Thursday, November 22, 2012
CURUCU, BEAST OF THE AMAZON
CURUCU, BEAST OF THE AMAZON (1956). Writer/director: Curt Siodmak.
"Like Nothing Your Eyes Have Ever Seen Before!" -- poster copy.
"She can't get a man so she gets a career!" -- dumb Rock
Egotistical adventurer Rock Dean (John Bromfield) and Dr. Andrea Romar (Beverly Garland), a cancer researcher, travel down the Amazon, he to investigate reports of a legendary monster scaring the natives, and she to find a drug that natives use to shrink heads in the hopes it can shrink tumors as well. Packaged as a monster movie, Curucu is bound to disappoint fans of creature features, as it's really a romantic adventure film, shot in Brazil, with colorful looks at the waters of the Amazon, filled with crocs and piranha, and surrounding areas. The secret behind Curucu is revealed fifty or so minutes into the film, leaving our protagonists, falling in love, to deal with other dangers, but there's a great final surprise. Bromfield is competent, Garland as zesty as ever, and Tom Payne is fine as the native guide Tupanico. Some great scenery, and a flavorful score by Raoul Kraushaar. The film has its dopey moments, and it's accuracy as to the natives and wild life of Brazil during the fifties is debatable, but it's fun. One native guy feels up Garland to make sure that she's female! [There are two versions of the film, one in color and one in black and white; this review is for the color version.]
Verdict: The movie isn't as good as its poster but it certainly has its good points. ***.