Tuesday, April 21, 2009

YOU TARZAN, ME HYSTERICAL!

 Bo Derek emerged from Blake Edwards's hit 10 as a cornrow-sporting sex symbol, she and her Svengali-like mentor John Derek -- who'd been, at one time, a wooden movie pinup himself -- decided that together they'd "create" Bo's subsequent starring vehicles. This collaboration resulted in a trio of eye-rolling howlers, including the 1981 TARZAN, THE APE MAN. "Produced" by Bo and "directed and photographed" by John, Tarzan reduced Edgar Rice Burrough's far-from-classic work to the level of a magazine spread on a Playboy bunny in the, er, bush.
When

Richard Harris, an explorer in deepest, darkest Africa, is expecting the next boat to deliver a cannon, but instead he receives bombshell Bo, playing his long-estranged daughter. Her thespian skills had not improved one whit since her first Bad Movie with Harris, Orca, but blank-eyed Bo clearly hadn't a clue. "You first-class bastard," she says to Harris, mistakenly believing that the dreamy, "I've-just-had-the-most-fabulous-orgasm" look on her face could possibly be interpreted as anger. Bo's utter ineptitude is made all the funnier by Harris's response, which is to ham it up to the skies--and beyond. When Bo leaves his welcoming party, Harris says to his mongrels, "She didn't find me a pretty sight. Do you think I -- overdressed?" We fully expect one of the dogs to reply, "No, you -- overacted."

Bo takes command of this soft-core extravaganza by doing what she's best at: stripping off her Banana Republic-style wardrobe to swim -- well, perhaps "bob" is the more accurate term -- in that ocean surf rarely seen in films set in the middle of the Dark Continent. Bo in the buff brings around Miles O'Keeffe, a very buffed Tarzan, and just when it seems that this comely pair might turn the movie into a hard-core porn flick -- which would've been a big improvement -- Harris literally runs into the frame, screaming at his safari aide (Bad Movie vet John Phillip Law), "Make camp, make camp, make camp!" It's hard to imagine how the flick could be any campier. One night, hearing Tarzan's patented yell, Harris bellows back, "Shut up, you boring son of a bitch!" -- the very thing that the Dereks should have told Harris. Bo instead calls Harris a "bastard" again, prompting this reply: "I am. I wallow in me. I indulge myself 100 percent. Take my advice, dear, do the same thing." As if the notoriously self-indulgent Dereks weren't already way, way past the 100 percent mark!

After O'Keeffe saves Bo from a riotous slow-mo encounter with a rubber snake, his unconscious body gets carried away on the tusks of an obliging elephant as Bo, panting with lust, follows along. Grimacing while picking at her teeth (apparently to suggest that she's thinking), Bo eyes O'Keeffe's physique and says, "I've never touched a man before..." -- a howler that's topped when these two go swimming. "I feel like I'm reading this in a book," Bo exults, as if she could read. "I don't know whether to laugh or cry or just turn to the next page!" It all ends, as we'd hoped it would, with local savages forcing a nude Bo down on all fours. "They're washing me," she cries, in one of our most favorite Bad Movie lines ever, "just like a horse!" O'Keeffe rescues her--but it was too late to save her career.

1 comment:

  1. I've just installed iStripper, so I can have the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.

    ReplyDelete

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