Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jungle Jim (1937)

Universal made good looking serials back in the day.  I was not familiar at all with Jungle Jim as a property, but had heard of several of the movies.

there are a ton of them, but he got his start in the funny papers, via Alex Raymond.  heck, I didn't even know that, though it seems like I should.  the serial begins with someone opening the paper to the comics and that's how the recap is done.  it works well, though it definitely became a cliche before too long.  I wonder how many serials actually begin this way?

interestingly, the serial doesn't mention the comic strip, just that it's based on the radio serial of the same name.  even then producers were ashamed of comics as inspiration.

Jungle Jim and Malay Mike head into Africa to help find an heiress, sort of.  she was lost as a baby and raised as the Lion Goddess.  the evil White Cobra and his sister use her to control a large tribe of Africans  she's also being looked for her by her greedy uncle, since she's an heir to millions.  all this and a vengeful volcano make for a pretty fun show.  the miniatures are quite nice, but the fights seem to be rather improvised on the spot, unlike Republic's excellent work.

and what the heck is a tiger doing in Africa?

No comments: