Tiger Fangs (1943)

Article #1327 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-1-2004
Posting Date: 3-31-2005
Directed by Sam Newfield
Featuring Frank Buck, June Duprez, Duncan Renaldo

Frank Buck, hunter and lion tamer, is called to Asia to investigate a report that tigers have been attacking workers on a rubber plantation. The natives believe the tigers have been possessed by Japanese agents.

You can tell by the way some movies handle their fantastic elements that the final explanation is going to be much more mundane, and this one is no exception. All in all, the true explanation isn’t bad (though it is far-fetched), and it might have made for a decent movie, but this one isn’t it. It’s a little too obvious (if something is endangering the production of America’s wartime industry, and the local doctor has a German accident, who do you think will turn out to be the villain?), and the movie itself is static and dull. It also engages in some typical war era racism; the Japanese are referred to by their derogatory diminutive, and the natives refer to them as “monkey men”. It largely tries to rely on the novelty of the presence of real-life hunter and lion tamer, Frank Buck, (who doesn’t quite have the cinematic appeal of Clyde Beatty, as far as I’m concerned). All in all, it’s dull, talky and plodding. I never thought I’d say this about a jungle movie, but this is one that could have used a little more safari.

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