Tarzak Against the Leopards Men (1964)

aka Tarzak conro gli uomini leopardo, Ape Man of the Jungle
Article 3307 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-18-2010
Posting Date: 9-3-2010
Directed by Carlo Veo
Featuring Ralph Hudson, Rita Klein, Nuccia Cardinali
Country: Italy
What it is: Italian Tarzan clone

Zoltak must save explorers from a tribe of Leopard Men, who have given up their peaceful ways and turned to war.

No, my hand didn’t slip when I was typing the title of this one; the onscreen title is indeed TARZAK AGAINST THE LEOPARDS MEN. This makes me wonder if English was not the primary language of whoever wrote the title. Furthermore, whoever came up with the title wasn’t in sync with those doing the translation for the dubbing, for these people changed the main character’s name from Tarzak to Zoltak, probably to deemphasize the obvious fact that this movie is a Tarzan clone. The movie is so-so, but I found it more interesting to compare how this movie differs from the American Tarzan movies. For one thing, Zoltak here as Hercules-style strength, which increases slightly the fantastic content of the jungle tale. The movie has little in the way of animal footage, and Zoltak is not shown having any particular rapport with them. We also have a scene of the grateful white men coming to the rescue of the beleaguered Zoltak, something that I’ve not seen before. Most striking, though, is the ending, where the heroes seem to show more coldness and brutality than we’re used to; just consider the scene where one of the villains falls into quicksand and calls to one of the heroes for help. All in all, it proved to be an interesting viewing experience.

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