TARZAN AND THE SHE-DEVIL (director: Kurt Neumann; screenwriters: Carroll Young/Karl Kamb/based on the characters of Edgar Rice Burroughs; cinematographer: Karl Struss; editor: Leon Barsha; music: Paul Sawtell; cast: Lex Barker (Tarzan), Joyce MacKenzie (Jane), Raymond Burr (Vargo), Monique van Vooren (Lyra, the She-Devil), Tom Conway (Fidel), Michael Grainger (Philippe Lavarre), Henry Brandon (M’Tara, Lycopo Chief); Runtime: 76; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Sol Lesser; RKO; 2008)
“The villains Raymond Burr and Monique van Vooren pump some life into it.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Less action than the usual Tarzan in the series makes this one a bit of a bore, but the villains Raymond Burr and Monique van Vooren pump some life into it and in the end it’s like all the other Tarzans. It’s the fifth and last Tarzan flick for Lex Barker (he grew tired of the role), who is replaced by Gordon Scott. He would make six Tarzan films. Director Kurt Neumann (“Mohawk”/”The Fly”/”Rocketship X-M”)bases the story on ivory poachers, who try to force Tarzan to help them kill a herd of elephants. Joyce MacKenzie plays Jane for the first and only time.The screenwriters are Carroll Young and Karl Kamb.
In the Dark Continent the seductive femme fatale Lyra (Monique van Vooren) finances amoral ivory poacher Vargo (Raymond Burr)to work for her to get ivory, while her dissolute hubby Fidel (Tim Conway) hires the native bearers and is responsible for trading the ivory. The brutish Vargo plans to double-cross Lyra and keep all the profits, as he makes a secret deal with oily French hunter Philippe Lavarre (Michael Grainger) to steal the ivory and turn it over to him for sale to another source.
When Fidel can’t supply Vargo with enough strong bearers, Vargo enslaves the Lycopo tribe and forces them to carry the valuable tusks. Their friend Tarzan frees them, but the Vargo team re-captures the tribe and holds Tarzan hostage. Though whipped, Tarzan refuses to help Vargo and mourns the death of Jane who he believes died when their treehouse home was razed by Fidel. When Lyra, the She-Devil, turns up with an alive Jane and orders Tarezan to call the elephant herd into a specially built stockade or else Jane dies, Tarzan causes the herd to stampede and crush the baddies. Tarzan and Jane embrace, and their playful chimp Cheetah applauds.
REVIEWED ON 8/1/2011 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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