Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, August 25, 2016


Tom Conway, Monique van Vooren, Raymond Burr
TARZAN AND THE SHE-DEVIL (1953). Director: Kurt Neumann.

Three characters named Vargo (Raymond Burr), Fidel (Tom Conway) and Lyra (Monique van Vooren) -- who I believe is never referred to as a "she-devil" in the film -- conspire to round up a herd of elephants for their ivory. Since they are entering dangerous territory and the beasts may be difficult to handle, the trio decide to get Tarzan's (Lex Barker) help by kidnapping Jane (Joyce Mackenzie). When the villains think Jane has been killed in a fire, a despondent Tarzan barely has the strength to fight back when he is made captive. Tarzan and the She-Devil certainly has an interesting cast: Barker makes a fine Tarzan; Mackenzie [Destination Murder] is more than adequate as his mate; Burr [Pitfall] is very good in a villainous role; and Tom Conway [A Night of Adventure] saunters through with as little energy as possible. A big problem with the film is that while van Vooren is pretty (she somewhat resembles Hedy Lamarr), and is an adequate in her role, she lacks that certain something that would really make her a "she-devil." If only Mari Blanchard or Marie Windsor had been cast in the part! There's a fairly exciting elephant stampede at the end in which the bad guys get a fitting comeuppance. Still, this is not one of the better Tarzan movies. This was Lex Barker's last appearance as Tarzan. All of the natives in the movie are white!

Verdict: Jane never even gives Lyra a whack in the face! **.


angelman66 said...

Wow, Monique Van Vooren goes WAYYY back...I have her in my DVD collection in the ultra-camp sex and bloodfest Andy Warhol's Frankenstein opposite the humpy Joe Dallesandro (who would have made a pretty decent Bomba the Jungle Boy himself!) in the early 1970s.
And I believe Monique is still with us, if I am not mistaken!

William said...

Dallesandro as Bomba -- the mind boggles! Dallesandro's best role was as a mobster on the TV series Wiseguy with the now forgotten Ken Wahl.