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With the success of Tarzan, a rival pulp magazine created “Sheena.” Also raised in the jungle, though the white woman was no relation to Tarzan. This movie, coming out the same year as “Supergirl,” was somewhat better. Tanya Roberts plays the blond jungle queen, fighting corrupt African colonial officials and mercenaries. Maltin calls this one a bomb, “Mother Nature forgot to endow her with a script. Supposed to be campy, but it’s just plain awful.” The movie plods along with little action, and the one fairly exciting scene has a slow music soundtrack that seems to have been dubbed in from some other movie.
Ted Wass, Donovan Scott, Elizabeth of Toro, directed by John Guillermin
117 minutes, rated PG, seen recently on American Movie Classics
Now here’s Joe Bob Briggs, who likes it a lot more than Supergirl:
Tanya Roberts, whose sub-atomic breasts resulted in the only topless picture to get a PG
rating, stars as the zebra-riding Valley Girl in Zambooli Land. It seems
that Sheena's parents were turned into Mrs. Paul's fish sticks by getting
stuck inside a volcano, but Sheena managed to run the heck out of that
stewpot and end up living with some National Geographic-type Negroes with bones in their noses and
those saggy potato-bag knockers only found in places where medical care
consits of sticking people in the ground up to their necks and then
running around kicking dirt in their teeth until they're well. Sheena
takes a bath. (Better than the bath she took in BEASTMASTER
and about the same as the bath Bo Derek took as Jane in "Tarzan the Ape Man.")
While Sheena's taking the bath, a reporter flies over in his airplane and
decides he'd like to sign up for African water polo. Then this old woman
who's Sheena's stepmother heads off to the city to tell the king he's
about to get killed by the evil prince who used to play for the NFL, but
before she gets there this moon-face American drinks poison and drowns in
his oatmeal. Then Sheena rides the zebra. Then the king makes a toast to
the Super Bowl and while he's talking a Zambooli shoots him with a poison
arrow and he falls in the potato salad, and they arrest Sheena's slack mama
for the crime. Sheena sends some brainwaves to an elephant, and the
elephant crashes through some trees and breaks down a fence and gets
Sheena's mama out of jail. Then they use some more elephant ESP to get
away, and the general of the army says "None of this women's lip stuff
around here," and he sends the marines after em through the jungle.
There's a lot of exploding bamboo, like in Nam movies, and then all the
animals come running out to save Sheena. The most touching scene in the
movie comes when Sheena's mom cashes her chips, checks in at the
Breakdance Hotel, lays down on the ground, and starts dying while the
elephant digs her grave with his trunk. Once the ugly old broad is out of
the way, we get some Monkey Fu, some Rhino Fu, some Snake Fu, and some
monkey bidness between Sheena and the reporter in a treehouse. Then Sheena
takes a bath again.
Then she tries to talk. "Remove those strange skins
you wear." (The reporter put on a Haggar suit to go into the forest.)
"Fur! You have fur! This cannot be." (Uh . . . chest hair?)
were give us to eat with. Why did you touch yours to mine?"
Then the army
starts blowing up everything, and the reporter gets scared shirtless he
won't live long enough to get an Emmy. The leader of the army keeps saying
stuff like "Eez good psychology," but he never can catch Sheena, even when
she's feeding fermented buffalo milk to Mr. Macho and shooting flaming
arrows at gasoline trucks and dodging machine gun bullets. Then Sheena
gets a little p.o.ed and concentrates real hard and puts her fist on her
head and starts talking to the animals and the zebras and antelopes start
running to make the machine-gun helicopter go in the other direction, but
the copter guy just kills all the animals and then comes back and captures
Sheena and her wimp and when they're taking them to jail the nerd says
"I'd love to show you a view of the World Trade Towers from my loft," and Sheena
looks at him like he's got vee-dee.
Finally, the evil prince football
player's girlfriend decides she'll take Sheena up in the copter and drop
her buns over the holy waterfall, but once they get up in the air Sheena
talks to the animals again and this time we got results: killer flamingo
attack. The flamingos PECK THE COPTER TO DEATH. (I know you don't believe
me.) Now the army is really p.o.ed and so in the big final scene we got
machine guns, flame-throwers, tanks, copters, trucks, and soldiers on one
side. On the other side we got zoo animals. Clue: it's feeding time.
Half gallon blood.
One heart attack.
Two arrows through the heart.
Three motor vehicle chases, with three crash-and-burns.
One zebra massacre.
Two spears through the body.
One cure for
Best line: "How much I love you, Sheena, so much it busts my
© 2000 Joe Bob Briggs. All Rights
Reserved. Not an AOL Time-Warner Company in this lifetime.
