Film / Murders in the Zoo

A horror thriller from 1933, starring Lionel Atwill.

Eric Gorman is a big game hunter, who is murderously jealous about his wife, Evelyn. After bringing animals to a zoo from one of his expeditions, he ends up committing few murders too many and desperately seeks to clear his tracks.

This film has the examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Yates is a former alcoholic, who returns to his old habits after the film's events prove to be too much for him.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Alluded to after Yates regains his consciouness after finding the mamba.
    Jerry: Peter, Peter, listen to me! Say something to me!
    Peter: Is there a good laundry in this town?
  • Chekhov's Gun: The pullswitch for the doors of lion cages comes back in the climax when Eric releases them to hinder his pursuers.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Eric murders anyone who tries to take his wife from him.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Jerry, who is a woman.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: One of the animals that Gorman brings from China is a lion, which isn't indigenous to Southeastern Asia.
  • Mouth Stitched Shut: The film opens in Indo-China, where Eric sews one of Evelyn's would-be lovers' mouth shut, and leaves him for dead in the middle of a jungle. Within a day, he is killed by tigers.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Eric eventually murders Evelyn when she threatens to expose his crimes by dumping her into an alligator pond.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Peter Yates, who provides humour by being constantly scared by animals and by regularly stumbling over his words.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Eric fakes his poisonings as Green Mamba bites. He also meets his end by entering a boa cage for safety from lions, and is crushed to death by it.
  • Villain Protagonist: Eric Gorman.