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TARZAN TV SERIES ~ 1991-1994
Starring Wolf Larson as Tarzan and Lydie Denier as Jane
Reviews by Charles Mento
29. THE AMAZON WOMEN
30. THE KARATE WARRIORS
31. LION GIRL
29. THE AMAZON WOMEN
“He will be ours.”
“The woman may be trouble.”
“Then, we’ll kill her.”
“Wait’ll you meet Tarzan, now he’s special. Only no stories on him, all right?”
“There’s room for many secrets in Tarzan’s jungle.”
The first thing to notice is that the title is AMAZON WOMEN but the DVD box AND the menu say WOMAN. The title credits and the end title credits say WOMEN. It’s WOMEN.
Jack’s journal is Wednesday the 12th. 1992 has this in Feb and August. 1993 has this in May. 1997 has this in November. The journal tells us Jane finally convinced Tarzan to teach her bow and arrow skills. This time, the narration doesn’t give away the nature of the newest opponents of Tarzan. The title did that!
Tarzan once again sports a head band.
As Tarzan teaches her, he comes cheek to cheek with Jane and while we see he’s innocent in this, she definitely has some other kind of feelings going on and is almost bashful about it. This season seems to have only very slightly raised the question of their relationship being more than just friends but only subtly, if that’s the word and non-directly. Yet, it’s more than season one did.
“Jane has hidden talents.”
Jane takes off, racing Tarzan to the compound. Though he might be kidding/teasing, he says, “Jane runs much too fast for Tarzan,” but he sees a net trap and catches up to her and tosses to the side. She, jokingly, says that is not fair. They seem to be playing games as more than just friends.
A man has arrived with Roger (they’re near the jeep) and he claims six years he worked for Nature Monthly and even his mother was impressed. He sounds British and the closest he’s come to wild life was happy hour in Carrigans. Roger wants him to meet Tarzan but protective, sweetly, he tells the man no stories on Tarzan. When Tarzan arrives on Tantor and with Jane, the man says , “He’s special all right.” Uhm…
Roger introduces him as a Philip Jorel. Tarzan was going to take Roger down to the beach, the coast so he could do his mollusk survey but Tarzan claims this is not a good time. (BTW Amazon has sub titles for this otherwise I would not have understood Roger this time out!). Tarzan has been promising for weeks. He’s worried about the trap he found.
In a hysterical interaction, Roger calls Jane a liberated woman, Jane calls Tarzan a chauvinist and Tarzan tells her he taught her the bow and arrow so she would stop asking. She wants to go alone and let Tarzan go with Roger. She will have Philip with her. Tarzan tells her she hisses like an angry snake. Roger intervenes in their fight, “Never argue with a woman.” When he relents and will take Roger, she hugs him close and kisses on the cheek.
Packing, Roger tosses the deodorant.
Tarzan tells Cheetah something in chimp. Roger calls Tarzan, “Dr. Livingston,” a reference Tarzan does not know. Roger will tell him the story on the way. Jane tells Philip that they have identified over 60 species in a tree Roger calls the jungle Hilton. Philip finds a piece of primitive armor or weapon.
The two talk to Jack, who visits, and who tells them the legend of the Amazon women. Jane comments, “Here we go again,” about Jack telling stories and legends. This is a trait Simon did not seem to have. Jack says he got this first hand from the Tobuku tribe. He was buying ceremonial masks from them where he can get top dollar for them in the handicraft shop in Bandali. The base of his hut had charcoal drawing of Amazon women that was supposed to keep them safe from capture. The women come out of the jungle to take the strongest males in the tribe, wear gold, and want to produce offspring.
We see the parrot at Jane’s.
Roger’s hand has a bruise on it. He also has an ear ring on his right ear. He tells Tarzan, at the beach, that Tarzan wasn’t afraid hunters would get Jane but that Philip would. Tarzan says, “Tarzan is afraid of nothing.”
Roger says, “Ahh, you can’t fool ole Rog. You got the jungle hots for her, right?”
Tarzan at the beach has been underwater in a scene we haven’t seen because his hair is wet.
Roger tells Tarzan mollusks only have one sex. He also tells Tarzan to ask Jane out on a date.
Numar comes and we see, for the first time, Roger in the same frame as the lion.
Tarzan’s king size worry makes Roger worry. Soon, he’s doing the Tarzan call and swinging back toward Jane with Roger on his back! While swinging, Roger says, “You know how I hate this.” Roger seems to have a stunt double and will again in WAYWARD BALLOON.