"Sheena" is available on DVD
For this and other movie reviews by the artist formerly known as the host of MonsterVision, go to Joe Bob Briggs.com
(From Joe Bob's Ultimate B Movie Guide)
With the success of Wonder Woman, rival comic book company DC decided to create a female version of their Superman. She would be a cousin, introduced as a previously unknown fellow escapee from planet Krypton’s destruction. But by the 1960s, the writers had no clue what to do. Boys just weren’t interested in Supergirl and most girls didn’t care about any superhero, so Supergirl plots often revolved around getting a date or trying to impress a boyfriend. Then came this movie a couple of decades later. At least it couldn’t get any worse. Helen Slater stars, opposed by female villain Faye Dunaway (who was much better in “Mommy Dearest” and in the movie version of “Evita”). Leonard Maltin says it’s “long, dull, heavy-handed. Slater is cute but bland in title role.”
Peter O’Toole, Peter Cook, Brenda Vaccaro, Mia Farrow of Rosemary’s Baby and Matt Frewer of “Max Headroom” fame.
114 minutes, rated PG. Seen recently on superstation WGN.
Now here’s Professor Joe Bob Briggs with his two cent’s worth on the movie that made about that much at the box office:
“Helen Slater puts about 17 curves into that "S" on her chest and displays more blonde hair
than Lassie, but never springs those super-puppies out of the chute in
this comic-book epic from the "didn't quite work out" file. Helen lives
under the ocean in Jacques Cousteau Land with a bunch of bad actors, but
Peter O'Toole teaches her some interesting things to do with an electric
orange popsicle and gives her a little black egg that lights up like a
necklace buried in Liz Taylor's neck. Only she loses the black egg and it
goes flying through space and lands in Faye Dunaway's potato salad.
Superbimbo's mission is to go find Faye Dunaway, get the egg, and sober up
Peter O'Toole so he can go pick up his check for a million and give his
eyebrows a rest. When a couple of truck drivers try to go for the
supergroceries, she has to use a little kung fu, then she goes to prep
school, takes a shower, puts on a bra over her clothes, does some X-ray
vision stuff, saves a gardener from a man-eating steam shovel, kills a
monster with a piece of lightning, fights some poltergeist weenies,
survives the Attack of the Bumper Cars, and gets zapped into a mirror and
bazookaed into space.
But the last straw comes when Faye Dunaway, who can
make her eyes look like Ginsu knives, takes Superbimbo's boyfriend and
chains him to a zebra-skin bed. Now she's just a LITTLE p.o.ed. We're
talking fireballs, we're talking demon storms, and we're talking Peter
O'Toole without any makeup on. We're talking feeding Faye Dunaway to a
Godzilla-demon with bad table manners.
Two dead bodies.
Excellent Peter O'Toole imitation by Peter O'Toole.”
© 2000 Joe Bob Briggs. All Rights
"Supergirl" is available on video and on DVD
Helen Slater can currently be seen in the cast of the Poltergeist tv-series on the Sci-Fi Channel
Wonder Woman (1974)
Wonder Woman first appeared in All Star Comics dated 12-41/1-42. Created by a psychologist under the pseudonym Charles Moulton, Wonder Woman was a big hit. While “Rosey the Riveter” rolled up her sleeves and said, “We (women) can do it,” Wonder Woman would extol female fans to “Get strong! Earn your own living!” But after Moulton died in 1947, she became more dependent on male sidekick Steve Trevor, and by the 1960s was more interested in “female pursuits” than in fighting crime.
Things started turning around in 1973, when she became a symbol for the Women’s Liberation movement and DC Comics restored her super powers. A year later, tennis star Cathy Lee Crosby was cast as Wonder Woman in what was supposed to be the pilot-movie for a TV series. But the movie was poorly plotted and written, and Crosby’s a blond (Wonder Woman has always had black hair). About the only good thing about the cast is seeing Ricardo Montalban of Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan as the villain.
Kaz Garas, Andrew Prine, Auitra Ford
75 minutes, rated TV-G
A TV series starring Lynda Carter eventually came out in 1976 and ran three years on two networks.
Electra Woman & Dyna Girl (1970?)
This Saturday morning live-action TV series had no budget and so-so acting. Unless you have something nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all…
Let’s just say Electra Woman was no Xena and Dyna Girl is now a well-known soap-opera star.
Sheena TV episode (edited down to 5 minutes)
Elvis has left the building, and he took Joe Bob with him. Remove those strange skins you wear.
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To Serve Man: One college application had listed under personal activities to “Cook and serve Homeless.”