- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 59 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: January 25, 2013
- Originally Released: 1933
- Label: Alpha Video
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Description by OLDIES.com:
Convinced that the glands of the orangutan secrete a substance that will inhibit human aging, Dr. Boris Borodoff travels to Africa to capture a specimen. He enlists famed big-game hunter Bob Ward, who at first refuses, but then succumbs to the charms of the doctor's beautiful assistant, Alma. Eventually the trapper catches one of the elusive creatures. Bob has been promised that the primate will be unharmed, but Borodoff immediately prepares for surgery. A fight ensues in which Bob is carried off deep into the jungle by the huge orangutan. Alma finally realizes that her employer has gone completely insane, and rushes off in a desperate attempt to rescue Bob.
Beginning in 1920 with The Forbidden Woman, ultra low-budget producer Harry Garson directed a string of exploitation features which would culminate with 1933's The Beast Of Borneo. Many of these sexually provocative features starred actress Clara Kimball Young including What No Man Knows (1921) and The Worldly Madonna (1922). Speculation has it that following Karloff's rise to stardom in Frankenstein (1931), "Boris" became the "go-to" name for screen villains as in Beast of Borneo's Boris Borodoff.
A hybrid jungle melodrama-horror show, BEAST OF BORNEO consisted of mainly leftover footage from Universal's 1931 EAST OF BORNEO. A couple of added dialogue scenes were spliced into what was essentially a travelogue and a series of close-ups of an enraged orangutan. A noted big game hunter, Bob Ward (John Preston), is visited in the jungles of Borneo by Russian scientist Boris Borodoff (Eugene Sigaloff) and his lovely assistant Alma Thorne (Mae Stuart), who want to prove the evolutionary link between man and beast. Ward at first declines to lead the scientists to a tribe of orangutans, but Alma's charms finally convince him. Along with Ward's pet orangutan, Borneo Joe, they track the apes and actually manage to capture a male orangutan, whom Dr. Borodoff anaesthetizes with a shot of whiskey. Borodoff, it soon appears, is quite insane -- and Bob, in an effort to calm him down, is knocked unconscious and dragged into the jungle by the tormented orangutan. He is rescued by Alma and Borneo Joe, but the trio can only watch as the enraged simian kills the evil Dr. Borodoff. A cast of unknowns struggled valiantly with this ersatz Tarzan story, but they were soundly defeated by amateurish production methods. Leading man John Preston later starred in a couple of cheap Northwest melodramas for Poverty Row company Stage & Screen. Although reviewed in 1933, BEAST OF BORNEO did not enjoy a wide release until 1944.
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