Jungle Jim is asked to find a young woman who supposedly lives in the jungle with her pet tiger. It's believed that she may be the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Martindale, explorers who long ago who were looking for the lagoon of the dead, a place where legend has it witch doctors held human sacrifices. Some of the locals, particularly the witch doctor Hakim, believe she is a she-devil who is out to cause them harm. As well Barton, an gold-hunting explorer, is also looking for the girl and lagoon which he believes contains a treasure of gold. Jungle Jim will have to fight several jungle animals along the way before he rescues the girl from Hakim. Written by
In the latter part of the story, listen closely and you'll hear a faint Tarzan yell during the panther/tiger scuffle. That was Weismuller's classic signature that he invented for his earlier Tarzan role. See more »
When the girl (Joan) is whistling for her tiger, her lips don't move. See more »
I enjoy a good pulp adventure story with an exotic setting, but it's been a long time since I've seen one as silly as this.
The sets are ultra-silly to begin with: other than yonder copse of trees, the background is largely devoid of vegetation, which is awfully strange for the jungle deep in darkest Africa. It doesn't take very long until we see our first tiger battle (tigers being an Asian cat, mark ye well)--and the tiger takes on a domestic Philippine water buffalo, no less. To be honest, we're positively overflowing with tigers, which is silly, insofar as any ecosystem is awfully thin on apex predators and quite heavy on prey animals.
From the outset, Buster Crabbe's acting is beneath terrible. Frankly, it sounds as if he's reading from a canned script--and applying just about as much interest: I expect him to next say, "Yes, Jim, let's head over to the . . . hold up while I flip the page here . . . the, um, Lagoon of the Dead." Realism is scarcely contributed by the lily-white staff of his hunter's cabin (the term for "hunter" is "shikari," but I can't remember the spiffy Swahili term for his cabin) or by the Polynesian or Hawaiian-looking dude who bangs drums Hawaiian style: I expected him to presently dig into some coconuts and pineapples! Pretty soon, we're off to the native village, where the Viking-helmeted witch doctor (Vikings didn't actually have horned helmets: let that be our little secret) is leading some inscrutable ritual involving sticks. Oh, and the witch doctor's name is Hakeem--which, when I last checked, is, like, extremely Arabic. Of course, Jungle Jim (I guess he's searching for his buddy, Mountain Jim) is climbing boulders and steep cliff sides and such with the help of a sturdy lapdog that appears to be a Maltese or a Wheaten terrier or something (it's always handy to bring a hardy work dog with you on an African mission). The dog does provide comic relief, admittedly, when Jim's pet chimpanzee is upset by something and wants to hide his eyes behind something warm and fluffy. Whoa, suddenly we have an alligator battle! Unfortunately, the alligator (or was it a crocodile?) is the most obvious rubber model I've ever seen: it doesn't even fight back, and--when Jungle Jim sticks his hunting knife into it--it doesn't even condescend to bleed. (This must be thanks to Jim's other buddy, Veterinarian Jim.) By this point, I lost interest entirely. I apologize if this review seems somewhat jumpy, but it's honestly reflective of the jumpy nature of the story.
Whoops . . . I spoke too soon: we have now suddenly discovered a "sacrificial temple," replete with beautiful native girls who--despite an evidently high order of civilization--think that it's appropriate to march through the underbrush in bare feet, snakes and thorns notwithstanding.
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