Die Blaue Hand / Creature with the Blue Hand (1967)

Die Blaue Hand (1967)‘It’s an ancient drawing of the secret passage; really simple to open, sir.’

A young nobleman is convicted of murder and sentenced to permanent incarceration in an asylum. One night someone helps him to escape and he flees to his ancestral family home. Meanwhile, a series of killings is being perpetrated by a cloaked figure using a mechanical blue hand…

There was a tremendous upsurge in the popularity of thriller writer Edgar Wallace in Germany in the 1960’s. Film producers flocked to turn these crime dramas into films, and quite often recruited director Alfred Vohrer for the job. Between the years 1961 and 1969, he made a series of 14 films based on the author’s work and often recruited the same actors to take part. Here we get regulars Harald Leipnitz as the police inspector and Klaus Kinski as both the prime suspect and his twin brother! Given that this was one of the later entries in this unofficial series, there is efficiency and a smart professionalism to the work, but there’s also the inevitable feeling of ‘production line’ entertainment.

After his trial, something is definitely a little off about the asylum where Kinski is sent to be held under the benign care of Dr Mangrove (Carl Lange). When Kinski’s pretty sister (Diana Körner) disappears, it becomes obvious that something far more sinister is going on than just a deranged Kinski having murdered the family gardener. Unfortunately, the plot lacks logic and loses focus when it decides to concentrate on Leipnitz’s investigation, rather than Kinski’s situation. Also later story developments push credibility beyond the point where the audience can successfully suspend their disbelief. Just how did Kinski get convicted in the first place? I hope Leipnitz wasn’t in charge of the original investigation!

Performances are generally good and Vohrer does manage to create some atmosphere with the gloomy interiors of the old dark house where the vast majority of the action takes place. However, the entire ‘blue hand’ element of the story comes over as little more than a gimmick, and the scenes with Körner trapped in a cell with rats and snakes may be the best thing here, but they look like they belong in a different film.

Die Blaue Hand (1967)

🎵Pleased to meet you… Hope you guess my name🎶

Perhaps those adapting Wallace were to blame but he was mostly active from 1921 to his death in 1933, so it may simply be that his work hasn’t stood the test of time. Also he was incredibly prolific, writing over 170 novels, and 900 short stories as well as 18 stage plays! So quality control may have been an issue… I can’t claim to have read any of them myself but, after having watched several of these film adaptations coming out of Germany in the 1960’s, l’m not in any hurry to start…

20 years after its original release, father and son Walter F Disbrow (Snr & Jnr) added extra scenes and put it out as ‘The Bloody Dead’ to general disappointment and derision. Kinski went onto fame (and some level of infamy!) after career making turns working with director Werner Herzog, including the title role in ‘Nosferatu, the Vampyre’ (1979). Körner landed a major supporting role in Stanley Kubrick’s gorgeous but sterile ‘Barry Lyndon’ (1975). As for Wallace? Well, the movie production line may have slowed down a bit over the last half century, but there’s still an occasional adaptation, and having written the script for the original ‘King Kong’ (1933), he still gets a credit each time the giant ape roars across our screens…

A middling Euro-thriller with some interesting elements but let down by a script that pushes the credibility envelope a little too far…

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Curse of the Black Widow (1977)

Curse of the Black Widow (1977)‘Well, you didn’t come in here to eat an octopus.’

A man is killed in the car park of a bar after leaving with a mysterious woman. His girlfriend is suspected as her husband died of the same, unusual injuries several years before. She hires a local private eye to investigate, but he becomes more and more convinced that a supernatural agency is at work and that her family are at the centre of the mystery…

Late 1970s made for television movie that debuted on the ABC network. Producer-Director Dan Curtis had been mining the horror genre on the small screen for some years after initial success for the same network in the 1960’s with the supernatural soap opera that was recently revived as ‘Dark Shadows’ (2012) by Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Curtis had also offered up probably the best film adaptation of ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ (1968) which was an unlikely triumph for star Jack Palance, and an interesting stab at ‘Dracula’ (1973) with the same actor. But he’s probably best known as the brains behind cult show ‘Kolchak: The Night Stalker’ and the pair of TV movies that introduced that character.

