The Jungle Captive (1945) Poster

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OK 3rd in overlooked Universal horror series
FieCrier10 September 2004
As in the first movie in this series, Captive Wild Woman, we're introduced to an apparently kind man who is apparently pursuing beneficial medical research. As in that movie, we just as quickly find out he is a mad genius, with little regard for human life.

The movie quickly picks up where the second on the series left off, where Paula, the Ape Woman was in a morgue. Mr. Stendahl (the end credits in the copy I viewed named him Dr. Stendahl, but he is usually called Mister) has developed a process for bringing back life to the dead through blood transfusions and electricity. Supposedly, he wants to bring back life to Paula because she's a step up from the rabbits he had been using, but avoids the ethical problems of using a human subject. Since he doesn't care, however, if people die (his servant Moloch kills a man while stealing Paula), it's unclear why he doesn't simply revive a dead human body, or kill a human, and then revive them.

After he brings Paula back to life, she is still in her ape-woman form. Unlike in the second film Jungle Woman, where she could change back and forth between ape-woman and woman, in this film (as in the 1st) she requires human blood and hormones to appear as a woman. To become more human, she would require a transplanted cerebrum from a human, again as in the first. In order to learn how to turn Paula into a human, Stendahl had to have Moloch steal the files of Dr. Walters (from the 1st film) from the office of Dr. Fletcher (from the 2nd film). Apart from these references to the earlier films, no one from those films returns to this one; the only recurring character is Paula herself, and she is played by a different actress. There does not seem to be any footage used from the previous films, except perhaps a short close-up of Paula's hand transforming while she is strapped to a table. There was a shot like that in the first film, but they may have just re-created it.

Stendahl's reasoning for wanting to turn Paula into a human after reviving her is just as questionable as his reasoning for wanting to revive her. He thinks turning her into a woman would prove he could bring a human back to life. It would seem to me that it would only prove he could turn an ape-woman into a human, or at any rate, something like a human.

People seem divided as to whether the second or third film is the worst of the three, and I'm not sure myself. They're all decent, at least, but there is no question the first was the best of them.
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7/10
Brings back fun memories...
babeth_jr7 July 2006
This little seen Universal horror movie from 1945 brings back fun memories for me as I remember watching this with my sister Tammy and my cousin Shalaine on the local Friday night creature feature on TV. Even as a teenager I can remember thinking that this movie was more funny than actually scary.

The basic plot revolves around Mr. Stendall, a mad scientist who is trying to revive the dead ape woman, Paula Dupree, from the previous two Universal movies Captive Wild Woman and Jungle Woman. Rondo Hatton plays the menacing servant of Stendall, Moloch, who kills several people in order to help Stendall achieve his goal of bringing the ape woman back to life. Armelita Ward portrays Mr. Stendall's pretty assistant, whom he kidnaps in a bid to use her blood to make the ape woman into a real woman. Vicki Lane is Paula, the ape woman, when she is actually a woman (are you following all this?). Lane is pretty, but has no lines and basically just wanders around looking like a zombie. The scenes when she is actually an ape woman are hilarious, she is grunting and snorting...it's a hoot.

This movie is a lot of fun for people who enjoy the old Universal monster movies. Although this is definitely not frightening, it's fun to watch on a rainy Saturday night.
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5/10
THE JUNGLE CAPTIVE (Harold Young, 1945) **
Bunuel19765 October 2011
Third and last entry in the series, deemed the worst (rated BOMB in the "Leonard Maltin Film Guide") but actually slightly superior to its predecessor due, for one thing, to its having a proper plot line (rather than a rehashed one) and the fact that the mad scientist (even if he is stubbornly referred to as "Mr." Stendhal throughout!) this time around is just that. Indeed, here too, the mainstay (apart, that is, from the standard 'house style' for this type of fare) is Otto Kruger's central performance (the Ape Woman herself, now played by Vicki Lane instead of Acquanetta and reverting once more to being a mute, is certainly not the protagonist in this case!).

