Friday, October 19, 2007

31 Days of Halloween - Day 19 - Movie 2

My second gorilla picture for today is most definitely a horror movie. What's most amazing about "Captive Wild Woman" (1943) is that it spawned two sequels. This is an almost completely forgetable entry in Universal's horror line; real bottom of the barrel material. The movie is almost entirely made up of stock footage of Tigers and Lions being abused by Clyde Beatty in his circus act, intercut with mad scientist, John Carradine, using surgery and gland transplants to turn a gorilla into the lovely Aquanetta. As the treatments wear off, and Aquanetta begins to revert to her true form, her interim form is more likely to inspire giggles than shudders. Even the presence of Evelyn Ankers can't make this mess watchable.


Max the drunken severed head said...

Man, oh man, did we ever have different experiences. I'd always heard the film was a turkey, but I found it a fun (if flawed) programmer that was paced fairly well. I liked Acquanetta in her human form (rrrRRRRrrr!!!) and her interim form. Good Jack Pierce makeup. A better ape-girl makeup than the werewolf makeup in the roughly contemporary RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE.

Carradine was very good in it, too, and had a better role in this film than many he played in low budget shockers.

Well, one man's trash, etc.

You are doing a bang-up job with your Halloween blogging. Thanks-- it's fun!

Rozum said...

Thanks, Max. I'm glad you're enjoying things. As I'm sure you've discovered for yourself, this daily blogging is taxing. I'll have to rethink my approach for next year.

As to "Captive Wild Woman" I agree about Carradine. I just found the lion and tiger stuff hard to watch, and found that shot of Aquanetta's ape legs walking towards Evelyn Ankers' apartment to look a bit silly. No complaints about Aquanetta in human form from this end. There just seemed to be a lot of padding and the ending was real predictable. This in no way invalidates your own reaction to the movie.

Maybe my own response was so harsh after coming off the pleasant surprise of "Gorilla At Large."

Unlike "The Beast of Yucca Flats" I will most likely give this one another shot at some future date, something I can't say for Universal's "She-Wolf of London."