Monday, September 7, 2020

JUNGLE CAPTIVE (1945) Blu-ray Review

Jungle Captive (1945) d. Harold Young (USA) (63 min)

This second sequel to Captive Wild Woman is notable primarily for (Caucasian) Vicky Lane replacing Acquanetta as Paula Dupree and for the presence of Universal’s “Monster without Makeup” Rondo Hatton, cracking necks like nobody’s business as “Moloch the Brute,” in his second showcase role following The Pearl of Death with Sherlock Holmes (1944). Seems that a certain endocrinology enthusiast, Mr. Stendahl (Otto Kruger), is a Frankenstein in the making, obsessed with reviving dead tissue, viewing the resurrection of Paula Dupree (last seen in Jungle Woman) as his Mt. Everest to climb. Recruiting Moloch to steal her corpse from the morgue and then later to kidnap his assistant Ann (Amelita Ward), Stendahl plots a synthesis of electricity and blood transfusions (and brain transplanting, just for good measure) in order to demonstrate his superior intellect to the world.

With an even loopier premise than its predecessors (which is saying something), Jungle Captive is a lively and entertaining venture, and while Acquanetta’s presence is felt (especially having learned the unfortunate and unjust circumstances surrounding her departure), Lane sinks her plaster fangs into the role with gusto.

With Jack Pierce back on the front lines, Paula ends up looking very Wolf Girl-like and the actress snarls and hisses for all she’s worth when she’s in the makeup. (She’s much more deadpan when in human form because, you know, brain damage.) Unfortunately, this proved to be her final big screen role, but not for lack of effort.

In addition to Hatton and Kruger, who both do fine work, it’s also worth noting a certain Phil Brown in the cast as Don, Ann’s paramour. Who’s Phil Brown, you ask? Why, none other than Luke Skywalker’s Uncle Owen from the original Star Wars (1977).

"You can waste time with your friends when your chores are done."
"Hey, that's a good line. I might use that someday."


NEW 2K scan of a fine grain film element

NEW audio commentary by film historian Scott Gallinghouse

Theatrical Trailer

Jungle Captive is available now on Blu-ray (along with The Monster and the Girl, Captive Wild Woman, and Jungle Woman) from Shout! Factory as part of their Universal Horror Collection Volume 5 and can be ordered HERE:


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