|The Jungle Captive|
|Directed by||Harold Young|
Dwight V. Babcock (story & screenplay)|
M. Coates Webster (screenplay)
|Music by||Paul Sawtell (uncredited)|
|Editing by||Fred R. Feitshans, Jr.|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release date(s)||29 June 1945|
|Running time||63 minutes|
The Jungle Captive is a 1945 sequel to Jungle Woman (1944), which had been preceded by Captive Wild Woman (1943). The Jungle Captive features Otto Kruger, Amelita Ward, and Rondo Hatton (as a character named "Moloch"). Vicky Lane plays Paula Dupree, a lead character from the two earlier films. The movie was written by Dwight V. Babcock and directed by Harold Young.
The film begins in the laboratory of the eminent biochemist Mr. Stendahl (Otto Kruger). As his assistants, Ann Forester (Amelita Ward) and Don Young (Phil Brown) observe, he successfully concludes an experiment to restore life to a dead rabbit.
Meanwhile at the city morgue, the misshapen Moloch (Rondo Hatton) arrives to claim the body of the now dead Ape Woman (Vicky Lane). The inquisitive attendant begins checking his credentials and is strangled for his efforts. Moloch escapes unseen with his quarry in a stolen ambulance.
With the Ape Woman’s body in tow, Moloch ditches the stolen vehicle over a cliff and proceeds with his own car to his final destination. He arrives at a desolate house and carries his cargo inside.
The police, led by Inspector Harrigan (Jerome Cowan) manage to discover a clue, a medical smock, found near the wreckage of the ambulance. They trace it to Mr. Stendahl’s lab, where Harrigan finds that it belongs to Don, making him suspicious of the young lab assistant. Ann, present during his questioning, offers a fake alibi to cover for her fiancée.
Later, Stendahl abducts Ann and transports her to his secret lab, the desolate house on Old Orchard Road that contains Moloch and the body of the Ape Woman. He plans to use a portion of Ann’s blood to revive the creature. Moloch, enamored with the pretty new houseguest, becomes very protective of her. With her blood, the biochemist is successful in restoring life to the beast. In order to fully prove his theory, he knows he will need to convert her to human form. He sends Moloch to secure the records of the late Dr. Walters, which remain in the possession of Dr. Fletcher. A later dialog exchange reveals that the hapless Fletcher was killed during the theft.
Armed with the recorded knowledge gathered by Dr. Walters, Stendahl utilizes glandular secretions from his captive lab assistant to complete the Ape Woman’s metamorphosis. However, the brain of his subject has been damaged and possesses only animal instincts. He determines that a new brain is needed, and decides to use Ann as a donor.
Stendahl departs for his downtown lab, and the now very human Ape Woman wanders away. Moloch cannot locate her on the grounds, and goes to Stendahl’s office in search of his boss. He finds Don there, but is informed that Stendahl is out. Don notices that Moloch is wearing a fraternity pin that he had given to Ann. He trails Moloch back to the Old Orchard Road house, and is there captured by Moloch and Stendahl.
After binding Don to a chair, Stendahl and Moloch attempt to locate the missing Ape Woman. While they are engaged in their search, Don frees himself and tries to escape with Ann. Stendahl and Moloch thwart his efforts, and return them to the laboratory.
The police make a search of Stendahl’s downtown office at the Medical Building. Harrigan finds a utility bill receipt, indicating an Old Orchard Road address, paid by the biochemist. Remembering that the wrecked ambulance was discovered near there, he decides to follow up on the lead.
Don, tied once again to a chair, is forced to watch as Stendahl prepares for his next operation. However, when Don explains to Moloch that the brain transplant will result in Ann’s death, the once loyal henchman turns on his boss. Stendahl guns him down. Unbeknownst to the scientist, the gunfire causes the Ape Woman to revert to her beastly form. As he continues his preparations, the creature rises from the table and attacks him. With the scientist disposed of, she turns her attention toward the helpless Ann, but is in turn shot by the arriving Harrigan in the nick of time.
The film ends with Don and Ann being pulled over by the police and presented with a subpoena for them to appear at the magistrate’s office. A closer examination of the document reveals the purpose; to pick up their wedding gift from Harrigan.
- Otto Kruger as Mr. Stendahl
- Amelita Ward as Ann Forrester
- Phil Brown as Don Young
- Jerome Cowan as Insp. W.L. Harrigan
- Rondo Hatton as Moloch, the brute
- Eddie Acuff as Bill, morgue wagon attendant
- Ernie Adams as Jim, morgue wagon attendant
- Charles Wagenheim as Fred, first morgue attendant
- Eddy Chandler as Motorcycle Cop
- Jack Overman as Detective at Lab
- Vicky Lane as Paula Dupree