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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 <email@example.com>
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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Not good but not as bad as its reputation suggests.
In my movie reference books this movie is variously described as a "bomb" or recommended as a suitable choice for inclusion in the 100 worst movies of all time. Nevertheless, I have no qualms in saying that it is not that bad, and was quite happy to sit for 65 minutes (the short running time probably helps) and see it through until the end.
To begin with Curt Siodmak's story is interesting enough (as are many of his screen writing efforts), and has more than a touch of complex moral ambiguity. His direction here however has very little flair and tends to be on the perfunctory side. The low budget is a major constraint, and for the most part the film tends to be on the flat side visually, with unimpressive jungle scenes and minimal interior set pieces of the kind typical for a low budget production.
The cast (described in one reference book as 4 non-actors) are actually all competent, and Raymond Burr, in fact, is quite good in the part, managing to impart a human dimension to what could have been merely an unsympathetic villain. In fact it is interesting to actually analyse how much of the films dramatic load actually rests on his shoulders.
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