Joe Dante on

Captive Wild Woman

Released 1943
Distributor Universal

A circus ape transforms into doe-eyed sex-bomb Acquanetta via a brain swap performed by mad doctor John Carradine. A sci-fi twist on Universal’s popular wolfman cycle, this was the first in a trio of ‘Paula the Ape-woman’ movies (including JUNGLE WOMAN and JUNGLE CAPTIVE). Resourcefully directed by former editor Edward Dmytryk, who structures his low budget thrills around circus footage from Kurt Neumann’s 1933 THE BIG CAGE. Even with all that extra padding, the whole thing tops out to a zippy 61 minutes of gorilla-girl action.

About Joe Dante

Joe Dante is a lifelong film buff who turned his obsession into a career. He got his start cutting trailers for Roger Corman and later directed the hit movie Gremlins, as well as Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Innerspace and Small Soldiers for producer Steven Spielberg. His feature films include The Howling, Piranha, Matinee, The ‘burbs , Looney Tunes Back in Action, The Hole (first winner of the 3D Persol Award at the Venice Film Festival) and the zom-com Burying the Ex. His TV directing work includes: Police Squad, Amazing Stories, the HBO film The Second Civil War, the Masters of Horror titles Homecoming and The Screwfly Solution, and episodes of Eerie, Indiana, CSI: NY, Hawaii 5-0, Witches of East End, Legends of Tomorrow and Salem. His latest big screen credit is an episode of the upcoming Nightmare Cinema.