Friday, December 12, 2014

MURDERS IN THE ZOO REVIEWED IN THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER 1933


Lionel Atwill was fresh off from playing one of his many "mad doctor" roles in MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM and Kathleen Burke had not long completed her role as the exotic Lota, The Panther Woman in ISLAND OF THE LOST SOULS when they appeared together in Paramount's MURDERS IN THE ZOO. Premiering on 1 March 1933, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER reviewed it the same day in their 1 March 1933 issue.

Hollywood horror films in general were on the rise (some critics contend they were close to peaking for the "classic" period) and audiences waited anxiously for anything that would provide thrills and chills. According to the review, the film was "fairly patchy and scrappy", and "goes up and down like a scenic railway". The film suffers -- as many horror films do -- with its disruptive use of comedy by its top-billed star, Charlie Ruggles. Otherwise, THE REPORTER when on to say, "there are several punch sequences that will chill the spectators' spines and make them feel like they're getting their money's worth".

The picture at the top with its interesting use of color is a full page ad from THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER issue of 3 March 1933. Burke is ballyhooed with her Panther Woman role, but it would be the last time she appeared in a horror film.


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