Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tarzana, the Wild Girl (1969)

Rich Englishmen, Sir Donovan, had long believed his daughter had perished in a plane crash in Africa along with his wife and family, but when strange reports arrive over 15 years later of a local tribe crowning a white woman their queen (known as Tarzana), he sends a rescue expedition to Nairobi on the slim chance his daughter survived.

This Italian production finds Safari expect, Glen Shipper (resembling an older, taller Aaron Eckhart) accompanying Sir Donovan's representatives, Doris (Franca Polesello), and the sinister Groder (Franco Ressel, resembling a younger, thinner, Alan Rickman) in search of Tarzana.

They bring along a team of helpers including the tribal dancer/trail-leader, Kamala, grizzled hunter, Lars, lecherous villain, Fred, and Shipper's driver who is a fat black man with a machete, who dresses exactly like Gilligan from “Gilligan's Island.” Along the way, the expedition wanders through a cave that looks strangely like the same one from “The Boogens.” They also find the 15 year old plane wreckage and they ward off stock footage of a lion that magically turns into a “dead” stuffed lion on a sound-stage.

The real star of the film is Tarzana (Femi Benussi) herself, or more specifically, Tarzana's breasts. Much of the film consists of Tarzana walking around completely topless, wearing nothing but a jungle g-string, while posing on a sound-stage with an elephant, a baby lion (or was it a tiger?), and a particularly human-sounding monkey. Every once in a while she pauses to let out a bellowing toneless yell to summon various animals to her aide. To help give you an idea of how obsessed the movie is with Tarzana's breasts, in the climatic sequence at the end where Doris is appealing to Tarzana to come with her and Glen, she actually appeals to Tarzana's breasts by removing her own shirt and comparing her breasts to Tarzana's: "Look, we're the same.

That's pretty much everything you need to know about "Tarzana, the Wild Girl," an unremarkable movie that was a sometimes boring, yet ultimately enjoyable Weird Wednesday.

1 comment:

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