Doom. But as I watched it the other night, something was amiss. Now there were some scenes that either didn’t go through the 4k scan because the quality noticeably dropped, but during some of the gore scenes, the quality of the print changed, almost like someone had messed with the contrast or something. Now this is coming from someone who knowns NOTHING about what goes into restoring movies. But when the quality of the print dramatically changes, and not like it went back to a grainy print, but where the colors looked oversaturated or something, something obviously noticeable, something wrong.
But the worst part is at the end of the film (SPOILER ALERT!), when Gormar rips off the head of the assistant, they later show the assistant laying on the couch with his head still intact. Now, in the version I’ve seen before, which is on the Something Weird DVD, Gormar enters the room still carrying the severed head. So, when VCI Entertainment has “a new 4K uncut version” on their website, that would be false. For those thinking about upgrading or picking up the film for the first time, I would recommend keeping or seeking out the Something Weird DVD.
I have reached out to VCI and let them know about this matter but haven’t heard back.