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Acquanetta carries on as the lady with a simian alter ego. Although Cheelah the gorilla was shot dead at the end of "Captive Wild Woman," the beast within still lives. A doctor (J. Carrol Naish), driven by scientific curiosity, salvages the body and revives the primate. After the recovered Cheelah disappears from the lab, the mysterious Paula Dupree appears at the country sanitarium where the good doctor carries on his tampering in God's domain. Her human hormones lead her to obsess over a young man engaged to another woman. Death and terror rule the night as Paula suffers "ape-woman" interludes sparked by her jealous rage. Brevity is a virtue realized in the tight 61 minute running time of this movie. The plot doesn't have time to go awry. Acquanetta's understated acting consists mostly of long silent stares that emphasize her deep dark eyes. Terror lurks in the trees, passes by windows, and drapes sinister shadows across one's path. Farm animals perish brutally by night. When the beast is ascendant, birds and other woodland creatures go berserk, to the consternation of those persons alone in the woods. Much is suggested, but little is displayed. The fright make-up only appears briefly in a flashback segment and again in the final scene. Perhaps this subtle terror method was done to emulate Val Lewton, as Mr. Maltin suggests. Regardless, it probably saved production costs. This is an entertaining albeit second-string entry from Universal's fright factory. It doesn't pretend to be more. Collector's of classic horror films need this movie for their personal collection. Others should adjust their expectations accordingly
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