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

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Weissmuller and Bruce in a sticky situation
CANNIBAL ATTACK (1954). Director: Lee Sholem.

"Although I've educated (my ward Luora) in European ways, there are times when her jungle blood asserts itself." -- John King.

Ostensibly the 14th entry in the "Jungle Jim" series, Cannibal Attack ushers in some changes. Johnny Weissmuller is simply referred to as "Johnny," and the big chimp Tamba has been replaced by the smaller chimp Kimba. Otherwise everything is the same, What happened is that Columbia temporarily lost the rights to the Jungle Jim character, so Weissmuller simply played" Johnny Weissmuller" for the remaining three films in the series.

In this entry, a man named John King (Steve Darrell) falls under the spell of his beautiful native, but educated, ward, Luora (Judy Walsh). Johnny (Weissmuller) and his cronies try to figure out who is behind recent attempts to steal some valuable cobalt, and he encounters a tribe called the Shendi, formerly cannibals, who wear crocodile skins on their back and skulk around like animals. At one point Johnny and King's brother, Arthur (David Bruce of Can't Help Singing) are tied to poles as a hungry crocodile advances on them with open jaws. There is no romantic couple in this entry aside from King and Luora, but the latter makes advances on Johnny, for nefarious purposes only. One exciting sequence shows several natives and white men on a boat falling into the midst of thrashing and voracious crocodiles. [This picture should have used the title of the previous film, Jungle Man-Eaters.] Judy Walsh is sexy and gives a good performance of the bad girl who wants to be Queen of the Jungle.

Verdict: Not bad "Johnny Weissmuller" adventure. **1/2.

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