And here it seems highly likely that he was trying to recreate the winning formula of that last show. Instead of Darren McGavin as a rumpled, investigative reporter facing off against dark forces, we get former film star Tony Franciosa as a cock-sure private detective, smirking his way through verbal confrontations with hard- bitten police sergeant Vic Morrow. Of course, the powers that be aren’t too keen on our hero barging his way into their investigation, mainly because there’s been a string of these strange killings and toxicology reports have found large quantities of spider venom in the victims. It all seems to be linked to the wealthy Lockwood family, in particular sisters Donna Mills and Patty Duke Astin.

Curse of the Black Widow (1977)

Her new coloured contact lenses weren’t quite what she’d expected…

Despite the ridiculous premise, this is all played completely straight, which does lend it a certain camp value, even if the drama never becomes remotely gripping. The SFX are predictably laughable, and the so-called ‘twist’ ending couldn’t be any less surprising. Overall, there’s a typical ‘made for television’ feel, with a sense of ‘production line’ entertainment, and a blandness that often afflicted such projects, even those of a weirder nature.

What is remarkable, however, is the cast that Curtis managed to assemble for this project. It might have been 20 years since Franciosa starred opposite Paul Newman and Orson Welles in ‘The Long Hot Summer’ (1958) and over a decade since he shared the screen with Frank Sinatra in ‘Assault On A Queen’ (1967), but he was still a ‘name’, even if he was appearing more on TV than the big screen at the time. Similarly, Astin was a household name in the U.S. after her teenage sitcom ‘The Patty Duke Show’ which was a great success in the mid-1960s. Curtis also found supporting roles for ‘Lost In Space’ Mom June Lockhart, comedian Sid Caesar, ex-beefcake star Jeff Corey and, most surprisingly, June Allyson. She’d been a bona fide Hollywood star in the 1940’s and 1950’s playing ‘girl next door’ types in films opposite James Stewart (‘The Glenn Miller Story’ (1950)), Gene Kelly (‘The Three Musketeers’ (1948)) and Humphrey Bogart (‘Battle Circus’ (1953)).

Given the plot and obvious opportunity for cult status, overall this is a disappointing effort; lacking style, ambition and even a sense of fun.

Bomba, the Jungle Boy (1949)

Bomba, the Jungle Boy (1949)‘Fire grows on trees in there. Elephants have two heads.’

A father-daughter team of filmmakers go on safari in Africa, but his determination to shoot ground breaking footage leads them into danger. His daughter becomes separated from the main party and can’t find her way back. Fortunately, she runs into a strange teenage boy, who has spent all his life in the jungle…

After a decade long career as ‘Boy’ in MGM’s ‘Tarzan’ series, Johnny Sheffield was let go on the simple grounds that, at the age of 16, he was too old for the part. But a new acting challenge awaited him, courtesy of low-budget Monogram Studios who cast him as the lead in a series of 12 pictures. As ‘Bomba, the Jungle Boy’. Based on a series of books allegedly written by someone called Roy Rockwood (it was actually a stable of writers), these veered close to the Edgar Rice Burroughs template, but apparently not quite close enough to provoke legal action.

This is an origin story of sorts, with Bomba already firmly established in his jungle home, but unknown to the outside world. Along comes a safari led by Charles Irwin, who is showing the sights to old friend Onslow Stevens (grumpy) and his teenage daughter Peggy Ann Garner (cute). He’s a famous photographer and filmmaker, and she’s following in his footsteps. So, there’s little surprise when the actors start pointing off screen at badly mismatched pieces of wildlife footage and get their cameras out. We see flamingos, giraffes, monkeys, hippos, elephants, gnu, rhinos, zebras, jumping impalas, the list is endless. Yes, it’s pretty much all that happens for the first 20 minutes of the movie. We even get to see them showing shots of slow-motion giraffes to Irwin back at his hut. Not great when the whole film runs about ten minutes over the hour!

Eventually, the actual plot kicks in, but it’s hardly worth the wait. Garner gets lost, Sheffield finds her, after an initial spat they become friends, Stevens and Irwin get in a bit of bother at the climax with some lion hunting natives, who appear courtesy of yet more miles of scratchy stock footage. Sadly for Bomba, there’s no ‘Blue Lagoon’ type developments when he’s alone with Garner in the jungle. She’s far too respectable for anything like that, although does change her clothes for a (conveniently tailored) leopard skin dress after she tears her skirt on a plant. Why Sheffield possessed such a garment is a bit of a worry, but she doesn’t seem unduly bothered. Obviously, there’s very little drama in such an inconsequential storyline and small-scale series of events, and the project betrays its studio setting and lack of budget at every opportunity.

