Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Dinosaur Valley Girls (1996)
Makes "Dinosaur Island" look like a masterpiece
After enduring Fred Olen Ray's idiotic, unfunny "Dinosaur Island" it seemed impossible to lower the bar any further. But this film is twice as bad, and boring to boot. Tony, a barely- likable Hollywood action star, is transported back to prehistoric times (what, that plot again?) via a magical icon where he cavorts with cave babes, including a token black girl, who wear leopard-spot and zebra-skin bikinis. Essentially it's 1985's dumb teen comedy "Cavegirl" multiplied by a power of ten and turned into a dumb adult comedy. Much like Ed Wood, writer/director Donald Glut has great enthusiasm for the subject ("Land of the Lost", "Dink, the Little Dinosaur") but no ideas or artistic vision worth putting on film. In fact, it's astonishing that investors actually put up the money to make this at all. Clearly, this cost someone a fortune that they probably did not get back. To its credit, the cinematography and colorful locations are quite beautiful. And the old school stop-motion dinosaurs, though a bit stiff and clunky, are actually fun to see. It's like watching Willis O'Brien's 1925 "The Lost World" in color.
The main liability is the utterly witless script fails miserably as a comedy (absolutely nothing even moderately amusing occurs) and also fails as softcore erotica -- despite frequent scenes of beautiful topless cavegirls. To kill some screen time, there's also a sudden, out-of-context music video, "Jurassic Punk", with a montage of dinosaurs and slow-motion dancing girls. That part was almost entertaining.
In order to have some sort of story (i.e. conflict), the cavemen and cavewomen live in separate, single-gender tribes. The men adore a "pinup" stick-figure drawing of a woman they call Raquel (as in former cavegirl Raquel Welch, get it?). Now that we've all had a good laugh, let's take a moment to catch our breath ... Both tribes speak a made up language so, the only verbal humor comes from Tony reciting tired old tag lines (like "Make my day") from vintage action films. (Stop it, these hilarious jokes are killing me.) One would then expect plenty of physical slapstick humor to compensate, right? Sorry, no. However, this being a sophisticated film for adults, the cavemen do fart a lot and Three Stooges-type sound effects are added in to remind us this is a comedy, damn it, despite all evidence to the contrary.
After over an hour of pointless, episodic tedium, the cavemen finally raid the cavegirls' camp and drag them off. Almost immediately, the girls realize being abducted and molested isn't so bad after all and the two tribes merge and everyone is happy. The only other plot conflict is dealing with a bothersome allosaurus.
For some reason, while wearing his screenwriter's hat, director Glut found it terribly amusing that sex is repeatedly referred to as "tooka-tooka" by the cave people. Confident of a box- office smash, the frightening end credits announce a proposed sequel entitled "Dinosaur Valley Girls: Tooka-Tooka Too!" We can all thank our lucky stars that this was never made. Glut moved on to make some equally terrible erotic-ish horror flicks.
Worth seeing for Sabrina Siani, nothing else
Umberto Lenzi, the pioneer of disturbingly gory cannibal films, directs. A strange change of pace for this director and the jungle genre. Be advised, this is a dumb, unfunny slapstick comedy-adventure with cardboard characters and comic book villains. There's even a comedic fat guy thug who constantly falls down or gets conked on the head. Hilarious. Probably better in the original Italian as the English dubbing is horrible.
Our heroes are a pair of knucklehead dudes from New York who seem to have wandered in from some frat-boy sex comedy (which were popular at the time). After pointlessly wasting a half-hour of screen time, they get stranded in the Amazon jungle -- which just happens to be full of African wildlife. They stumble across hostile natives, semi-comic-relief criminal goons hunting for rubies, and Luana, a beautiful blond jungle girl (Sabrina Siani from "White Cannibal Queen"). Luana cavorts with a chimp, swings on vines, talks to elephants, swims topless, and does a classic Tarzan yell. After getting an eyeful of Luana, one guy says: "Edgar Rice Burroughs got it all wrong." (That's the funniest line in the film.) The dopey dialog is loaded with wisecracks that reference other films ("you got it all over Bo what's-her-name"). She grew up alone after her parents perished following a helicopter crash-landing. Among the many implausible plot points is the repair of the helicopter that's been rusting away for 16 years. We're also supposed to believe these clueless dolts can somehow refine crude oil sludge into gasoline without any technology. Okay, whatever...
