KARZAN, LE MAITRE DE LA JUNGLE (1972)
aka Karzan, il favoloso uomo della jungla, Karzan, the Fabulous Jungle Man
Article 3730 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-16-2011
Posting Date: 10-31-2011
Directed by Demofilo Fidani
Featuring Johnny Kissmuller Jr, Simonetta Vitelli, Ettore Manni
What it is: Tarzan clone
An expedition is launched into the jungle to locate a white man living like a savage.
With a title that so obviously gives away its source of inspiration and a leading man whose name is clearly a gimmick nom de plume, you’d think this movie would at least have a certain amount of tongue in its cheek or that there would be something about it that would make it different in tone from its model. But such is not the case; it’s a straightforward variation on the original Tarzan story, and a particularly dull one at that. The first half is pure Double-Stuffed Safari-O, and except for a tiny excerpt in a bit of film at the beginning, Karzan doesn’t appear until more than half the movie has passed. Karzan has a little bit in the way of super-strength, but hardly enough to compensate for the fact that the fantastic content consists of little more than the Tarzan legend. It’s one of those movies where hardly anything interesting happens. Still, three things stand out in the movie. One is that I wouldn’t choose a jungle guide whose first name is “Crazy”, no matter how well-recommended he comes. Another is that someone involved in this movie was addicted to shots of things coming right into the camera right before a jump cut, a trick that gets old very fast. And finally, the whole “Me Tarzan, you Jane” sequence here involves not Karzan and a woman from the expedition, but between Karzan’s female companion Shiran and the woman from the expedition (“You Shiran, I Monica.”). The ending is head-scratchingly unbelievable.