Murders in the Zoo

Film, Horror

Time Out says

In a splendidly fiendish opening sequence, Atwill's millionaire sportsman disposes of a rival for his wife's affections by leaving him to die in the Indochinese jungle, having first carefully stitched up his lips. 'What did he say?' asks the anxious wife (Burke), told that her lover went on alone. 'He didn't say anything,' Atwill blandly replies. Back in America, Atwill carries on the good work, using the zoo to which he supplies animals as a convenient disposal ground: another rival succumbs to green mamba poison, and the suspicious Burke ends up in the alligator pit. Instead of exploring its Sadian motifs (the erotic charge Atwill gets from 'protecting' his wife, for instance), the script unfortunately opts for comedy relief (capably handled by Ruggles) and a slightly tiresome detection motif (Scott as a toxicologist who discovers that the mamba wasn't the culprit). Fine, macabre fun for all that, beautifully shot by Ernest Haller, and very capably directed (although a little more extravagance would have helped the finale: Atwill setting the big cats free to cover his escape, but ending in a boa constrictor's coils).

Details

Release details

Duration:
64 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
A Edward Sutherland
Screenwriter:
Philip Wylie, Seton I Miller
Cast:
Lionel Atwill
Charlie Ruggles
Randolph Scott
Gail Patrick
Kathleen Burke
John Lodge