Sunday, June 11, 2006

DVD Review: Tarzan, The Ape Man

Welcome back!

Believe it or not, I never saw the 1981 Bo Derek feature movie Tarzan, The Ape Man until just the other day! After checking out Disney's animated take on Tarzan a few weeks back, I decided to check out this live action "classic". I was expecting it to be terrible and perhaps because of that low, low expectation, I didn't find it that bad!

OK - it's not Shakespeare, but what is these days? Bo Derek is there simply for the eye candy value - which isn't a bad thing! She has a lovely body, which we're lucky to see fully naked several times! And, her acting isn't that bad either (again, low expectations at work here ;-). For those who don't know the story...basically, Jane (Bo Derek) goes to see her father, who is on an expedition in Africa. They head off with a group of natives to explore an area with a large mountain. At the mountain, they encounter the "Tarzan yell" - and from that point on, it's just a matter of time before Tarzan (a chiseled Miles O'Keeffe) meets Jane and vice versa. There isn't too much story at this point (Jane's father goes to hunt for her after she's kidnapped by Tarzan). It's not until the tail end of the movie, when Jane and her father are captured by a tribe of savages, that things begin to pick up. In one particularly erotic/disturbing scene, Jane's naked body is covered with mud, by the savage women, in preparation for the tribe leader's pleasures. In the end, Tarzan rescues everyone and Jane stays with Tarzan, in the jungle, to live happily ever after.

It's not a perfect film, by far. A bit of overacting by Richard Harris as Jane's father grates a bit. The film is also too long - at just under 2 hours, it could have been cut by at least 30 minutes or so. I was impressed with the sets and scenery and especially the trained "jungle animals". They did some neat things! I thought it odd that Tarzan would be so chiseled - sure, I can see him being thin living in the jungle, but chiseled?

I'll give this one 2.5 vines out of 5! Rent it for fun - and a little peek at Bo in her prime!

What do you think of the Tarzan character? Like him, hate him or neutral? How about his portrayals in the movies and on TV? Share your thoughts by leaving some comments using the link below!

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