23 April 2014

Captive Wild Woman (1943)
61 min.
Directed by Edward Dmytryk.
With Evelyn Ankers, John Carradine, Acquanetta, Milburn Stone, Martha Vickers, Lloyd Corrigan.
Dr. Sigmund Walters (Carradine) is a renowned endocrinologist, an expert in the field of glandular studies. But lately, he's been getting...a little weird.

Case in point: when Beth (Ankers) brings her sister Dorothy (Vickers) to him for help, Dr. Walters steals a big gorilla from a local carnival and injects the ape with hormones he harvested from Dorothy.

Then, he murders his female assistant and transplants her brain into the hairy beast. Quicker than you can say 'weird science,' the ape transforms into a young, soft-spoken woman (Acquanetta). He dubs his new creation 'Paula DuPree,' and introduces her to his friends and associates.

There's only one problem. 'Paula' can't remain human for long. She needs repeated doses of hormones in order to avoid turning back into simian form. And Dr. Walters seems determined to get those hormones...at any cost.

Nothing spectacular about this 1943 horror from Universal, but it does make for some good, laid back fun. Director Dmytryk (1941's The Devil Commands) does a decent job of weaving actual circus footage into dramatic vignettes with Carradine and the supporting cast.

Scream queen Ankers (1941's The Wolf Man) is pleasing to watch, and here she provides a much-needed dose of energy to keep things rolling along.

Followed by the sequel Jungle Woman in 1944, also starring Ankers and Acquanetta.

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