The main Amazon attacks Philip. A second one has to come in to help her capture him. Jane uses her bow and arrow to stop them but a third uses a spear to choke her from behind. This one does not want to kill her because the ape man will be angry.
Philip tells them if they want him to go peacefully, they’ll leave her alone. Cheetah watches as they take Philip away. The lead one knocks Jane out with her spear.
A lion comes close to Jane and we see it and her in one frame. Tarzan and Roger arrive and wake her. Roger thinks the lion was just Numar but Tarzan tells him that is not Numar. Again, we see it and Roger in one frame for one of the first times in the series. Jane thinks the three Amazon women were almost as strong as Tarzan. Roger laments that he missed it. Tarzan says the Amazons are Tarzan’s friend (he uses the singular friend). Wolf looks like he has a cut on his neck.
One of the woman is named Dahla. She is the lead one and she took the idol and would not take orders from old women. She wants to be leader. The one who attacked Jane but refused to kill her thinks what they are doing is wrong. That one wants to go back and feels that they are cursed by taking the idol. Dahla tells her there is no curse and she would kill her if she tries to leave and tell the Elders where she is. They are sisters. The other one seems to be named Mootai.
Philip seems to be leaving a trail for Tarzan to follow? Or at least had some of his clothing ripped?
Philip, also, unrealistically, resists the Amazon’s plans for him, “This is kidnapping.”
Hang on a mo. Say, is that Amazon, seen from behind, topless as she leaves the dock and heads into the water? WHAT?
As two wash up (?), Tarzan takes to the trees and scouts the situation! Philip starts to bond with the “sister” one. Okay, that gets …adult quickly. She asks, “Why do you hide your body? You cannot feel the sun.”
THEN, he says, “Untie me and I’ll take off my shirt.” WHAT? She says she will take off his shirt for him! Double what??? We find out her name is Tamba. She comments he has hair on his chest and that it is nice. He says it runs in the family. She is doing to untie him but Dahla stops her. She tells Tamba it is forbidden to feel for men. Tarzan gathers berries, puts them in sheath and fires an arrow into their fire to distract them. Philip saw Tarzan in the grass.
In the longest and most violent and graphic fight of the series up to now, Tarzan fights Dahla and it appears the other two join in briefly, one to throw a spear, the other to be flipped (?). Tarzan return fires one’s spear. Tarzan turns his back on Dahla to untie Philip and is re-attacked. Dahla hits him with a rock to the head at one point and tries to use the point on her shield to stab him in the heart. Tarzan forces her up and then down, chokes her and then ends the fight. He tells Dahla she has beaten herself. It’s a pretty amazing fight sequence to be honest.
Tamba will go back because she has done wrong. He wants her to go with him and she can’t. He tells her if she ever changes her mind to let Tarzan know.
Tarzan pushes the wooden raft into the river which will carry them back to their tribe. What? He’s expecting them to be delivered to the other Amazon women and go there of their own will? Dahla does NOT seem tied up but is holding the idol. What?
Is Philip taller than Tarzan?
Tarzan beats sticks on a log. He tells the Amazons not to speak of Tarzan and the Amazons will not speak of Tarzan. Philip realizes Tarzan wants him to keep this secret too and he cannot use it as a story. Philip says all of a sudden he has to find a conscience. Seems to me he had it all along. In fact, I was ready to comment how against all grain of past visitors, with one or two exceptions, Philip was quite a nice guy and not a villain or have selfish motives.
Tarzan smiles at him.
Roger gave Philip photos of a lion cub.
A big fly buzzes Jane and Philip in the last scene.
Roger wants that next time, Philip gets pictures of Amazon women. Tarzan arrives on Tantor. Roger calls Tarzan as Philip leaves with Jack. A lion seems to be either menacing him or messing with him and he is not sure it is Numar. He thinks that lions should wear name tags. It is Numar but he passes out anyway. Jane and Tarzan seem to think this is very funny
SO…it’s strongly implied the outside world DOES NOT know about Tarzan (nor the Amazons).
