New Adventures

Directors: Edward A. Kull & Wilbur McGaugh

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

New AdventuresThe New Adventures of Tarzan (1934) is a twelve-chapter serial, later cut down & distributed as two shorter films.

The first is Tarzan's New Adventures made from the first two chapters plus a new ending, released in 1935; a version released in the UK was cut to 59 minutes.

The second feature film was called Tarzan & the Green Goddess (1938) consisting of scenes from chapters three through twelve, again with a little extra footage not in the full serial.

Disappointed in the "Me, Tarzan" school of monkey-man movies, deploring even Johnny Weissmuller, Edgar Rice Burroughs decided to bring his original Oxford-educated English lord Tarzan to the screen with himself as producer. But did he ever screw up!

Some things should be left to the professionals, & Burroughs was not personally a filmmaker, & did not have the inside connections to get the job done right. Filmed in Guatemala, whatever could go wrong went wrong, & Olympic medalist Herman Brix is justifiably not the first Tarzan you think of when you think of Tarzan.

But at least much of the action takes place in a lost Mayan city, with the entire lost race getting machine-gunned for viewers' gratification.

At one point Tarzan is held captive & tossed into a lion den. This is the middle-of-nowhere South American jungle where there certainly wouldn't be any African lions, let alone the wild giraffes & a rhino seen earlier in stock footage.

But even if someone had been importing these critters to South America, it wouldn't be sure doom to chain Tarzan to one end of the den & the lion to the other end of the den so that each is safe from the other.

Only by the good luck of the lion breaking its chain do we get to see Tarzan wrastling with a sweet tame lion that doesn't bite when he puts his arm in its mouth & Tarzan gets not even a painted-on scratch anywhere on his body.

Tarzan & the Green GoddessBrix gives the "Tarzan yell" which just doesn't compare to Weismuller's yodled version. When Brix screams Ahhhh! Mahhhh! Kneeeeee! sounds more like just blew out his kneecap.

Lord Greystoke's idiotic yell is out-sillied only by his journey out of Guatamala on a ship, whereon he is still decked out in his loin cloth as appropriate costume on the high seas (Oxford educated my ass).

A gem-encrusted idol known as the Green Goddess contains also the secret of a powerful new explosive. For this reason various factions want to grab it, & Lord Greystoke (i.e., Tarzan) must keep it from falling into the hands of those who would destroy the world.

Foolishly action-packed, the production values & conviction of the violence is ever so slightly higher than for the average childish serial.

No one ever questions if it wasn't wrong to have stolen a religious object from aboriginal peoples. Since it was the explosives recipe on a piece of paper inside the idol the good guys & the bad guys alike were after, seems someone should've thought to return the idol to its rightful owners after the formula was removed. I guess being an English Lord instead of a feral ape-man means Tarzan really doesn't think native peoples deserve any rights or protection.

This is a truly awful item whether in the feature versions or the serial version. The story was original to the film, but some of the ideas resurfaced in ERB's Tarzan & the Magic Men first serialized in Argosy in 1936, & Tarzan & the Elephant Men serialized in Blue Book in 1937, both novellas regarding Tarzan's visit to lost cities in South America, given book publication as Tarzan the Magnificent (1939).

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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