Mini-Review: Murders in the Zoo (1933)

Written by Philip Wylie and Seton I. Miller
Directed by A. Edward Sutherland
Starring Charles Ruggles, Lionel Atwill, Gail Patrick, Randolph Scott
US Release March 31, 1933
RT 62 min.
Home Video Universal Studios
Classic Horrors rating = 6 (out of 10)


IMDb Synopsis.  A monomaniacal zoologist is pathologically jealous of his beautiful but unfaithful wife Evelyn and will not stop short of murder to keep her.

Classic Horrors Synopsis. Familiar formula with a twist in the details. Zoologist Eric Gorman (Lionel Atwill) disposes of his wife’s lovers (or suspected lovers) with the animal resources associated with his job. Since the zoo is in financial trouble, press agent Peter Yates (Charles Ruggles) enters the picture to orchestrate events that play into Gorman’s plans..

Thoughts.  The opening is terrific and horrifying, when Gorman sews a man’s mouth shut in the Indian jungle. But the introduction of Yates adds almost slapstick comedy to the story and I didn’t like the mix. Editing him out would shorten the movie, but make it more effective.

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