Devil Monster

Director: S. Edwin Graham

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

The majority of the first twenty minutes of the South Seas island adventure Devil Monster (1946) consists of nature & travel footage of sea life, including a long passage with fish way too obviously in an aquarium, intercut with scenes of various sorts of aborigines (randomly showing Asian & African as well as Oceanic people), & miscellaneous bits likely snipped from silent films. The native women's breasts must have been racy in their day.

After that initial patch of padding, the story of Devil Monster at long last gets under sail, as a tuna fisherman (Jack Barty) & his grown son Robert (Barry Norton) set out to look for the lost ship Miami. They soon find the only survivor, Jose (Jack del Rio), who has gone native with an island girlfriend (Maya Owalee) & refuses to leave.

After some fake-native dancing, further padding, & scenes where some cracker named William Lemuels mugs offensively as the Native Chieftain, Robert & the tuna fishermen bop Jose on the head to shanghai him. They're convinced they're doing the right thing cuz who could really enjoy living in a South Seas paradise with an island babe for one's wife.

Robert feels a little guilty because he'd hoped to find Jose dead, given that Robert has fallen in love with Jose's betrothed back home. Jose misses Louise (Blanche Mehaffey) so seems to forgive everyone for kidnapping him & forgets all about Maya who I'd've missed if I were him. But on the other hand he's leading them into waters of the Devil Fish that sank the Miami, so maybe he's not all that forgiving.

More stock footage of tuna fishermen on a completely different boat & of whales & dolphins leaping pass before our terrified eyes before we finally see the Devil Fish which is an innocuous manta ray. You can even see the hands of divers holding the big harmless fellow in front of the camera.

Jose sets out to kill it while up on the poop-deck Robert yells "Atta boy!" Jose gets an arm bit off, not where we can see it happen & without losing a drop of blood, & the manta is finally killed.

Everyone sails home with the dead manta & the tuna catch & some sharks for good measure. There's a happy reuinion between Jose & Louise.

If any of that sounds like an interesting film, I've seriously misled you. The only thing positive I can think to say about this shipwreck of a movie is how many other films from the 1940s, other than those made in Mexico, have a heroic Mexican who scores two babes in one show, while the caucasian guy just has to buck up & accept that he's not being the better man.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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