Kruger is involved in the revivification of small animals but is keen to progress on to larger ones – with his ultimate goal, of course, being Man himself; since the title creature (a convenient and somewhat lazy amalgam of the earlier 'episodes' in the franchise) is a hybrid, he knows he will be almost there if he manages to resuscitate her. The problem is that, once she has assumed human form yet again (having made imposing henchman Rondo Hatton steal the necessary files from the home of the doctor played by J. Carroll Naish in JUNGLE WOMAN {1944}, the process having actually been laid down by John Carradine in CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN {1943} – neither of these actors, however, put in 'unofficial' appearance and, thankfully, we are also spared the circus stock footage that made-up a sizable amount of the earlier films' running-time), it is discovered that she has suffered brain damage and he plans to replace it with that of his own female aide. Why the doctor, certainly among the coldest of his ilk, does not simply abduct another girl, when he would invariably have benefited from the heroine's presence by his side rather than as a laboratory subject, is anybody's guess…but, then, the latter is vehemently against her superior's intention to play God so, in this way, he would be removing the threat to his Great Experiment, were it not for the fact that, through Hatton's sloppiness, the Police – in the guise of a bemused Jerome Cowan – are already on his trail, and so is the girl's fiancé, yet another assistant!

The busy finale has hero and heroine taking advantage of the Ape Woman's disappearance to escape Kruger and Hatton's clutches, only for the three to be recaptured after a short while in one fell swoop. Needless to say, however, the villain is not allowed to go through with the operation as Hatton, enamored of the leading lady (which Kruger puts down by referring to his "hardly Casanova" looks, the actor having been stricken with the deforming affliction acromegaly, and to add salt to the wound suggests that the Jungle Captive is "more in your line"!), turns on Stendhal at the instigation of the girl's boyfriend. The doctor shoots his thug dead, Lane metamorphoses into monster and cuts free of her straps and, just as she is about to incongruously attack her 'donor', Cowan appears on the premises to intervene. For the record, director Young, who had the classic swashbuckler THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL (1934), an Alexander Korda production, on his resume' was now reduced, for whatever reason, to helming the lowliest of Universal Horrors – though, to be fair, he sure made an entertaining job of it!
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5/10
Effective mad scientist thriller with the Ape Woman at large again
mlraymond7 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This final installment in the short-lived Universal series about Paula Dupree, the Ape Woman, has some fairly creepy moments, and a good monster. Unfortunately, the Ape Woman doesn't have much to do here, unlike her two earlier appearances. She spends most of her time in the secluded laboratory of Stendhal, the mad doctor who hopes to achieve some kind of scientific goal by reviving the deceased creature.

Rondo Hatton turns in his most multi-faceted performance as Moloch, the assistant to Stendhal. Unlike most of his other movie roles, where he just stalks around and kills people, here he acts friendly toward the beleaguered heroine, even smiles and makes a joke at one point, and is about as normal and likable as he would ever be shown in his Forties horror pictures. He becomes a sort of human King Kong, whose sympathy for the captive girl finally causes him to turn on his master to save her from further cruel experiments. It shows possibilities unhinted at in his other roles and is quite unexpected.

Jerome Cowan is good as a breezy police detective investigating the various murders and disappearances, but Otto Kruger is so menacing as the crazy scientist that he all but steals the picture. His low key portrayal of the cold blooded experimenter is actually quite unnerving in its realism. He refuses to play the part in an eye-rolling, hammy clichéd way, and is thus frighteningly believable.