The only saving grace is the absolutely gorgeous Sabrina Siani, one of the most appealing and sexy jungle girls to come down the pike. She wears a skimpy leather top and a barely-there thong that hides none of her fabulous caboose. Siani has the kind of perfect posterior that anthropologists should study and document for future generations. Fortunately, we have this film. Everything else in this dreadful "Sheena" rehash is instantly forgettable.
A covert cross-promotion for NBC's Tarzan?
Fans and critics seem to agree that this is the worst, most despised episode of the popular spy show from its campy third season. (Although the one with Sonny and Cher comes in a close second.) Appears to be an inside joke as NBC had just created the Ron Ely "Tarzan" series three months earlier. Most likely the network saw this as a back-handed way to promote "Tarzan". (Plus save money reusing the jungle and village sets.) Otherwise, there's no logical reason for awkwardly forcing the beloved U.N.C.L.E. agents into such a contrived and idiotic story.
The only bright spot is statuesque Vitina Marcus as "Girl", a leopard-skin wearing female Tarzan who doesn't speak English. Girl was raised in the jungle by a gorilla and can do a Weissmuller-type yell. Robert Vaughn's dopey attempts to communicate with her via pantomime and dancing the Watusi (with her and the gorilla) are excruciating to watch. Sloppy, cliché-filled story concerns mad scientist trying to create an army of super-warriors using drugs. This has an amusingly inept match-cut of an elephant stampede with the cast running away from an obvious stock footage insert.
The same month this came out, "The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.", also aired a silly African safari yarn, "The Jewels of Topango Affair". NBC was either pushing hard to promote Tarzan via two African-based adventure stories or just cutting costs by producing two matching episodes back-to-back.
It's About Time ... to cross-promote
This March '67 episode centers around an extended fantasy dream sequence with the castaways as prehistoric cave people. This recycles the sets, props, and dinosaur footage from Schwartz's other series, "It's About Time". This was either an attempt to cross-promote "Time" or simply save money by reusing stuff from an already doomed sitcom (that went off the air in April).
Either way, it's fun to see Ginger and Mary Ann in long dark wigs and animal-print outfits. Of course, Ginger looks pretty hot in her zebra-stripe fur and does one of her trademark seduction scenes. Mrs. Howell seems to be playing the feisty Imogene Coca role.
Steve as Agent Double Oh-no!
A particularly interesting and atypical "fish out of water" oddity (from 1969) with a befuddled Steve tossed into a deadly serious espionage caper (this was near the end of the wildly popular spy craze). The joke here is that his family is concerned that Steve has fallen into a boring, work-a-day routine while he is actually off on an exciting and dangerous secret mission for the Air Force. Fred is his usual reluctant, fumbling self as he struggles to keep up with the fast-balls being lobbed at him. Not terribly funny as this feels more like a watered down version of "Get Smart" -- without the satire. What is surprising is how inept the Air Force (and/or the CIA) is at protecting him. It's only by the merest chance that Steve avoids getting shot twice by an enemy agent after his cover is blown. Way to go, government agencies. Another job well done.
This episode may have been inspired by two well-made spy comedies: "Where the Spies Are" (1965) with David Niven and "A Man Could Get Killed" (1966) with James Garner.
The Blonde Captive (1931)
A strange time capsule from the '30s
This bizarre, exploitive documentary is typical of its time with narrator Lowell Thomas making racist wisecracks and other inane jokes throughout. A quasi-educational travelogue peppered with frequent views of semi-clad native girls from Bali to Australia.
And what about the so-called blonde captive? In the last few minutes we meet a semi-clad blonde lady and her son living with an Aboriginal tribe. She is not a captive so the title makes no sense. She was supposedly marooned there many years ago and has no desire to return to civilization. However, this segment feels fabricated. Either way, this is an interesting and peculiar curio from the past that reveals more about archaic Western attitudes than native culture.
