The Monster Walks (1932)


The movie The Monster Walks (1932) is a tale of suspense and horror set in the confines of an old, dark mansion. It is a black-and-white horror film directed by Frank R. Strayer.

Upon the storm-laden evening of her father’s demise, Ruth Earlton, accompanied by her betrothed, Dr. Ted Clayton, returns to her ancestral home, only to be welcomed by her paraplegic uncle Robert, the stern housekeeper Mrs. Krug, and her peculiar son Hanns. The mansion, shrouded in mystery, houses a secret in its depths—an ape, once a subject of her father’s scientific endeavors.

The reading of the will casts a shadow over the gathering, bequeathing the estate to Ruth, with a clause favoring uncle Robert should tragedy befall her. This revelation stirs discontent among the Krugs, who are left with a meager stipend.

As night engulfs the mansion, Ruth’s slumber is disturbed by a sinister, hirsute hand that emerges to throttle her. Her cries summon aid, and she is soothed back to sleep, while Mrs. Krug assumes her place in the bed, only to fall victim to the murderous hand.

In the aftermath, a clandestine meeting between Hanns and Robert unveils their malevolent intent towards Ruth. The botched assassination of Ruth results in the unintended death of Mrs. Krug at the hands of her son. In a fit of rage and revelation of familial ties, Hanns strangles Robert, leaving him for dead.

Dr. Clayton, upon discovering Robert barely clinging to life, learns of the treacherous plot. He hastens to rescue Ruth, who has been ensnared by Hanns and faces imminent peril in the basement. In a cruel twist of fate, the ape rebels against Hanns, sealing his doom. Dr. Clayton’s timely arrival ensures Ruth’s safety, as they emerge from the darkness unscathed.


  • Mischa Auer as Hanns Krug
  • Martha Mattox as Mrs. Krug
  • Rex Lease as Ted Clayton
  • Vera Reynolds as Ruth Earlton
  • Sheldon Lewis as Robert Earlton
  • Sidney Bracey as Herbert Wilkes
  • Willie Best as Exodus


Notably, the movie features the word “Damn” seven years before it was famously used in Gone with the Wind (1939).

The film underwent changes in billing order post-King Kong (1933) re-releases, with Mischa Auer and Martha Mattox becoming top-billed.

The ape was depicted carrying a half-clothed woman in the 1938 release, contrasting the lone gorilla of the original 1932 release.


“The film is such a blatant copy of The Cat and the Canary that it even borrows the iconic shot of the arm of the killer sneaking out of a sliding panel above the sleeping heroine’s head, as well as features one of that film’s actors Martha Mattox.” [3]

“There are absolutely no surprises in The Monster Walks, nor is there much of anything else, either visual or narrative, to hold the attention of any but the most undemanding audience. The story is a virtual litany of clichés: Creepy house? Check. Dead rich guy? Check. Reading of the will? Check. Secret passages? Check. Murderous simian who isn’t really the killer? Check. Useless, blubbering heroine? Check. Scene with simian hand reaching out of secret passage in an attempt to strangle blubbering heroine in her bed? Check. ” [4]


[1] Wikipedia

[2] IMDb



Last updated byCody Meirick on December 20, 2023