Deep in the South American jungle plantation manager Barney Chavez (Raymond Burr) kills his elderly employer in order to get to his beautiful wife (Barbara Payton). However, an old native witch witnesses the crime and puts a curse on Barney, who soon after finds himself turning nightly into a rampaging gorilla. But is his transformation real or is it all in his head? Written by
Jeremy Lunt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Although it only took seven days to shoot the movie, Lon Chaney Jr. was scheduled to go on a ten-day publicity tour on behalf of the film, which eventually grew to 4-1/2 months, according to Chaney biographer Don Smith. See more »
When Dina goes searching for Barney in the jungle for the first time, we see a quick shot of a leopard climbing up into a tree. Although this scene is supposed to be outdoors (the jungle), both the leopard and the leaves around him are casting shadows on the "sky" behind them. The sky is obviously a wall or backdrop. See more »
Police Commissioner Taro:
This is Jungle - lush, green, alive with incredible growth - as young as day, as old as time. I, Taro, Police Commissioner of Itman County, which borders the Amazonas River, know it as well as any man will ever know it. Isn't it beautiful? But I have also learned that beauty can be venomous, deadly, something terrifying, something of prehistoric ages when monstrous superstitions ruled the minds of men, something that has haunted the world for millions of years rose out ...
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******SPOILERS****** Interesting little movie about crime and justice, despite it's misleading title, that plays like a morality play about how one can't escape his crimes even in the dark and uncivilized jungle. The jungle where justice seems at first non-existent is in reality more prevalent there then in a big modern city courthouse where it can be twisted and manipulated by both the power and money of the person who stands accused.
Van Gelder Manor deep in the Amazon jungle is a rubber plantation run by the ruthless and scheming Barney Chavez, Raymond Burr. Barney feels that he can get away with anything because he's above the laws of man that he has nothing but contempt for. Smart and conniving Barney gets the owners Klass Van Gelder's, Paul Cavanagh, beautiful wife Dina, Barbara Payton, to fall in love with him thus breaking the heart of his native girlfriend Larina, Carol Varga, who Barney was stringing along until he found someone better, Dina. Knowing that Klass had a weak heart Barney provoked him into a fight one evening in the garden outside the plantation. Barney belted Klass knocking him to the ground as he let him get bitten by a poisonous snake which killed him.
Breaking Larina's heart and taking Klass Van Gelder's life, as well as his wife Dina, Barney seems to have gotten away with his crimes. Feeling he can now sell the plantation and move with Diana back to civilization and live the good and rich life which he worked so hard to get, or so Barney thought. Unknown to Barney's his crimes did not go unnoticed. The old woman who lived at the plantation Al-Long, Gisela Werbisek, saw what Barney did to both Klass and Larina and invoked, through her knowledge of the Black Arts, the jungle to bring him to justice.
Obscure little movie that has a lot more to it then you would think at first about crime justice and revenge and makes you think about it too. More penetrating and thought-provoking then many of the big budgeted films about courts and law that in many cases the criminal gets away with his or her crimes due to a technicality or a smart and skillful lawyer. There are no technicalities or lawyers in the jungle.
Good script and acting especially by Lon Cheney Jr. in a supporting role as the native police commissioner Taro. Taro's education in schooling and law books in the outside world was nothing compared to his education in what he learned from living in the jungle during the first 20 or so years of his life; the jungle that in the end did his work for him.
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