NOT a bad episode and one that tries something different ahead of HERCULES and XENA. It really does work, though they are doing three Amazons so it’s on the cheap as I’m guessing they could not afford a whole tribe here. Still, the situations are well done and the tension between Tarzan and Jane works, Philip is, for once, a sympathetic “visitor” guest star. The only complaint is maybe that Roger is being returned to the goofball of season one but this is only production 204 so only fourth made in the season. Given this show, it really does work and is one of the better episodes. Frankly of the eight season two episodes I’ve seen so far (I saw but have not written up PRIMITIVE URGE among these), this season is superior to season one. The cast in both seasons perform ably and are engaging and one wants to be with them—meaning spending time with them is not the worst thing and if the plots are sometimes HUH? It doesn’t really matter much. Though this season the plots are a lot stronger and better put together (WAYWARD BALLOON not withstanding).
30. THE KARATE WARRIORS
“That one was a little bit too close.”
Jack’s journal is Wed the 3rd. 1992 has June. 1993 has Feb, Nov, and March. 1997 has Sept and Dec. 1998 has June. They’ve had a week of heavy rain.
Ben Hurst (the pilot) and Jim Miller (with a back pack) emerge from a plane crash unhurt. One of them noticed the treehouse near the lagoon and they hope whoever lives there can lead them to Jack Benton. They talked, on the plane, before it crashed about powder that will earn them a case of money and about getting to Jack’s air strip. They do a deal with a guy in customs and will do the trade in Bendali.
Jack’s airstrip does not look like the usual one and certainly doesn’t look like Simon’s. It has mud holes. Tantor pulls Jack’s plane from one hole under a wheel but the wheel snaps off. The treehouse looks like it is near a dock/bridge into the lagoon?
Tarzan wears his headband again, more noticeable when the two men approach the treehouse. Their dialog sounds dubbed.
A very large snake drops from a tree and knocks Tarzan into the water and he fights it, unravels it from himself, and surfaces with it captive and then lets it go as the men watch. He give a Tarzan yell.
Tarzan takes the men to Jane’s. Roger is supposed to be filling buckets with water but is reading a KUNG FU magazine and trying to show Cheetah to do the White Crane? Roger explains Tai Chi Kwan (?) to Tarzan. He claims one move is Grasping Eagle Speak. This is sort of a weird coincidence as the two men only have martial arts outfits to change into. Roger thinks the men are entered into the karate tournament in Nairobi that he read about. They explain their names are not entered yet because they are entering in the last minute and it will cost them a late entrance fee. Before dinner, Tarzan brings something for Jane for dinner and the two men will do a demonstration for Roger. One of them gives Roger Ninja fighting stars for him to hold. Tarzan says, “Stars belong in the sky. They should not be used for hurting each other.”
Hista is Tarzan’s name for the snake.
Roger tells the men Tarzan doesn’t need martial arts to kick anybody’s butt and that he can kick the two men’s butts, too. The snake Tarzan fought was a python. Tarzan tells the two men that Roger’s words were not meant as an insult. They believe Tarzan can take them, or so they say, because of what they saw him do with the snake fight.
Though IMDB says Cheetah takes powder from the plane, we do not see that. Jack drops a box which I guess is the men’s box? Where did that come from? Jack recognizes the insides of some poles (?) as drugs and gives it to Jane to analyze. She calls him and tells him it is ground rhino horns. He figures there are 20 pounds of that stuff hidden in those poles. Apparently he was shipping this, not with the men involved but for another man—a Mr. Maxitell? Who was willing to pay Jack extra. The rhino powder runs for 400 dollars a pound in Hong Kong as an aphrodisiac.
Jack worries he might be considered an accessory but Jane will vouch for him and the Bendali police know him better than that.
As Jack tries to call the police, the two men come in and Jim holds Roger hostage. Ben stops Jack radioing and tells him to take him to the powder which is now at Jane’s compound. BTW Jane reads National Geographic and has a guest tent for visitors.
Jim tells Jane to blame the killing of helpless animals on the poachers, all he does is sell the stuff to the highest bidder. Jim calls Roger “Mr. Kung Fu” and “Bruce Lee.” When Jim threatens Jane physically, Roger attacks him (we can see a stunt person with a wig is Roger for a bit). He flips Roger down but Jane gives him the jar of powder. He orders Roger to take the crate of it to the jeep. He will take Jane with him.
Cheetah gets to Tarzan, who seems almost a guest star in his own show as he’s not in this very much so far and when Tarzan hears Roger is in trouble he’s okay a bit but when he hears Jane is in danger, he races off.
At the airstrip and the plane, the two men tie up Jack, Roger, and Jane while setting dynamite to kill them. At first Jim seems to get the better of Tarzan but Tarzan eventually down him but then Ben gets the better of him and when Tarzan downs him, Ben throws a star at him but it hits Jim. To make these exciting scenes even more exciting, the tension builds as the dynamite is ready to burn down its wick and blow up!
