A scientist (Bela Lugosi) has been experimenting with gorilla glandular extract, thus turning himself into an ape man.
This means he's a bit more aggressive, likes to sleep in a cage with an actual gorilla, & is almost as hairy as Abe Lincoln. There may be a cure for his condition, but it requires an extract of freshly killed human.
The "real" ape is played by Emil Von Horn in a monkey suit. He doesn't seem to be too violent for Dr. Brewster to sleep in the cage with him, but then in other scenes the gorilla is uncontrollably violent.
Also sometimes Dr. Brewster cannot control the ape, while on other occasions the creature is obedient enough to sneak around town, Ape & Ape Man, unseen until time to kill somebody.
The behavior of the ape is seemingly defined by the whim of the writer or director, not from any internal coherence of plot.
The Ape Man (1943) provides Bela a sad opportunity for one of his goofiest performances, as the Girl Photographer (Louise Currie) is threatened by Bi-Polar Hirsute Man.
The climax with Bela wrestling the guy in the gorilla suit goes from silly to beyond silly. In a coda, a comic player (Ralph Littlefield) even provides a comment on how stupid the movie is, which I guess is supposed to make it all okay.
There's not a lot to recommend here, but Lugosi fans will want to see it anyway, & if you go into it expecting it to be pretty bad, you won't be disappointed.
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