Bomba, the Jungle Boy (1949)

Bomba hadn’t really got the hang of the ‘girlfriend’ thing…

Plus points? Well, at least Stevens looks genuinely tired and sweaty from traipsing through the jungle, and we are spared the natives getting restless and deserting because the land is taboo. So at least some clichés were avoided. Some credit must also go to Sheffield who actually looks engaged here, rather than flat out bored as he often appeared in later entries in the series.

Experienced character actor Irwin is also good value, his CV containing appearances in far more notable projects such as ‘The Wizard of Oz’ (1939), ‘The King and I’ (1956), ‘Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man’ (1943), ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’ (1938), ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ (1942) and ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’ (1935).

Garner also does the best with a terribly underwritten part, but the fact that she’s here at all is a bit of a puzzle. Less than five years earlier, she’d won a special ‘juvenile’ Oscar for her appearance in Elia Kazan’s classic ‘A Tree Grows In Brooklyn’ (1945)! Before being honoured by the academy, she’d also played opposite an unbilled Elizabeth Taylor as the child version of the title character in the Orson Welles-Joan Fontaine big studio production of ‘Jane Eyre’ (1943). After her encounter with ‘Bomba’ she pretty much retired from films completely, concentrating instead on the Broadway stage and making frequent one-off appearances on network TV, principally on ‘anthology’ and ‘playhouse’ type shows.

Finally, spare a thought for poor Johnny Sheffield. If he was disappointed with this production, he still had 11 more appearances as ‘Bomba’ to come. Still, it was a living, I suppose…

The Three Fantastic Supermen/The Fantastic Three (1967)

‘Watch out! One of the three Supermen is following in a Yellow Cab!’

Two thieves who rob high-profile targets wearing special bulletproof costumes are joined by a third member for their latest heist. Their plan to rob a foreign embassy of millions of dollars goes off without a hitch, until they realise that their new colleague has his own agenda…

Cheerful 1960’s comedy-adventure that combines elements of the Superhero genre, James Bond and the caper movie. Producer-Director Gianfranco Parolini (hiding under his usual alias of Frank Kramer) had previously teamed actors Tony Kendall and Brad Harris in decent Bond knock-off ‘Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill’ (1966). That movie launched them in the successful ‘Kommissar X’ spy film series, which ran until 1971, but, in the meantime, Parolini put the performers together again here.

Kendall (real name Luciano Stella) is the leader of this criminal enterprise, always ready with a knowing smirk, smart chat for the ladies, and a useful pair of fists. Sidekick Aldo Canti is an acrobat who can’t speak but giggles hysterically throughout, in what is a somewhat puzzling artistic choice. Their schemes are backed by boffin Carlo Tamberlani, who has invented their bulletproof suits (and capes!), a self-driving car and a ‘Universal Reproducer’ (of which more later). He also has a pretty young niece, of course, played by Bettina Busch, which gives rise to all sorts of kidnapping possibilities for chief bad guy Jochen Brockmann and his gorgeous sidekick Sabine Sun. Kendall also runs a spy school for beautiful women, and may be an English nobleman working for British Intelligence (although, like a lot of plot points, that isn’t exactly clear).

When our heroic duo become a trio for their latest blag, they’re joined by American Brad Harris. Unfortunately, it turns out he’s an FBI Agent and he’s after their swag because he suspects it to be counterfeit (and a little bit radioactive). That’s because it’s been created by Tamberlani’s ‘Reproducer’ which has ‘fallen into the wrong hands’ as these great inventions always do. The villainous Brockmann doesn’t want to stop at such petty larceny though, conscripting Tamberlani (through the unexpected medium of kidnapping his pretty niece) to modify his device to create copies of people. Yes, he needs zombie soldiers for his army so he can conquer the world!

This is all supremely silly, of course, and the film proceeds at the sort of helter-skelter pace designed to both maximise the entertainment value and paper over the gaps in the screenplay, which is sometimes more than a little incoherent as well as deliberately ridiculous. Unfortunately, Parolini doesn’t have the sort of budget necessary to achieve the swashbuckling style he’s aiming for, with both fight choreography and action set pieces lacking in execution and thrills, although there is some decent stunt driving.

