The Monster and the Ape #13
The Gorilla at Large
For those playing The Monster and the Ape home game, Chapter 13 can be found here, with Spanish subtitles.
We listen to our increasingly-less-enthusiastic narrator for a second, then pick up in the middle of the car chase we left off with last week, where Ken’s taxi, without explanation, suddenly gets in front of and perpendicular to the truck full of Metalogen he was chasing after. Today, folks, I have the explanation for this thing that is happening: That’s not the truck transporting the element. In my defense, the truck carrying Metalogen looked like this through the entire last episode:
Between the poor quality film and my assumption that this serial can’t afford to rent more than two vehicles at a time, I figured every truck was the same truck. Anyhow, this completely unrelated truck t-bones the taxi, but Ken of course escapes without a scratch. Nobody ever gets killed, just like in “G.I. Joe” cartoons. What’s strange — and by “strange” I mean “really crappy writing” — is that there is no mention of anyone in the truck at all, injured or otherwise, and when a doctor comes along, he literally steps past the taxi driver who is shown as being moderately injured, just to get to Ken and tend to him first, even though Ken doesn’t look even a bit distressed.
Back at the lair of the bad guys, Ernst is pleased to see his henchmen arrive with the Metalogen, all in leather medical satchels, which, as you will remember, is the Lugosi-approved way to carry around radioactive mineral extracts from meteoric impact deposits. Ernst announces that they will be traveling to a foreign country to manufacture a whole series of M-Bots, but he will not tell them which country, because that would involve the writers having to come up with the name of a country that wouldn’t inadvertently invoke something political during wartime. Some of the henchmen leave to secure the Metalogen in another location.
Dick Nordik arrives and is told to get the ape, who is on his best behavior today. He doesn’t hassle Dick at all, just grabs his zookeeper hat and puts it on his own head, which is kind of cute. I hate not being able to show you this, but the poor quality of the serial plus the bars of the cage in the way make screengrabbing the scene a fool’s errand.
How much do you think the intern got paid to hold that branch up in the window? Enough? It probably wasn’t enough.
The Existential Detective phones Ken to let him know the gorilla is missing from his cage. Er, why would he do this? I guess so Ken and Prof. Arnold can go visit the cage to check it out.
While at the zoo, Arnold wanders off, at Ken’s smug insistence, to find an attendant, and Ken pokes around in the ape’s cage. He finds the secret door, which leads him to the underground lair of Ernst’s house. He sneaks up on henchman Butler and…
Fistfight! The stuntmen do a lot of unnecessary leaping around during this one, and it’s all in slightly fast motion, too.
Ken subdues Butler and forces him to reveal the location of the Metalogen. When Ken leaves, Butler is forced into a series of undignified poses to get to a spilled bottle of acid, used to eat through his bindings.
Butler radios Ernst to warn him about Ken, so everyone grabs the Metalogen and hightails it out of there, Ernst ordering them to abandon the gorilla because they are “a dime a dozen” where they’re going. Uh huh. Nordik has the sads about this, so Ernst at least lets him take the ape out of the cage, to make him more comfortable. Nordik gives him a final pat on the head and tells him he hopes the zoo treats him well.
Aw. Nordik is the best character in this serial, so when he’s sad, I’m sad. Stupid serial made for kids, giving me the sniffles.
But my tears turn to joy in short order, friends, because once the baddies leave, Ken arrives, looking for the Metalogen. Instead, he gets monkey.
A giant goddamned monkey that wipes the smug right offa his face.
Team Monkey Forever.
Ken tries to shoot the ape because he’s an asshole, and we’re lead to believe he accidentally shoots himself in the struggle, but he’s obviously just playing dead.
Just a heads up: The next two episodes, the final chapters, can’t be more than 20 minutes in length each, about how long this episode was, so they will be short recaps. This serial could have been a 10-chapter affair, easy, and it would have improved it tremendously. I hate to say this looks like it’s just going to peter out, but it may very well end in a fizzle.
Update 1/20/13: Next week’s chapter recap will actually be two weeks from now, going live on January 30th. I caught a virus and won’t be up to a proper recap for a while. Sorry for the delay.
At least Butler got out of his bonds in a slightly original fashion, although that was one heck of a risky way to do it. I also loved the way he completely blew off Ernst’s question about how Ken found out where the Metalogen was, and the prof just let it slide.
