CURUCU, BEAST OF THE AMAZON (1956)
Article #963 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-3-2003
Posting Date: 4-1-2004
Directed by Curt Siodmak
Featuring John Bromfield, Beverly Garland, Tom Payne
A man and a woman go up the Amazon to explore rumors of a murdering monster loose in the rain forest.
This movie is somewhat infamous; almost anyone who has seen it can tell you why, and they usually do. I myself won’t give it away, but I will tell you that if you go in expecting a jungle movie rather than a monster movie, you’ll be much better prepared for it. This is not to say that it’s a particularly good example of the former genre; it’s merely to say if you’re familiar with the way jungle movies work, you’ll know just what you’re getting into here. Lots of safari and lots of talk fill up the running length of the movie. It was shot on location in Brazil, and it probably looks good in color (my copy is in black and white), but as far as I’m concerned, the best thing about it is Beverly Garland, who has the best moments; one in which she flirts with a sloth (no, not John Bromfield), and another in which she “doesn’t” get sick on hearing what’s in the food she’s eating, standing that comic cliche on its head and proving that her character really is tough in her own way. Unfortunately, the movie decides to punish her for her toughness; the last thirty minutes of the movie seems designed solely to frighten this woman into realizing that it’s arrogant of her to think of herself as being as tough as a man; one can almost hear the smug snickerings of the men behind the scenes saying “That’ll show her!”
You know, I really don’t like this movie.