Renowned scientist and specialist for glandular diseases Dr Sigmund
Walters (John Carradine) abducts female gorilla Cheela (Ray 'Crash'
Corrigan) from Fred Mason's (Milburn Stone) circus to turn him into a
human, using the glands of Dorothy (Martha Vickers) - incidently the
sister of Fred's fiancée Beth (Evelyn Ankers). Why he wants to do that is
beyond me, but after he has taken his nurse's brain (Fay Helm) and
transplanted it into his ape, he succeeds, too.
The result is Paula
Dupree (Acquanetta), a beautiful woman who doesn't speak but who has
remarkable power over animals - and at one point she saves Fred's life
when he's knocked out during a lion-and-tiger-taming act using nothing but
her hypnotic stare. Fred hires her on the spot, and she proves to be a
great asset and allows him to make his lion-and-tiger act more and more
daring. She also soon feels drawn to him - but when he after dress
rehearsal embraces his fiancée Beth rather than her, she is heartbroken
and runs away. Her emotional turmoil though turns her partially back into
an ape. Paula now wants her revenge on Beth, but when she wants to stop by
her place to kill her, she only succeeds in killing her neighbout (Fern
Ultimately, Paula returns to Doc Walters, and returns to her
gorilla-state. Walters though wants to make her human again, but for that
he needs some more of Dorothy's glands and another brain - so when Dorothy
calls Beth for help, everything seems to come together quite nicely.
Fred does his daring lion-and-tiger act without Paula's help - which goes
fine at first until lightning strikes the circus tent ...
herself cornered by Doc Walters, releases Cheela the gorilla who once was
Paula onto him, and the ape kills the scientist, then rushes to Fred's
circus, where all hell has broken loose after lightning has struck, and
now the animals are already attacking Fred - but Cheela still has her
power over the lions and tigers, and she saves Fred's life once again.
though, she is shot dead by a guard grossly (but understandably)
misjudging the situation when she drags Fred out of the cage ...
main attraction of this little sci-fi-horror hybrid is not Acquanetta, who
was given top-billing, and who looks as sexy as she looks exotic and
downright weird, nor the rather pedestrian plot that differs little from Universal's
other silly shockers from the 1940's, or Ray 'Crash' Corrigan doing yet
another turn as the 1940's busiest gorilla - nope, it's the involvement of
the era's superstar animal trainer Clyde Beatty's circus, which results in
many fine and daring animal acts in which Beatty himself can easily be
recognized not only by contemporary audiences doubling Milburn Stone. So
if you love animal acts, you will most certainly not be disappointed by
this film, if you like silly shockers from the 1940's, you'll be
entertained, and if you love Acquanetta, you will probably have seen this
anyways - but if none of the above applies to you, or you're into
"quality genre films", then you'Re wasting your time with this