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Ernest Goes to Africa (1997)

PG | | Family, Comedy | 29 July 1997 (USA)
1:48 | Trailer

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The title says it all. There's a mix up involving stolen diamonds which Ernest has (naturally) made into a yo-yo and given to his would be girlfriend, Rene. But Rene wants a man of action, ... See full summary »


(as John Cherry)


(as John Cherry)



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ernest P. Worrel / Hey You, the Hindu / Auntie Nelda / African Woman dancer
Rene Loomis
Jamie Bartlett ...
Mr. Thompson
Clare Marshall ...
Betty, Rene's serving mate (as Claire Marshall)
Washington Xisolo ...
Sinkatutu Chief
Robert Whitehead ...
Prince Kazim
Zane Meas ...
Charles Pillai ...
Sello Sebotsane ...
Bazoo (Thompson's Thug)
Frank Opperman ...
Dan Robbertse ...
Thug #1
Frank Pereira ...
Thug #2
Tony Caprari ...
Ol' Man At Flea Market
David Germond ...
Stealing Man


The title says it all. There's a mix up involving stolen diamonds which Ernest has (naturally) made into a yo-yo and given to his would be girlfriend, Rene. But Rene wants a man of action, and doesn't think that Ernest fits the bill. After the bad guys come looking for the stolen diamonds and kidnap Rene, all of her fantasies come true as Ernest has to go to Africa to rescue her. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


And Africa Will Never Be The Same!


Family | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language, some mild violence and brief sexual innuendo | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 July 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ernest Afrikassa  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Did You Know?


This was Linda Kash's last Ernest film. She was also in Ernest Rides Again and Ernest Goes to School. All three times she played a different character. See more »


Follows Hey, Vern, It's Ernest! (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

To me, the weakest of the 'Ernest' films
9 July 2017 | by See all my reviews

Actually feel quite bad for saying this and criticising 'Ernest Goes to Africa', because this is coming from somebody, who while acknowledging that they had faults and were not great films, actually enjoyed most of the 'Ernest' films in a guilty pleasure sort of way and made a conscious effort to take them for what they are. Felt somewhat nervous reviewing the film and criticising it.

Mainly because of people getting the wrong idea about me. Am a long way from a detractor, a defender if anything, and actually wanted to like 'Ernest Goes to Africa' having liked all the theatrically released films while being a little harsher on the straight to video outings. Regardless of the critical reception for all the films being near-universally negative, while being more positively received by audiences. But partly because of the trend for critics to be bashed, with anybody offering as much as a criticism for any of the films being at the risk of being shouted down and made to feel that they're wrong, let alone dislike it.

This sort of attitude reeks of arrogance and has gotten significantly worse in recent years. Usually try to refrain from saying this or bringing this up, but this is becoming increasingly annoying, whatever has happened to respecting people's opinions regardless of whether you agree or disagree. It really isn't that hard to do.

Back to reviewing 'Ernest Goes to Africa'. 'Ernest Goes to Africa' is not without redeeming qualities, none of the 'Ernest' films, even the weaker ones, are unsalvageable. The best things about it are the music and Jim Varney. The music is full of rocking energy and affectionate nostalgia and really adds a great deal to the action in the film. It's hard still not to relate to Ernest, the sort of character that is a well-intended serial bumbler with a well-meaning big strong heart but always finding himself messing up without intention.

Varney is fun and likable in the role, to me there is enough freshness in the interpretation to not make it too tired or endless mugging and his performance does give the film much needed energy. A few parts are funny, personally liked the beginning and thought the highlights were the tribe scene and the character of Hey You.

However, faring worst are the story and Linda Kash. Even for an 'Ernest' film, where the story was never a strong suit, as well as being the thinnest story of the series, the story in 'Ernest Goes to Africa' is the series at its dumbest, most muddled and dullest, with a real lack of momentum due to some scenes (such as the over-stretched and poorly staged chases) going on for far too long. Complete with a ludicrously contrived ending that belongs more in a badly done cartoon. Kash has the single most annoying character of the whole series, especially in her treatment of Ernest who really did not deserve how she treated him, and she is atrociously irritating in the part.

The supporting cast are no better, with the villains being non-threatening and their actions are silly and repetitive. Varney is the sole bright spot in the acting stakes. 'Ernest Goes to Africa' is really not written well at all either. The humour works a few times but they only happen in glimpsing flashes rather than as an overall whole. Nobody expects a sophisticated script in an 'Ernest' film, that was well established with as far back as 'Ernest Goes to Camp' (that's right the one that started it all off) and it's like expecting a porn star to have acting talent. The script however is truly infantile with constant groans and head shakes than laughter, hearing some of it is enough to make one feel like their IQ has significantly dropped.

Likewise with the gags, which suffer from being childish and contrived and from lack of momentum from some going on too long. Pacing is dull and makes the short running time feel longer, while the direction is just as dull and bordering on ineptly clumsy. 'Ernest Goes to Africa' is the cheapest-looking of a series that have always been clearly low budget (though the theatrically released films didn't fare anywhere near as badly as the straight to video ones), the scenery looks fake and the camera work. One doesn't expect such low quality for a film from the late 90s with film-making generally become significantly advanced technically when done right overtime.

Overall, disappointing and to me the weakest of the 'Ernest' films. 4/10 Bethany Cox

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