The Jungle Captive (1945) -Harold Young

The next title in DK Canada’s brilliantly enjoyable Monsters in the Movies, is a sequel to the last film I watched from the book, Captive Wild Woman. Once again a mad scientist, Stendahl (Otto Kruger) experiments on a monstrous ape (the name of the chapter I’m in, and supposedly is the same creature from Captive Wild Woman) and brings forth the beautiful woman named Paula Dupree (Vicky Lane).

Stendahl, who is apparently a doctor, but no one gives him that honorific through the course of the entire film, has his henchman, Moloch (Rondo Hatton) recover the body of the ape woman from the city morgue, apparently where it was dropped off from the previous film, though it looks drastically different.

The insane scientist has made some great advances in resuscitating dead flesh and now wants to bring the ape back, and with the some transfusions from his captive assistant, Ann (Amelita Ward) plans to bring forth the creature known as Paula.

Moloch takes a liking to Ann, and his infatuation leads her fiancee, Don (Phil Brown), who also works with Stendahl, to discover what is going on.

Paula makes a short appearance in a short film, only running an hour, and her ape make-up prior to her transformation is completely different from that of the ape suit seen in the previous film.


While the previous film was all silly and melodramatic popcorn fare, this one is quite as strong, and the plot ends up being very predictable, and silly.

Instead of letting us delight in the mad scientist angle of the film, and his work with Paula, we bounce back and forth between that storyline, Don’s hunt for Ann, and the police working on the case. Sounds like a lot for a film that only runs for an hour, and because it’s so short, none of these arcs are well thought out, or scripted that way.

So instead of getting a fun science gone wrong story that creates a beautiful woman from a beast (which raises all sorts of questions on its own) we are given a tale that probably didn’t even entertain the matinee audiences it was aimed at.

That being said, none of the cast have the appeal of John Carradine who played the mad scientist in the previous film, nor the sense of fun that permeated it.

And for a title like The Jungle Captive, we are never even close to a jungle, as the ape creature, and then Paula, wanders around Stendahl’s country home before everything goes sideways.

There are more monsters, and apes coming in DK Books’ Monsters in the Movies, and I look forward to seeing what happens next. Pick up a copy for yourself and find something monstrous to watch tonight!



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