Not a great movie by any means, but worth seeing for fans of low budget Forties horror movies.
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6/10
The Jungle Captive (1945) **1/2
JoeKarlosi20 October 2009
Pretty good and under-appreciated finale to Universal's "Ape Woman Trilogy". Otto Kruger plays an older and grandfatherly doctor who appears kind and respectable but has sinister plans up his sleeve to revive Paula the Ape Woman and transform her into Vicky Lane (since Acquanetta left the series). His perfect assistant is none other than Rondo Hatton, the actor who in real life suffered from the disease Acromegaly, which enlarged his face and hands. Rondo was never an actor, but he's better here than in any of his other films, with a generous helping of dialogue and emotions on display. We also get a little more time with the actual Ape Woman than usual and this is a short 60 minutes of typical mad doctor/assistant/monster nonsense that's fun, if not anything exceptional. A favorite line is when the doc looks at the deformed Rondo Hatton who's admiring the human female patient on the table and says to him: "No offense, but with that face you're not exactly a Casanova, you know". And then, pointing at the beastly Ape Woman on the next table: "This is more in your line". I wonder how Otto Kruger felt delivering an insult like that to the unfortunate Rondo? **1/2 out of ****
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4/10
Seen on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater in 1967
kevinolzak18 January 2014
1944's "The Jungle Captive" concluded Universal's Paula Dupree trilogy, a cut above the second, "Jungle Woman," neither as good as "Captive Wild Woman." Of the three, only "Jungle Woman" was not included in the SON OF SHOCK television package issued in the late 50s; "The Jungle Captive" made two appearances on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater- Apr 15 1967 (following 1957's "I Was a Teenage Frankenstein") and Sept 25 1976 (following 1969's "The Blood Rose"). Unencumbered by the stock animal footage that cluttered up the others, this is a more straightforward mad scientist endeavor, with Otto Kruger as pathologist Stendahl, whose assistant, billed in the ads as 'Moloch the Brute,' is played by Rondo Hatton, still a year away from his famous Creeper series (both produced by Ben Pivar). With Acquanetta having departed Universal, the role of Paula Dupree now went to unknown actress Vicky Lane, who had an even shorter career than her predecessor, having completed just one featured role before this, which ended up her final film. At least The Ape Woman (now mute again, unlike in "Jungle Woman") gets to walk around in full bestial Jack Pierce makeup, if only briefly (the lovely Vicky also gets a more skimpy wardrobe than Acquanetta, who only wore hers for the posters). No other characters from the first two entries return, though the doctors played by John Carradine and J. Carrol Naish both get a mention.
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Flogging a dead horse!
youroldpaljim9 March 2002
Warning: Spoilers
***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** JUNGLE CAPTIVE is the third installment of Universals "Paula the Ape Women" series. In terms of over all entertainment quality, JUNGLE CAPTIVE falls somewhere in between the three, with CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN at a high and JUNGLE WOMEN at a low. Although this film is slightly better the previous JUNGLE WOMAN, the gulf in quality is not that wide between the two.

Otto Kruger plays Mr. Stendahl, a brilliant doctor (although no one in the film ever calls him doctor) and medical researcher. Stendahl has been researching ways to bring the dead back to life, and has succeeded with animals. However, Stendahl feels the only way to really convince the medical community is to prove his technique can be used on humans. So Stendahl sends his ugly henchman Moloch to steal the body of Paula Dupree the ape women, from the morgue. In the process, his henchman kills a morgue attendant and steals a hearse. Stendahl then lures his nurse out to his secret country house and laboratory out in the boondocks somewhere, in order to use her blood in his experiments to bring life to the dead ape women. The ape is revived and turns back from a hideous creature into a beautiful women again. However, Paula"s brain is damaged and decides she needs a new one. So Stendal sends Moloch to the home of Doctor Fletcher (from the series previous film JUNGLE WOMEN) to steal his records and those of DR. Walters (whose records Fletcher had in his files) the scientist who created Paula.In order to learn how to transplant a brain. Fletcher is killed by Moloch off screen. Stendahl decides to use the brain of his captive nurse.

Now shall we begin? I have gone this much into the plot because this film has such a bizarre far fetched plot. Stendahl is obviously a scientific genius, but when comes to real world smarts, he is really a few cards short of a full deck. In order to prove his life restoring technique to the scientific community, why does Stendahl use the body of a hideous mutation? Why not say, the body of some recently deceased father of five whose widow and children would happy to have their father back. Presenting the revived ape women to the public would implement him in the murder of the morgue attendant and Dr. Fletcher. Then their is actual theft of the body and the hearse. Not to mention removing the brain of his nurse and placing it in the body of the ape women he could be charged with a whole host of charges on that alone.

