Why I Love and Hate Curucu

Filmed on location in Brazil. A colorful American made production directed by veteran screenwriter Curt Siodmak. A frenzy of Piranha renders a corpse to bones. A Boa constrictor squeezes the life out of coatimundi. Natives with blow-darts. That kookaburra bird sound in the Amazon jungle (they’re actually terrestrial kingfishers native to Australia and New Guinea). An attractive female lead played by Beverly Garland. Spectacular poster art by Reynold Brown. A terrific and unusual monster.

For reasons above, I love this stinker of a film, but a lot of people don’t. Curucu – Beast of the Amazon (1956) had all the ear-marks to be a monster movie matinee maelstrom, but it failed to deliver at the end. Kids invariably freaked out and threw popcorn and lemonheads at the screen. Some film historians and film buffs dislike the film. In his gargantuan treatment of 1950’s sci-fi films Keep Watching the Skies, Bill Warren doesn’t even consider Curucu science-fiction. He lumps the film under an appendix “The Great Imposters” and noted that monster film fans were “crushingly disappointed”. In ways, the bird-like Curucu, with claws, saber teeth and a beak (!) was one of the greatest poster monsters of the 50’s, but like the dagger-toothed vampire in London After Midnight, he was but a ruse.

Track down a copy of Curucu. Its currently not available as an official release DVD, but copies can be found at monster conventions and down-load sites. I think you might like it. Or hate it.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049115/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curt_Siodmak

http://www.illustration-magazine.com/GALLERY/brown.html

http://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/category/horror/watch/v17503312EtJrq8aa

2 Responses to “Why I Love and Hate Curucu”

  1. And you’ve just convinced me I need to see this movie . . . !

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