During the fight, we see Wolf is very vascular. Especially when Ben gets him in a headlock. The fight is a good one and his most difficult in the series up to now and well staged and longer than most, so far longer than all! Then, Tarzan flips Ben off him and runs to get the dynamite and throw it. He leans into Jane VERY close into her and on her to protect her from the blast.
Sabor and her cubs are seen (stock footage?). The footage of the cubs looks suspiciously like footage from some other Tarzan production, maybe even the Ely show?
Jack handed Ben over to the authorities which sounds like Jim was killed by the star Ben threw.
Roger tries to show Jane a move called Repulses Monkey and Jane, reluctantly throws a punch at Roger, who wants her to. She hits him and laughs, thinking it very funny. Ha ha. Tarzan thinks Roger should change the name to Amuses Monkey as Cheetah enjoys it. Is a monkey a chimp? Is a chimp a monkey?
This ending is mean. AND…maybe I’m seeing things but does Sean have a tongue stud ?
This is production 205.
Besides the mean and unfunny end epilog, this episode seems to raise the stakes a bit and learns from the mistakes of season one. I like a show that learns from its mistakes and gets better season to season and this sure has. Every episode so far in season two has been better than most every episode in season one, other than WAYWARD BALLOON. Sure, there’s a long build up to the action here, unlike most other episodes but this does NOT rely on Jack, Jane, Cheetah, and Roger being dopes and getting themselves into stupid trouble. In fact, they’re all in top form here as is the script that gives them intelligent things to do. And lines to say.
The build up is worth it because the finale is very, very good. Wolf is believable here and Tarzan doesn’t win easily over these two and it’s good that they feature another death of a bad guy, though it’s understated. I really like this episode a lot.
Jack’s journal: Sunday the 23rd: 1992 has Feb and August; 1993 has May; 1997 has Feb, Nov, and March.
31. LION GIRL
Roger tempts Cheetah with a banana because he thinks Cheetah has taken his book THE LOST CITY OF JABAH and put it high up in a tree. He wants Cheetah to bring it down. “You know chimp stakes are a delicacy in some countries.” Roger climbs the tree and finds more of his stuff in the nest: a knife, his ray ban sunglasses, a baseball glove and hat, deodorant, and sneakers to mention just some. He drops the knife on himself and falls out of the tree, lands safely somehow and chases Cheetah. This is how he finds a jungle girl in a net and when he does, despite being upset with Cheetah warns him to stay back or stay “there.” When he frees her, she knocks him down and seems to try to bite him. She does scratch his face. She seems to go into a trance but is broken from it when Tarzan’s yell pierces the jungle. Tarzan, headband on, swings to Roger.
Jane is sarcastic about Roger’s story and asks him if he is making this up but Tarzan says, “Roger does not lie.”
Roger, from Tarzan’s reaction, knows Tarzan knows her and asks him to get him a date with her. Tarzan tells a questioning Jane (he dives into the water to avoid this conversation but they have it anyway) that seven summers have passed and he thought Rimi was dead. The lions called her Rimi.
Oliver Mills plays the teenager Tarzan in flashback. He’s more than passable as a teenage version of the Wolf Larson Tarzan.
He saves her from a croc (pulling his knife and diving in and in a what is happily not an extended croc fight but leads into a montage of the friendship that develops between Rimi and teen Tarz). When a lion comes at them, he is ready to fight it but she is friends with it. Tarzan seems to mention this lion by name and calls it Bantu and tells Jane two moons had come since he came to them.
Jane thinks the girl might have been having some kind of seizures. When Tarzan met her, she was standing in the river, apparently frozen in a stance, just like when Roger saw her. In this scene, Tarzan seems to be holding a wooden “man” or figure and he also had his knife out and so the implication is he just carved it?
In Roger’s tent, where Jane once more does not believe him that the lion girl took his book, Jane finds her locket which proves she was there. Jane sends Cheetah for Tarzan. A note about the chimps: they have started, a bit before this episode, to look different as if more than one of them played Cheetah, sometimes in the same episodes. I’m not sure from season to season or even ep to ep that the chimps are the same and maybe more than one is used in even one ep. They all function really well though and look really good.
Tarzan captures Rimi when she sneaks into Roger’s tent again. Roger is woken, he is shirtless in his bed.
