Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Jungle Woman (1944)

Starring Acquanetta, Evelyn Ankers, J. Carrol Naish, Samuel S. Hinds, Lois Collier
Directed by Reginald LeBorg
(actor & director credits courtesy IMDB.com)

A prominent psychiatrist admits at an inquest into the death of Paula Dupree that he killed her, and recounts the fantastic story of the woman who was once an ape.

In this sequel to Captive Wild Woman, Acquanetta returns as Paula Dupree, the Ape Woman, and speaks, after being completely silent the first film.  Although her voice is as exotic as her appearance, she isn't given enough dialogue to offer any insight into her character and spends most of the movie outside her monster makeup, making her stiff movements stalking her victims much less effective.  J. Carrol Naish gives a good performance as the benevolent Dr. Fletcher, and the screenplay cleverly inserts him into the background of the climax of the first film to introduce him, but by beginning the movie with Paula's death, the screenwriters rob the story of some needed suspense.  In short, this could have been a much better film, but what was filmed is still somewhat enjoyable and sets up the next sequel.

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