Three Fantastic Supermen (1967)

Audiences thought the ‘Dance Off’ was too close to call…

Perhaps the most surprising aspect is the presence of Canti. Most of his acrobatic feats are performed in a mask, so it could have been a stunt double, but it does seem he had at least some gymnastic ability. Why is this a surprise? Well, apparently, Canti was a real-life criminal with ties to the Mafia. ln fact, he was a full-time resident of the local prison during production but was allowed out during the day to film his scenes!

Two sequels followed; ‘3 Supermen in Tokio’ (1968) and ‘Supermen’ (1970). Kendall didn’t appear in either, but Harris showed up for the last of the short series. Unsurprisingly, Canti was a no-show on both occasions too, his role being taken by Sal Borgese, who turns up here as an FBI Agent with a bazooka!

Good, undemanding fun if you can look at the other way and forgive the technical deficiencies.

Blood of Ghastly Horror (1966/1967/1972 etc.)

Blood of Ghastly Horror (1972)‘Patience, Akro, the replenishment of your potion is forthcoming.’   

A deformed man goes on a rampage in the city at night, killing a number of people including two policemen. The detective assigned to the case recalls a similar incident from a few years prior, when a brilliant scientist created a psychopathic zombie by experimenting on an injured Vietnam veteran.

Mad medico John Carradine just wouldn’t quit. Not content with creating ape women, Astro Zombies and bulletproof phantom dogs, he was at it again here, using a construction site hard hat and lots of curly cables to…um…do something or other sciency that…err…turns his patient into some kind of human fiend. But that’s all in the past, as retold in a lengthy flashback by ex-Disney child star Tommy Kirk (desperately trying to look like a cool cop, and failing spectacularly). According to him, this monster man was also part of a criminal gang, and we see them bungling a jewellery heist.

Before Kirk can finish the tale, however, he gets a visit from the fiend’s ex-wife (and the director’s actual spouse) Regina Carrol. As expected, she wants to talk about her nightmares of drums and strange voodoo rites. Rather than regard this as a spectacular waste of police time (as you might reasonably think), Kirk gets quite excited as her ex’s father (Kent Taylor) actually disappeared in Jamaica years before while studying telepathy and local supernatural stuff. Could he be behind the new wave of killings, or is new fiend Akro (Richard Smedley – think Michael Myers without the personality) simply acting alone? Carradine certainly doesn’t seem to be involved as he never leaves his lab, which actually looks more like someone’s bathroom than the room in the hospital it’s supposed to be. Probably because of the tiled walls and what looks like a large, blue shower curtain.

By this point, of course, any sneaking suspicions that the audience might have held that this is a few unfinished projects badly cobbled together into an incoherent mess have been confirmed about ten times over, although that assumption does turn out to be slightly inaccurate. But the flashbacks to the original case crop up almost randomly, and are so protracted that it’s often hard to follow the story (such as it is), and remember when the action we’re watching is supposed to be taking place.

Shot in ‘Chill-o-rama’ and ’Metrocolor’ (stop laughing at the back!) producer-director and co-writer Al Adamson’s film is actually a re-shot version of one of his much older efforts, a crime flick called ‘Psycho A Go-Go’ (1965). The hook of that project was that one of the criminal gang involved (Roy Morton – truly terrible) had an implant in his head which turned him into a soulless killer. Audiences weren’t impressed, but Adamson wouldn’t let it lie, adding new footage a year later (probably the sequences with Carradine) and putting it out as ‘Fiend with the Electronic Brain’. He was such a perfectionist, though, that he added more new scenes with Kirk, Carrol and Taylor in the early 1970s and gave it a brand new title: ‘The Man with the Synthetic Brain.’! It also hit theatres at different times as ‘The Fiend with the Atom Brain’, ‘The Man with the Atomic Brain’, ‘The Love Maniac'(!) and ‘Blood of Ghastly Horror‘, the title by which it’s more commonly known today.

Blood of Ghastly Horror (1972)

Motorhead’s new lineup were having problems with Lemmy again…

If all this tinkering seems like a bad thing, it’s probably a mercy in a way, because some of the original ‘crime’ footage is so boring that audiences probably suffered serious brain damage. Adamson’s shot framing is also truly eccentric, with some actors shot in such extreme close-up that we only see half their faces. Although this could be an aspect ratio issue with current prints, it only occurs in a couple of scenes. Elsewhere, the action scenes are poorly staged, and the murders unconvincing and crude.

