Elmwood Productions’ The Jungle Man is a nearly 17-minute short comedic slasher starring puppets. Directed by Rick Passmore and written by Jon Bristol, the film begins with a couple walking down the street on their way to meet some friends in the woods. Along the way, Billie (Tabitha Cole) and Kerry (Kerry Lord) run into an odd street lady. After confusing the two with her cryptic and downright absurd assertions, off they go.
Meanwhile, in the woods, their friends Raoul (Peter Lucco), Richie (Rich Mislivets), and John (John Fulcher) stumble across a “space egg.” Confused by it, the trio approaches the egg to inspect it, only to be met by The Jungle Man (Jon Bristol), who asks them about the jungle. They try to tell him that they aren’t in the jungle, and in turn, he begins killing everyone. Now, Kerry, Billie, and the rest of their friends must find a way to escape the deranged man before he murders all of them.
“…must find a way to escape the deranged man before he murders all of them.”
Much like other Elmwood projects, The Jungle Man is filled to the brim with absurd and raunchy humor and over-the-top gore. While characterizations are thin, our main couple wants to see some bands in concert, and that’s really all there is to them, the screenplay effectively lands where it counts. While the comedy might not be everyone’s cup of tea, as it is often random, it is amusing if one can get on the same wavelength.
But really, the film is about The Jungle Man killing, and the body count is extremely high. After horror host Midnight Gill’s intro, there’s a prologue wherein three characters die, then there are the half a dozen or so friends that make up most of the victims. In regards to the viscera on display, the short goes all out with intestines being yanked out, throats crushed, and blood sputtering and flying everywhere. Gorehounds will delight in it all and have a truly good time.
The Jungle Man is not for everyone, as the esoteric nature of the comedy, as highlighted by the last minute or two, is going to bother folks who are looking for something a bit more grounded. However, the voice cast and the puppet performers create characters that, while one-dimensional, feel realistic. Plus, horror fans are in for a treat with all the over-the-top blood and guts that are the focus.
"…horror fans are in for a treat with all the over-the-top blood and guts..."