Cast & Crew
Samson, a hunter who supplies animals to circuses and zoos, is on an expedition in a remote part of Central America. His partner, Benson, has gone on ahead to set up camp near Samson's old friend Fernando's mission. Samson fears this part of the jungle, for it was here that he witnessed Vicuni Indians sacrificing a young woman to the Tiger God, an act he was powerless to prevent. Traveling down a river in a dugout canoe, Samson discovers Benson's murdered body in a mangrove swamp. In Benson's hand is an amulet bearing the image of the Tiger God. When Samson reaches Fernando's compound, he is greeted by him and his young daughter Morena and tells them about Benson's death. After Fernando confirms that the Vicuni Indians still worship their old gods, Samson decides to go to a nearby village to investigate Benson's death. On his way to the village, Samson is attacked by a jaguar and, while two Indians watch, he wrestles the animal and stabs it to death. That night at a village cantina, Samson is approached by an Indian named Tumic, who tells him that because he has killed the "tiger," the spirit of their ancestors, Tumic's tribe must now sacrifice a virgin girl. Samson notices that Tumic is wearing an amulet identical to the one he found in Benson's hand. Tumic then states that Benson was killed by members of Tumic's tribe for attempting to shoot the tiger. The next day, when Fernando and Morena go fishing, Tumic and three other Indians kill Fernando and kidnap Morena. When Samson learns of this, he imagines the terrible fate facing Morena and heads for the area where he believes she is being held. Following the Indians' trail, Samson comes upon a clearing where he sees Morena tied to a tree. He shoots one Indian, but Tumic escapes, carrying Morena, while the two others obscure their trail and prepare two traps for Samson, which he succeeds in foiling. The Indians cross a fast-flowing river and are joined on the other bank by more members of the tribe. While crossing the river, Samson loses his rifle but, when ambushed by six Indians, kills three of them with his spear and knife. Meanwhile, Tumic drags Morena through the jungle to the sacrificial grounds where the rituals begin. When Samson reaches the area, he decides to fight superstition with superstition. Boldly walking into the ceremony, he asks to speak with the masked chief, who is revealed to be Tumic. After Tumic refuses to free Morena, Samson tells him that the Tiger God is tired of Tumic's wars and sacrifices and wants peace among all the local tribes. Samson then challenges Tumic to a fight to the death with spears to decide who will be chief. At sunset, the fight begins, and after both men lose their spears, they continue with knives until Samson kills Tumic. The other Indians then allow Samson to free Morena and leave. After turning over the Indians to missionaries, Samson then plans to join Morena in a distant city.
Vicuni Indian Tribe
Joseph F. Horn
Elwood J. Nicholson
Dr. Pablo Ochata
This film's working titles were Blood of the Tiger and Fury of the Jungle. As stated in the film's credits, Virgin Sacrifice was "Filmed at Sandre Rico Studios, San Jose, Guatemala, C.A." The copyright date on the print viewed was 1958, although copyright records list it as December 1, 1959. The film was advertised as being in Tropicolor, which May have been created by the producers as a more exotic-sounding name for Eastman Color.
According to information in the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, when the film was submitted for viewing by the PCA in December 1956, an accompanying credit sheet listed the following credits, which differ from those in the viewed print: Producer, Edward Mann; story and screenplay by Victor Purcell and David A. DaLie; Associate producer, Philip Pearl. Neither photographer Fouad Said nor composer Bob Ford received credit. Property master Jorge Stanyo, whose name is misspelled "Lorge" in the onscreen credits, was credited as Art director. The Vicuni Indian Tribe were listed as being from Esquintala, Guatemala.
Publicity for the film indicates that David DaLie was a real-life naturalist who had lived and worked in the Florida Everglades and had been manager of the Okefenokee Swamp Park in southern Georgia. He also wrote and produced wildlife documentaries. The animal referred to in the film as a "tigre," or tiger, is actually a jaguar, which is known in Latin America as "el tigre americano."
Released in United States 1959
Released in United States 1959