The primary reason to check out this Z-grade jungle plantation love quadrangle is Raymond Burr — who, it turns out, had quite a lengthy career before landing his iconic role as TV’s Perry Mason in 1957. Burr is appropriately virile, menacing, and tortured as the beefy hunk Payton longs to run away with. (The poor thing really had no choice in the matter: “A woman buried in a place like this?! You must understand if she gets a bit mixed up.”) The cinematography is effective, and there is some camp value to be found in the pedantically solemn dialogue:
“White people shouldn’t live too long in the jungle. It brings out their bad side — their jealousies, impatience.”
“Every couple isn’t a pair.”
“I, too, am not clever… But I know where to find wisdom.”
But as DVD Savant notes in his review, “anyone who read the script and signed on had to be in denial, or totally unaware that writer-director Curt Siodmak’s bizarre jungle story was a Career Choice of No Return”. Watch White Cargo (1942) instead if you’re in the mood for this kind of steamy exploitation flick.
P.S. Note that Lon Chaney Jr. and Woody Strode hover around the periphery of this film as a police commissioner and his deputy.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Raymond Burr as Barney Chavez
- Atmospheric cinematography
No; feel free to skip this one unless you’re a diehard Burr fan. Listed as a Camp Classic in the back of Peary’s book.