Thursday, May 02, 2013

The B-Movie Jungle

I received the new Bomba The Jungle Boy manufactured-on-demand DVD collection from Warner Archives yesterday. I've watched the first four of the six films in the set, and while I'll be posting a real review over on my DVD Late Show site early next week, I wanted to mention here how much I'm enjoying these Monogram B-movies.

While clearly shot on a shoestring budget, and a bit too leisurely-paced for their brief running times, I think these compare rather favorably to the Tarzan films that Sol Lesser was producing at the same time; they're clearly cheaper, but not much cheaper than the Lex Barker Tarzan entries. Johnny Sheffield, while still decidedly boy-ish of face, has a remarkably impressive adult physique worthy of a jungle man, and appears to be doing a surprising number of his own stunts.

In these first four films - Bomba The Jungle Boy, Bomba On Panther Island, Lost Volcano, and The Hidden City - there's a reasonable variety to the storylines, even if they do manage to include almost every convention (or cliché) of the jungle adventure film - and we wouldn't want it any other way. (Haven't seen anyone trapped in quicksand yet, though.)

I'm definitely looking forward to spinning the last couple films in Volume One, and hope that Volume Two will be coming soon.

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