In most of the film, the ape women spends most of her time on the lab table. The ape women this time around is played by Vicki Lane, but there is little here for her to do but lie on a lab table. When she is transformed into a beautiful women, she does little more than roam around zombie like. Vicki Lane is pretty, but she does not have the raw animal sensuality of Acqanetta from the previous films. Also, Paula's hypnotic control over animals is ignored here. When Paula escapes from Stendahl"s house, she trapped by Stendahl's dogs. Otto Kruger isn't bad as the evil Stendahl, he gives a very good low key performance. However, he has to recite so many clunker lines that his efforts are hampered. Rondo Hatton is Moloch. This was his second time in a Universal horror film. He was quite effectively used in his horror star debut, the Sherlock Holmes thriller, PEARL OF DEATH. However, in PEARL he was mute, here Hatton has lines. This time around he is more funny than scary. Hatton from here on was not an actor, but a human prop.

Universal should have left Paula Dupree the ape dead for good in the first film. The ape women was only good for one film, and JUNGLE CAPTIVE confirms this.
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A Step Up From the Second Film
Michael_Elliott31 October 2016
The Jungle Captive (1946)

** (out of 4)

A mad doctor (Otto Kruger) has his assistant (Rondo Hatton) steal the body of Paula the Ape Woman (Vicky Lane) so that he can do experiments on her. This includes stealing another woman (Amelita Ward) for a blood transfusion to see if the ape woman can be cured.

THE JUNGLE CAPTIVE is the third and final film of Universal's trilogy dealing with Paula the Ape Woman. You have to think that the studio had rather low expectations going into the series and I'm going to guess that CAPTIVE WILD WOMAN didn't do a well at the box office, which caused the studio to really cut back on the second film, JUNGLE WOMAN, which was perhaps the studio's laziest movie. THE JUNGLE CAPTIVE is certainly a step up from that picture but it's still not all that good.

The best thing going for this film is the fact that they've actually got the ape woman running around quite a bit of the running time. It was great getting to see her since the make-up on her is actually excellent and having her appear in the film is reason enough alone to enjoy this more than the second film. Another plus is the fact that Hatton is so watchable here. I can't help but feel sorry for him and the fact that Universal was pretty much exploiting his disease but at the same time he has become a cult favorite over the years.

As far as the film's issues go, well, there are quite a few but the biggest is the simple fact that the story itself really isn't all that original and it's certainly something we've seen countless times before. Still, if you're a fan of the studio then there's enough good things here to make this worth watching.
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5/10
Why would anyone commit murder just to get the Ape-Woman's dead body?!
MartinHafer2 January 2019
"The Jungle Captive" is the third woman starring the Ape-woman, which is tough to imagine since the Ape-woman was killed at the end of the previous film, "Jungle Woman"! While this seems impossible, it turns out a mad scientist (Otto Kruger...andis there any other type in these films?!) has had his henchman, Moloch (Rondo Hatton) steal the corpse. What's he planning on doing with the corpse? Reviving it, of course...and if it means using another woman's blood and even brain, so be it...all in the name of science! Can the police find her in time before it's too late?

Like all the horror movies of this time period, this isn't exactly a candidate for The Criterion Collection! But, despite being low-brow and silly, it IS entertaining. The film also has a few pluses...Kruger is excellent as the nutty scientist and it's nice to see cops who are NOT idiots (which is the usual cliche in thes movies). Worth seeing if you like the genre.
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5/10
There is still hope for the Ape-Woman.
michaelRokeefe6 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Paula Dupree, (Vicky Lane), known as the Ape-Woman , has already been killed twice with overdose of tranquilizers. In the middle of the night, a huge, strikingly ugly man named Moloch the Brute (Rondo Hatton) is sent to collect the Ape-Woman's body for the local university; after a failed kidnapping, Paula's body is taken to a secluded mansion, where a mad scientist Dr. Stendahl (Otto Kruger), is working on a major research project of restoring life to dead bodies by blood transfusions and direct electric stimulation of the heart.

This film is directed by Harold Young and you immediately know you are watching low budget horror. Not the greatest, but very comfortable to watch due to so many familiar faces.

Rounding out the cast: Amelita Ward, Phil Brown, Jerome Cowan, Jack Overman and Ernie Adams.
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5/10
Rondo Goes Ape
utgard144 February 2017
The third in Universal's dismal Ape Woman series. Perhaps it is a step up from the awful second movie, Jungle Woman, but it's nothing to write home about on its own. This one has mad scientist Otto Kruger trying to bring the Ape Woman back to life, even at the expense of his pretty female lab assistant. Excitement most definitely does not follow.

