“I can promise you a really unusual evening.”
An insanely jealous animal collector (Lionel Atwill) plots to murder his wife’s lover (John Lodge) at a fundraising dinner for the local zoo; meanwhile, the zoo’s new press agent (Charles Ruggles) is on hand for comic relief.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Lionel Atwill Films
- Randolph Scott Films
At just over an hour in length, this early Paramount horror film zips by in its depiction of a psychopathic husband who wreaks creative revenge on his unfaithful spouse (Kathleen Burke). Unfortunately, the inclusion of Ruggles as a comedic supporting character is both annoying and unwelcome — whenever things start to look appropriately gloomy and creepy, Ruggles appears and ruins the effect. While it’s enjoyable to see Burke (so memorable as the Panther Woman in Island of Lost Souls) in a non-feline role, Atwill himself overacts, turning what could have been a deliciously creepy portrayal into a ham-fest.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- The truly gruesome results of Atwill’s first bout of torture
- Kathleen Burke as Atwill’s perpetually fearful wife
No. While Peary lists this as a Sleeper in the back of his book, I don’t think it’s necessarily worth seeking out.