Unbelievably, the director of photography was Vilmos Zsigmond (hiding under the name William) whose later career included such little known flicks as ‘Deliverance’ (1972), ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ (1977), ‘The Deer Hunter’ (1979), ‘Blow Out’ (1981), ‘The Witches of Eastwick’ (1987), ‘Maverick’ (1994), some later projects for Woody Allen and many other famous titles. How did he go from lensing Adamson’s bargain basement atrocity ‘Horror of the Blood Monsters’ (1970) to working with Robert Altman on ‘McCabe and Mrs Miller’ (1971) barely a year later, and then onto gigs with Spielberg, De Palma, Don Siegel, Michael Cimino and directorial projects by actors Sean Penn and Jack Nicholson is one of life’s great mysteries. But there’s little doubt it was well deserved after toiling in low budget hell on such films as this, ‘The Nasty Rabbit’ (1964), ‘Satan’s Sadists’ (1969) and ‘Hot Rod Action’ (1969). It’s a fair bet that he’s the only person involved with an Al Adamson movie that went on to win an Oscar.

Such a patchwork enterprise is bound to have its limitations, of course, but Adamson’s film manages to transcend them, becoming something so truly abysmal that it’s a classic of bad filmmaking. Watch it at your peril.

Beyond the Moon (1954)

Beyond the Moon (1954)‘Jiggling Jupiter, it’ll be super stellar when we get back on Earth once more!’

Top Earth scientist Professor Newton has defected to the unfriendly regime on the planet of Ophiucius with his young ward, Bobby. Ace Space Ranger Rocky Jones is unconvinced of the boffin’s sincerity and suspects that he’s being held against his will. He mounts a mission to investigate, intending to rescue the professor and the boy if necessary.

‘Rocky Jones, Space Ranger’ was an American, syndicated TV show that ran for 39 episodes in the mid-1950s. Each story played out over three 25-minute episodes, which allowed for shows to be combined into features, which were then re-titled and re-broadcast.

This one is an origin story of sorts, being an edit of the first three shows in the series. Most of the elements are already in place, though, with Rocky (handsome Richard Crane) and sidekick Winky (wacky Scotty Beckett) patrolling the cosmos in their Orbit Jet XV-2 on behalf of the United Worlds of the Solar System (see ‘The Federation’ on ‘Star Trek’!) Back home, the organisation is represented by Secretary Drake (Charles Meredith) whose headquarters seem to be in the Palomar Mountain Observatory (at least from the outside). Rocket take-off is regularly achieved from what looks like an electrical power station and mission control is bypassed by having Crane shout at a bloke in overalls who throws a few switches.

Stepping off the ladder from their rocket after a routine patrol, our heroes are almost flattened by a speeding car driven by fetching blonde Vena Ray (Sally Mansfield). I can almost see the headlines now: ‘Space Rangers run over in car park!’ (or should that be ‘rocket park.’) Anyway, Mansfield is in a hurry to plead for Prof Newton (Maurice Cass) and his annoying ward (Robert Lyden) because she doesn’t believe in their declaration of loyalty to Ophiucius. Her only connection to them is that the Prof once handed her a medal for something or other, but she’s very insistent and Crane takes her side because he thinks it’s all a bit fishy anyway.

Beyond the Moon (1954)

‘Don’t worry, I got these off ebay’

Unfortunately, Crane’s less supportive of Mansfield when she wants to join his crew for the rescue mission. After all, she’s ‘only a woman’, despite being a qualified navigator and fluent in the Ophiucian language. Of course, later on, we find that these accomplishments aren’t important at all, as she doesn’t do any navigation (perhaps she couldn’t master the pencil and paper), and all the Ophiucians speak English anyway.

In-flight entertainment mainly consists of some of the usual cheerful sexism from Crane who tells Mansfield to knit him a sweater! (groan) To make things worse, despite her initial outrage at the suggestion, she actually tries! (double groan). But, of course, she can’t manage it because she’s forgotten how, what with all that silly navigation training and trying to be as good as a man. Women, eh? Know your place.