Kruger's always fun to watch but he gets little help here. The Ape Woman is now played by Vicky Lane, replacing the attractive but talentless Acquanetta. Ms. Lane spends about half of the movie comatose. When she does wake up, there's only one brief scene with the monster makeup on. Undoubtedly most monster fans will be disappointed at how little "ape" there is in an Ape Woman movie. The makeup used is pretty cool, however. It looks similar to the later makeup used on Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf. Rondo Hatton gets one of his better roles here as Kruger's henchman Moloch. He's still a terrible actor but the part is less exploitative than some of his other roles. Jerome Cowan plays the police inspector investigating it all and has a couple of amusing moments. The tacked-on romance between Don Young and Amelita Ward (the future Mrs. Leo Gorcey) is nauseating but thankfully they're separated for most of the film.

Despite the short runtime, the movie is padded with pointless little scenes that appear to be designed solely to fill five minutes here and there. It's one of those movies that probably should have been over in twenty or thirty minutes. If you're a Universal completist, give it a look. For everyone else, it depends on how valuable your time is. I doubt this is going to become anyone's favorite.
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7/10
Captivating performance...
poe-4883312 July 2016
Warning: Spoilers
For fans of Rondo Hatton, this's the one. He has more lines in THE JUNGLE CAPTIVE than in all the other films I've seen him in, combined. He handles what dialogue he's given well enough, and the fact that he falls for the heroine and eventually sacrifices himself to save her makes for an overall very satisfying performance. The writer(s?), however, could've done a bit better by Hatton by leaving out the put-downs leveled at him by his boss: "No offense, but, with a face like that..." or "You're better suited to be the suitor of the Ape Woman than the heroine..."- that kind of s---. Hatton would've made an interesting Hero, if you ask me. (The makeup for the title Captive is outstanding, by the way.)
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4/10
"It was dead. Now it lives."
bensonmum225 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The Jungle Captive is the third (and thankfully final) installment in Universal's Ape Woman trilogy. In most trilogies, the third movie is usually the worst. I actually found The Jungle Captive to be the most entertaining of the bunch (although that's not saying much). In this one, a scientist named Stendahl (Otto Kruger) uses his hired muscle, Moloch (Rondo Hatton), to steal the Ape Woman's body from the morgue (she was killed at the end of part 2). He has been working with reanimating the dead bodies of small animals and wants to take his experiments to the next level with a larger subject. Unfortunately, during the heist of the body, Moloch killed a morgue worker – meaning the police are investigating. The police seem to suspect Stendahl's lab assistants, but they're completely innocent and unaware of Stendahl's new experiments. That all changes, though, once Stendahl kidnaps his female assistant, Ann. He needs her blood to help resurrect the Ape Woman.

If you've seen the other two films in the series, you won't be surprised by much of what happens in The Jungle Captive. But there is more action in this one and the flow (for lack of a better word) of the movie is better. Kruger makes a great mad scientist – the best in series. The look on his face when he reveals his plan is fantastic. It's also nice to see Rondo Hatton in a speaking role. In the end, Rondo gets to play the hero. Finally, the movie focuses less on Paula the Ape Woman which turns out to be a positive. In the previous movies, she too often just stood and stared at nothing. Here, she's almost an afterthought to Stendahl and his crazy plans for Ann.

Those are the positives. How about the negatives? Well, it's easy to see that Universal slashed the budget big time on The Jungle Captive. This one barely looks better than a Poverty Row programmer. In fact, most of the cast seems straight off the PRC lot – not the usual standard for Universal. Also, as I indicated, it's all horribly predictable. You know what's going to happen to the Ape Woman and that somehow Ann will be saved. In the end, I sort of felt sorry for Paula. As with the other two movies, this one ends with her being killed.
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4/10
The end of a trilogy, and I ain't singing any torch songs about it.
mark.waltz6 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"We're scientists, not sentimentalists". So says Otto Kruger, joining Karloff, Lugosi, Zucco, Atwill and many others playing God in the form of a mad scientist. Assisting him in his experiments and nefarious schemes is the deformed Rondo Hatton whose enlarged facial features made him the perfect movie monster, and one you truly felt sorry for, especially when Kruger mocks him for his ugliness.

