Bomba, the Jungle Boy (1949)
Article 5742 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Ford Beebe
Featuring Johnny Sheffield, Peggy Ann Garner, Onslow Stevens
What it is: Double-Stuffed Safari-O
A man and his daughter are on safari in a studio jungle set. The daughter gets separated and finds herself in peril from stock footage. Can Bomba save her and return her to her father?
The Lentz guide includes this title, but I’ve come to accept that that does not necessarily mean anything, and given my own choice on the matter, I’d probably skip this one for its lack of real fantastic content. It was the first of a series of jungle shorts to star the former Boy of the Tarzan series, Johnny Sheffield, and given the way this sodden lump of a movie just sits there and lets its ghost of a plot unwind, I’m surprised that they even bothered with the sequels. This lethargic and uninspired movie may be one of the dreariest examples of the jungle flick; I suspect they only made a lot of them because the convenience of standing jungle sets plus the existence of a cornucopia of stock footage made them cost-effective entertainment. When the best thing you can say about a movie is that some of the scenes are in slow motion, you’re not in a good place. For jungle movie completists only.