Saturday, February 15, 2014

BLACK MOON - "And The Drums Play On" (1934)

Welcome to Jungle Jive Saturday Night down in The Dungeon!

Tonight's installment is called "Black Moon" and is a dark little film made in 1934! It looks to be shot in Haiti!

There's really an amazingly small cast, as long as you don't count all the natives!

Dorothy (Girls In Chains) Burgess is Juanita Perez Lane. Juanita is predisposed with playing the drums lately, and can't think of anything except going back to the jungle where she was raised!

Juanita truly has a unique style of babysitting! Her daughter Nancy was played by Cora Sue (Mad Love) Collins! Cora Sue was in 47 movies before abruptly calling it quits, and retiring from acting at the age of 18!

Juanita's husband seems a bit more caught up in his golf game than he is with his wife's apparent boogie fever. Meet Stephen Lane as played by Jack (Cat People) Holt! Jack only lived to be 62, but in that amount of time he managed to chalk up 191 acting credits! Dude must have lived on the set!!

Yes, indeedy, except for that drum thing, they seen to be the perfect Atomic Family!

Queen of The Dungeon, Fay Wray has the role of Gail Hamilton, Stephen Lane's personal secretary! Stephen doesn't get it at all, but Gail is quitting because she is SO in love with him, she can't stand to be around him any more if she can't have him! Stephen talks her into going off with his wife for a short trip back to the jungle before she quits! Little does he know that his wife has no intention on ever returning!

Dorothy and Fay make quite the lovely combination!

Everything goes to Hell on the island, so Gail radios Stephen and beckons him to come and see what's going on, then people start dying, including the radio operator who is found hanged!

Stephen is brought ashore by singer, songwriter, and actor Clarence Muse as "Lunch!" Clarence wrote the classic tune "When It's Sleepy Time South" that has been recorded by the likes of Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Billie Holiday, Wynton Marsalis, Dean Martin, Mel Tormé, and Louis Prima!

So calm and beautiful, you'd never know how much turmoil is happening in this tropical paradise!

Stephen gets the news from Juanita that she doesn't plan on returning back to that states, and it doesn't sit real well with him! That night Lunch tell him that they are planning to sacrifice his daughter, and takes him to the site where the grisly act is about to occur!

And it's at that moment that Stephen finally realizes that his wife is really the Queen of the Jungle!

Stephen ends up shooting the High Priest in the middle of the ceremony, and when they get back to the house, there's a big gun battle with the natives! Outnumbered, they flee to the basement when the natives set the place on fire!

They're captured when they try and escape out the back door, and now all they can do is wait! Since there is no more future, Gail finally confesses her undying love for Stephen!

Madame Sul-Te-Wan had the role of Ruva, the housekeeper who was responsible for introducing Juanita to the Voodoo as a child!  Madame Sul-Te-Wan was also in "King Of The Zombies," "Revenge Of The Zombies," "King Kong," and "Mighty Joe Young!"

To atone for all of Stephen's sins, the natives have decided that Juanita needs to sacrifice her daughter Nancy to the Gods, and even though she was torn internally, Juanita is still prepared to do it, until Stephen shoots her ass!

Stephen, Gail, Nancy, and Lunch can all go back home and live happily ever after, and that incessant drumming finally stops!

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