TARZAN, THE APE MAN (1959)
Article 5439 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Joseph M. Newman
Featuring Denny Miller, Cesare Danova, Joanna Barnes
What it is: Jungle reboot
An expedition in Africa in search of the elephant’s graveyard encounters a white man who swings through the jungle and says “oongawa”.
I think it’s fair to say that, given the generic title of this one and the fact that it features the first meeting between Tarzan and Jane, this was an attempted reboot to the 27-year old movie series. But really, if you’re going to reboot, you should put in a lot more effort than was exerted here. Any reboot that uses as much footage as this one does from the original TARZAN, THE APE MAN from 1932 (which was in black and white and is being incorporated into a color widescreen movie) as well as stealing the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan call and dubbing it into the movie is, to my mind, tacitly admitting that a reboot is pointless. This one is just weak, especially when we have the embarrassing scenes between Tarzan and Jane. And as for bad special effects, wait until you see the close-ups of the jaguar’s face during the scene where Tarzan wrestles the animal. Many of the sequels to the original series weren’t very good, but I think they were all better than this one. Depressing.