Anyway, once we’re though the Ophiucian Curtain (spot the subtle ‘Cold War’ subtext!), we’re touching down on the enemy world and Crane is tangling with the machinations of alien potentate Cleolanta (the fabulous Patsy Parsons). As with most of these ‘Rocky Jones’ features, she’s the only real highlight as she smirks and schemes and throws tantrums like a spoilt child. All the while dressed for a formal evening dinner party in dangly earrings and tiara! She has the hots for the hunky Crane, of course, (maybe she likes patronising lunkheads) but ends up frustrated at every turn, both romantically and politically.

There are few surprises here, of course. Story development is entirely predictable and mostly consists of dialogue scenes in barely-dressed sets, and a few wobbly SFX of the cardboard variety. Having said that, there is probably more location filming than in the rest of the series combined (not that that’s saying much), and a spy at Space Ranger HQ does provide further subtle warnings about the 1950’s Commie invasion of the U.S.A.

Combined with the gloriously dated trappings, the old fashioned attitudes do makes for some harmless fun in these (hopefully!) more enlightened times, and this juvenile space opera was one of Science Fiction’s first steps on the small screen. It raises the occasional smile if you put your critical faculties to one side.

Devil Goddess (1955)

Devil Goddess (1955)‘This land taboo! You go!’

Screen legend Johnny Weismuller is recruited by a scientist and his daughter to help find an old colleague who has been lost in the African jungle for seven years. Rumour has it that he is being worshipped as a god by one of the tribes deep in the interior, and that he is conducting experiments of a supernatural nature…

After turning in his loincloth at the MGM gates in 1948, it would have been no surprise if Johnny Weismuller had backed away from the movie business and gracefully retired. He’d enjoyed 17 years as the undisputed ‘King of the Jungle’ and he certainly was no actor. He proved as much when mixing it up with Larry ‘Buster’ Crabbe in Cajun confrontation potboiler ‘Swamp Fire’ (1946), his one attempt at a different kind of role. Unfortunately, Weismuller had considerable financial commitments (four ex-wives may have been involved!) and so it was off to Columbia to star in a series of 16 pictures as ‘Jungle Jim’ with legendary skinflint Sam Katzman producing. By the time this final entry rolled around, Katzman had even lost the rights to the character’s name so Weismuller played exactly the same part…only as Johnny Weismuller!

Typically, this picture strays very little from the previous ones in the series; they had a formula and they were sticking to it. Weismuller is roped in to a mission by a beautiful woman (in this case Angela Stevens) which involves travelling to somewhere forbidden where the locals are aggressive but misguided, usually by superstition or the villain of the piece. There is always something valuable hidden nearby (it’s usually jewels but, almost as often it’s Nazi treasure) and there’s some faceless and unscrupulous white men out to get it. There’s some fisticuffs and a gunfight or two as Jim (sorry, Johnny!) tangles with them and everything is tied up just as the local Commissioner and his native troopers arrive.

On this occasion the natives are in thrall to Ed Hinton and his collection of smoke bombs as he lives it up as the local volcano god. He’s no longer playing with a full test tube, but does at least look after the string of nubiles that the local witchdoctor insists on providing, rather than using them as his personal harem. At least, we assume he doesn’t do anything untoward. Perhaps best not to go there. The film certainly doesn’t. Anyway, he has a few beakers on a bench in a cave so he must be doing experiments. Or something. Although there’s no evidence of anything supernatural, of course.

Devil Goddess (1955)

‘Wipe that stupid smirk of your face, you big ape!’

Production values aren’t high, which is no surprise on a Katzman picture, and the sacrificial ceremony bears an uncanny resemblance to the one carried out in ‘Voodoo Tiger’ (1952), the 9th film in the series (although it could have been lifted from something even earlier, I guess!) Johnny is assisted by chimpanzee Kimba (replacing Tamba in a crucial casting change), although it is fair to say that neither is fit to pick the fleas off Cheetah.

Hinton inevitably reminds the audience of ‘Tim the Enchanter’ from ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ (1975), even if he doesn’t possess such impressive headwear, and none of the library of wildlife stock shots are as deadly as the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog.

Columbia had already moved into television by the mid-1950s and so the decision was made to relocate the character to the small screen. Katzman was not involved, so the rights to use the character’s true name were successfully renegotiated with King Features, and ‘Jungle Jim’ debuted a few months later, running for 26 episodes. When it was over, Wiesmuller finally called it a day and worked his celebrity into a long career of making personal appearances.

Oh, and the title of this film? Completely meaningless. Par for the course for a Katzman production!