After "Captive Wild Woman" and "Jungle Woman" came this third entry in the short lived series surrounding human experiments gone wrong. It's a typical Universal B movie, exciting in parts and ridiculous in others. Following Acqunetta in the part of the snorting creature is Vicky Lane, pretty much doing nothing but modeling a fur mask and gloves as she goes on the attack until made to look like a real woman. Amelita Ward plays Kruger's lab assistant, giving her blood to the inhuman creature who seems incapable of female emotions.

Jerome Cowan plays an investigator obviously suspicious of Kruger and company, while Phil Brown plays Ward's fiancée, another scientist who suspects nothing of the supposedly noble Kruger. Speeding by in the predictable hour long B running time, this is a fine time filler, with more of the same of most of the 1940's horror films yet giving Rondo Hatton a real diverse character to play that makes him more noble than the "normal" looking Kruger.
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3/10
Mother of mercy, is this the end of Paula Dupree?
bkoganbing27 August 2016
Universal Pictures did the third and last of its Ape Woman series with Vicky Lane taking the place of Acquanetta as the woman turned into a primeval ape woman. She was killed in the last film, but another one of those crazy scientists has brought her back to life and even more he's brought her back to a human condition.

But poor Vicky, she may look like a swimsuit model, but she has no human brain. Never mind we've got Amelita Ward to keep her supplied with human blood and maybe a human brain if Otto Kruger can complete his experiment.

Poor Otto has a problem. His assistant Rondo Hatton killed a morgue attendant getting the Ape Woman's body so the cops in the person of Jerome Cowan are investigating. And Ward has a boyfriend Phil Brown also a scientist and also inquiring.

So those are the elements of the plot of this Universal horror flick which made a whole lot of good actors like Kruger and Cowan look embarrassed. Still they were professional enough to give credible if not decent performances in this Thanksgiving feast of a movie.

Why didn't these scientists just ship her to a zoo to find a horny gorilla?
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5/10
I need you! I need your blood!
kapelusznik1830 August 2016
***S{POILERS*** Ape woman Paula Dupree, Vicky Lane, is back for the third time in "Jungle Captive" this time as a dead body that mad scientist Mr. Stendahl, Otto Kruger, plans to bring back to life. That with the help of blood and brain matter of his unsuspecting assistant Ann Forester, Amelita Ward, who foolishly worships the very ground that the "Great Man' walks on. It's with the help of his brutish like accomplish Moloch, Rondo Hatton, Stendahl plans to use Ann without her knowledge for his insane experiment but Moloch who took a shine to her is dead set against it. Strange Beauty and the Beast like movie with Moloch changing sides in mid stream and becoming the knight in shining armor in preventing the crazed Stendahl from doing his thing in resurrecting the dead ape woman Paula Dupree at Ann's expense.

There's also Ann's boyfriend Don Young, Phil Brown,who soon finds out what Stendahl is really up to and tries to get the police in the person of Insp. H.L Harrigan, Jerome Cowan, to stop him who's attempts comes up short in his by the book approach to the case. As for "Ape Woman" Paula Depree she's brought back to life as a normal human being but totally confused-and unable to talk- in what's going on around her. This leads to her checking out in the woods with Moloch running or driving all over town trying to retrieve her.

Predictable ending with Mr. Stendahl getting everything that he has coming to him with the hulking but sensitive Moloch saving the day as well as Anna's life at the expense of his own.With both Ann and Don Young, who can't afford to buy her an engagements ring, getting married by being stopped by a traffic cop who presented them with a $5.00 free of charge wedding certificate from city hall. Break out movie for Rondo Hatton who finally was given a chance to act as well as a few decent lines in the movie but his fame didn't last that long. Hatton suffered a fatal heart attack while taking a shower in his bathroom and died less then a year, in March 1946, after the films release.
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3/10
Scrapping the bottom of barrel!
Mercifully, this signifies the end of the "Ape Woman" movies by "Universal" studios.

This is truly a poor movie, technically and from a narrative point of view.

The already low budget has been reduced further - if such a thing is possible!
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