Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Jungle Siren (1942)
Jungle Siren stars Buster Crabbe and strip-tease legend Ann Corio and I’ll have more to say about them later.
Two Americans are helping the Free French to build an airfield in Africa. Captain Gary Hart (Buster Crabbe) and Sergeant Mike Jenkins (Paul Bryar) soon discover that there are people who don’t want that airfield built. The chief of one of the local tribes, Chief Selangi, is one of those people but the chief is actually in the pay of sinister Nazi agent George Lukas.
Kuhlaya is beautiful and she’s basically a nice girl, apart from her habit of killing people she doesn’t approve of. She’s not civilised but not entirely uncivilised. She’s your classic jungle girl, caught between two cultures, but she’s as deadly as she is beautiful.
And she is a bit of an unguided missile. She’s also heavily into the concept of revenge.
Of course you know that there are going to be multiple attempts to kill Captain Hart and Sergeant Jenkins. And of course you know that either Captain Hart will fall for Kuhlaya or she will fall for him. In this case it’s Kuhlaya who falls first. For her it’s lust at first sight (she thinks he’s an absolute hunk) but lust can turn pretty easily into love. And Captain Hart is not exactly immune to her savage charms. She’s like a wild animal but she’s also all woman.
Buster Crabbe was extremely good at playing likeable heroes and with his background in serials he would have had no problem working on tight schedules. He wasn’t the world’s greatest actor but he had personality and he had charisma. He also had the kind of looks that women went for in a big way. This movie has Ann Corio to provide eye candy for male audience members and Buster Crabbe provides the eye candy for the ladies (who were undoubtedly pleased whenever he took off his shirt).
If you want to see Jungle Siren you only choices are going to be public domain releases. I saw the Sinister Cinema version. Sound quality is dodgy (plenty of hiss) but the dialogue is always early understandable. Image quality is actually very good. On the whole it’s a perfect acceptable release.
Jungle Siren is a typical low-budget jungle adventure but Buster Crabbe and Ann Corio are enough to make it worth seeing. I’m recommending this one.