Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tarzan meets his match: Crappy Filmmakers

Tarzan and the Green Goddess (1936)
Starring: Herman Brix, Ula Holt, Frank Baker, Lew Sargent, and Ashton Dearholt
Director: Edward Kull
Rating: Two of Ten Stars

Tarzan (Brix) and his friends struggle to be the first to loot a Guatemalan idol from the natives of the Dead City, so the secret of ancient Mayan explosives don't fall into the wrong hands.

"Tarzan and the Green Goddess" is a condensed version of the second half of a serial titled "The New Adventures of Tarzan", and subsequently is a sequel to the condensed version of the serial's first half.

And it shows. Based on references characters make (along the lines of "let's hope the monsters of the Dead City aren't chasing us!") give the impression that a far more exciting adventure led up to the drab and boring events of this one.

This is perhaps the dullest Tarzan tale I've ever seen. Some excitement creeps in during the film's final third--when characters return to the Dead City and once again deal with the goofy cultists who live there--but it's too little, too late. A movie about the "gay gypsy party" that Lord Greystoke hosts to celebrate his return from Central America would probably have been more interesting.

The only positive thing I can find to say about this film is that Brix bears a close resemblance to one of my favorite Tarzan depictions in art--that from the pen of the great Russ Manning. He's also an okay actor, but he manages to ruin the performance by delivering a Tarzan "victory cry" that sounds like he's if he's taking part in a hog calling contest.

I think even the biggest fans of Tarzan can safely take a pass on this sorry effort.

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