Later, Jane and Roger question her and she tries to grab the locket back from Roger. There might be a picture of both parents in it, certainly of her mom.
Tarzan and Jane are adamant about their specific intentions. Jane wants to get her back to her parents and family and to get her medical help. Tarzan does not want Jane to force her and wants Rimi only to go if she wants. Jane believes Rimi can’t make up her own mind and make a good choice and believes she may be sick.
Rimi grabs the locket back from Jane and flees. Tarzan believes this is wrong and will not bring her back.
Jane seems to say, “She could have a seizure in front of a snake or fire.” WHAT?
Right after their heated fight about this, Tarzan swings in the trees…
While the stunt work is always good, here it is superior, both the close ups and medium shots of Wolf in the tree swing and the long shots of the stunt man.
We also see what look like bats in the daytime.
In some of these shots, Tarzan DOES NOT have the head band on but as he runs to stop Rimi from walking off a cliff, he does have the head band on. The back of the book she stole from Roger has a man’s name : Samuel Kaiser. Oddly, it is face up when Tarzan picks it up in close up but he has to turn it around in the medium shot?
The man is a famous archeologist but the publishing house that published that book, Jack finds out, went under six years ago and the man just seems to have disappeared.
Jack returns after Tarzan and Rimi talk on Tantor and has found out the Rimi’s father is en route to Bandali. Jack tracked him down to a dig in Tanzania. He will be there on Thursday (does that mean the date will then be the 27th?
Kaiser had been working some dig in Nakupu when the daughter, Rimi, really named Alice, was on a plane that just disappeared. Jack says maybe it was the first of those seizures. So…WHAT? Was Alice flying a plane? It sounds like Jack says HIS plane just disappeared. The subtitles on AMAZON say HIS plane. The police gave up the search after two weeks.
Jane tells Rimi they found her father. Roger appoints himself the adjustment teacher to Rimi and tells her about teenagers and shows her his tape player. Jane dunks her while giving her a bath, “Clean is good.” Roger asks if she needs any help. Jack shows her how to eat with a knife and fork. She scarfs the food anyway. Jane puts her in a skirt dress. She rips it as it feels tight. The dialog for Rimi sounds dubbed by someone else. She talks but it is stilted, too.
Honestly though, it is Roger who has the most outfit changes in this episode. I lost count but I’d say he was in maybe three to five different outfits or shirts.
Good lord: Roger seems to be reading ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE and teaching Rimi about Hollywood stars, saying Michelle Pfeiffer is cool but Rachel Welch is not because she is in her 70s, “You know but you really have to respect her for her body.” Gosh, that would never be allowed said today!
He gives her cola but she spits it out…some of it on him by accident.
At night, Jane finds Rimi sleeping with a lion (Bantu? Numa? Some other lion? A cub? The ones from last ep?).
Jane’s hut looks like a new version (certainly from season one, it is).
Rimi tells Tarzan she is not happy to leave so he takes her home: to the jungle where she can hunt and live without homes that do not have sun. She rolls around in the dirt. She does not like the dress.
Bantu rushes Tarzan and seemingly, the lion wants to eat something from his hand! Rimi stops Tarzan from stabbing Bantu (I don’t get it; in other episodes lions and he cooperate, especially Numa or Numar).
And frankly, this lion looks VERY old and sad. It’s sort of disturbing to see.
It’s also difficult to tell but in freeze frame it is NOT Wolf in a close up wrestling the lion, which can be forgiven.
When Tarzan explains about daughter and fathers and how Bantu will die to protect her, she realizes that Kaiser’s heart must be full of Rimi, too, and that fathers love with their heart not their eyes. She decides to leave.
Hmmm. Tarzan does not seem to have met Kaiser so how does he know how Samuel will treat Rimi?
It he assuming?
Before she leaves, she gives Roger back his book, “to remember.” She also has to be told by Jack to seat in the seat and not on the floor of the jeep. She thinks the jeep smells. As she pulls away, Roger tells her to send them a post card, come back and visit and not to date guys with sports cars.
Not bad but like most episodes, not much forward action either. It’s sort of just there. It does give us a heated debate between Jane and Tarzan, maybe their most heated but not much else. Tarzan vs the lion is sort of rare for this series and it sort of blows it with what appears to be a very old lion eating something from a tamer’s hand and quick close ups of the lion and one brief shot of the NOT WOLF LARSON tamer or whatever he is.
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