Tarzan Sundari (1983)
Another fun Bollywood Sheena/Tarzan knock-off
Also released as "Lady Tarzan", a lost girl grows up in the jungle with the help of animals to become a tough, athletic "Sheena" type heroine. She wears a two-piece leopard-skin outfit and matching headband and can beat up six guys at once using mixed martial arts. During an epic cat-fight with an evil tribal queen, there are humorous inserts of two lionesses fighting (meow!). Does this also have totally goofy Bollywood musical interludes? You bet.
Like most of the Sheena-inspired films from India (and there are quite a few), this has lots of action, music, and over-the-top acting that is unintentionally funny and entertaining to watch.
Slightly better than expected
Schlock director Fred Olen Ray must hold the world record for movies with "bikini" in the title. He specializes in these extra soft softcore cable-porn movies. Vietnamese cutie Christine Nguyen is Tarzeena, a lost girl living on Kong Island. She wears a tiny tan bikini and has a pet gorilla (the ape costume is actually quite good). A safari led by Fabio look-alike Evan Stone searches for her. (He and co-star Nicole Sheridan were also in Fred Olen Ray's "Teenage Cavegirl" which is also quite amusing.) This has lots of nudity, some very hot girls, and frequent simulated, non-explicit sex scenes (more like an NC-17 film).
I can't recommend this for fear of bursting into flames and going straight to hell, but it was fairly enjoyable on a non-think level due to much tongue-in-cheek humor. A cliché travel montage of planes, boats, and maps made me laugh as they edited in clips of a cable car, a dune buggy, a locomotive train, and the space shuttle. The simple story, which includes a mad scientist, is reminiscent of an old '40s Republic serial. The fact that this movie does not take itself seriously and has a few funny moments (such as references to '60s TV shows) places it a cut above in the humble category of cheap adult cable movies. Bloopers during the end credits are also funny. However, it is not in the same league with a "real" B-movie or porn feature. This provides some light entertainment and some impressive skin, that's all.
Shandra: The Jungle Girl (1999)
Unbelievably bad even by the lowest standards
This made-for-cable sludge is from a company that specializes in watered down non-erotic erotica. I enjoy so-bad-it's-funny films and cheesy exploitation flicks that provide something entertaining, but this movie is an epic fail across the board and a total waste of time. It resembles a badly acted porn film that's been edited down to an R-rating.
Evil corporate douche-bags capture a legendary Amazon jungle girl (Lisa Throw) for scientific study. She seems to have eternal youth and has the power to transfer memories of the past -- or past lives (including scenes from old dinosaur movies) by touching people. Unfortunately, the handling of very aspect of this film is amateurish and absurd. This should have been a parody yet it's played deadly serious.
The cast features the worst actors ever assembled. Sultry redhead Lisa Comshaw comes off best as a tough hunter/guide. Under the names Tori Sinclair and Fawna she made scores of underground fetish videos. And I'm willing to bet good money her "Frankentickle", "Austin Powerless" and "Leatherbound Dykes from Hell 15" are a lot better than this boring piece of crap.
Jungle Ki Beti (1988)
Another Bollywood masterpiece of jaw-dropping WTF nonsense
This action-comedy-romance is a "Sheena: Queen of the Jungle" knock-off. The movie fails utterly (and hilariously) in all three categories. Thrill to the bizarre quasi-disco dance numbers, clumsy fight scenes, and outrageously buffoonish over-acting by most of the cast. (The villain, a Wolfman Jack look-alike, reminds me of the over-the-top pirate from the "Danger Island" serial on "The Banana Splits" show.)
Salma Agha is okay as a poor man's Sheena in a ragged leather outfit. She beats up guys with questionable fighting skills -- plus lots of cheesy sound effects. The hero has Frankie Avalon hair, and the overall acting style recalls the Beach Party movies. Watched this on YouTube in Hindi (no subtitles) with occasional English lines (like "Hey, let's go!") tossed in at random. Very odd, but everything about this yuck-fest is beyond strange. (No one will be seated during the scintillating "kissing lesson" scene).
Elaborate fantasy musical numbers are abruptly inserted to express the characters' inner thoughts. Every element is so surreal and ineptly produced it's quite fun to watch. Where is Mystery Science Theater 3000 when you need them? For a good laugh, check this out on YouTube.