That “dime a dozen” comment Ernst made was remarkably bizarre, on many levels. For starters, I know American money was worth way more back then, but this is ridiculous.
And just a few minutes previously, didn’t Ernst make a big deal out of not telling any of his henchman where they’re going? Yet suddenly he’s come over all Mr. O. W. A. Giveaway, narrowing their secret destination to one of two fairly small areas on one specific continent.
In addition, while Thor may on occasion have been slightly useful to them (though even that’s rather debatable) he’s also been a major pain in the ass. Judging by the results to date, surely Ernst couldn’t have considered a plentiful supply of gorillas all that essential to furthering his evil scheme. So was choosing a new place to hide out where they can be procured so cheaply and easily a mere accident of geography? Or does it just not have that good old-timey Mad Scientist ambiance the prof desires, if there’s not a gorilla in the mix?
But we can’t discount the possibility Ernst was lying about their real destination, just to stop Nordick’s whining. “We’ll get you another [insert pet of choice here] when we get there!”
Plus, although it’s obvious at this point that Ernst’s collection of henchmen isn’t comprised of the sharpest tools in the drawer, shouldn’t it have occurred to Nordick that letting his furry friend loose in a place that’s about to be invaded by men with guns would almost certainly result in Thor getting shot? You know, maybe this bond between human and ape isn’t as deep as Nordick pretends. Or it has some much darker dimension to it than appears at first sight.
Nordik apparently figured Thor would just end up back at the zoo, which doesn’t make sense on the face of it. Who would even find him if it wasn’t the police? Maybe he assumed Thor would knock the police down like bowling pins and walk back to his cage himself.
If Ernst wants to go to a place where he can manufacture robots on an assembly line situation, he would necessarily have to choose a location that already has significant industrialization, and surely there aren’t a lot of giant apes hanging around the industrial side of any urban locale. I gotta think he was just being a jerk dad to Nordik with his dime a dozen comment.
One of the few things I like about this serial is that the henchmen, while simple folk, are not entirely dumb.
The jerk dad hypothesis does make a lot of sense, given what we already know about Ernst’s uber-dickishness.
On the other hand, as far as industrial capacity goes, you never can tell about jungles, what with all those lost cities founded by the last survivors of Atlantis and Mu. Especially since so many of them seem to prefer that subterranean real estate.
Now that Ernst has the Metalogen, with all their very electrical and dangerous super-scientific thingummies, manufacturing an army of robots ought to be a snap for those guys. He could have cut a deal with an evil vizier or high priest, or — who knows? — Ernst himself might even be the ruler of the fabulous Hidden City of Omigawhd. (Which would explain why he likes to spend so much of his time lurking underground.)
I know, I know: too much like entertainment. And not very likely, with only two chapters to go. The cardboard alone would set them back a good ten bucks.
Still, a fella can dream …
In the meantime, just to get your immune system in the proper fighting spirit:
Brick-a-bracka fire-cracka sis boom bah!
Antibodies! Antibodies! Rah rah rah!
I have to admit, I enjoyed the hell out of this chapter. Sure, there was the dopey traffic accident from last week’s cliffhanger – who needs monsters, apes and mad scientists when random dangerous shit just happens out of the blue? (“Collateral Damage Trucking Line: We’re Never Where You Want Us To Be, But Always On Time”) – But look at all the fun bits they gave us in this episode:
Ernst playing coy about what country they’re fleeing to, followed by that dime-a-dozen crack. Nordik: “So it’s Portugal, right?”
The gorilla playing with Nordik’s cap. Was Crash C. on vacation this week, or was he just too hung over to screw with the cast?
Ken making Arnold look like an asshole at the zoo.
Butler’s sulfuric hokey-pokey (my favorite moment of the week).
I’m not sure if Ken shot himself or if it was Thor who pulled the trigger. Either way, it’s a special moment.
My biggest beef with this chapter was how short it was, and how little was accomplished. It’s basically nothing but the second half of Ernst’s theft scheme. Also, Carole botches all her lines, and it’s starting to get on my nerves.
You’re right, though, I ignored the part where Ken leaves Arnold looking like a putz at the zoo. I was in a rush to get to the fistfight, I guess. Also, I have another virus, which is a hoot since the last one I had lingered for three damn weeks.
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