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TARZUN AND THE VALLEY OF LUST / TARZ & JANE, CHEETA & BOY (1970/1975; Something Weird Video).

When a movie kicks off with unapologetic (albeit fake) bestiality, you know you're in store for an old-fashioned sleaze-a-thon, and coincidentally, that's precisely how both of these seedy, penny-ante, '70s erotic Tarzan knock-offs begin -- with Jane getting ape-raped. Let the 'fun' begin!

Our first entry, writer-director W. P. Mogul's TARZUN AND THE VALLEY OF LUST stars Duane Prodd as our blonde jungle king, who looks more like a down-on-his-luck surfer; grunts "Cowabunga" or "Tarzun hungry," before boning Jayne (Chris Robin); stumbles about the veldt in a droopy loin cloth; and swings from trees that conveniently have hardware store ropes attached to 'em. When Jayne takes a nude dip in a puddle, she catches the eye of a moth-eaten monkey, who promptly rapes her. Even after Tarzun rescues his mate, that randy simian remains obsessed with Jayne. In other subplots, Tarzun injures his groin and a topless black chick "makes Tarzun well" with a doggy-style remedy, even as Jayne is captured by natives. The sex scenes never reach hardcore heights, but they come damned close, and the whole 53-minute endeavor is crude, stupid and wondrously pathetic, such as when they intercut grainy National Geographic animal footage -- big cats, rhinos, flamingos(?) -- to convince us that this wasn't shot in some California backyard. Plus I felt truly sorry for the black guys they hired to play the native Africans, and it's hard to believe that anyone could be that desperate for cash. Sell a kidney instead. It's less demeaning.

TARZUN was simply crude and filthy, but TARZ & JANE, CHEETA & BOY is a cornier concoction that mixes bishop-flogging sex scenes with ridiculous dialogue ("Shit, boy. Tarz tired of this jungle crap.") and physical comedy that makes Benny Hill look sophisticated (when Tarz uses an ear of "jungle corn" as a dildo, popcorn bursts from the gal's twat). Tarz ("Elmo Brix" a.k.a. Patrick Wright) sports a wig swiped from a drag queen, Jane ("Silver Fox" a.k.a. Tally Wright) stumbles about in three-inch heels, and their "Boy" is pushing 30, but has the sexual knowledge of a 5-year-old Mormon. When a crocodile bites off Tarz's "dork," the Jungle King is depressed, Jane looks to Boy for sexual relief, and they all journey to dangerous Wango Wango country in search of a huge new penis. "Cheetah" (a guy in a baggy ape suit) follows 'em on this trek, making rude gestures. The only actor who shows any enthusiasm with this gig is ever-reliable Georgina Spelvin as Wanda, a white chick on safari, who has stolen the Wango Wango's treasure with the aid of her fruity assistant. Although there's lots of nudity, whenever anything gets too racy, the hardcore bits suddenly switch to solarized footage, and at 72 minutes, there are far too many tedious stretches. Few of the participants wanted to take credit for this crap (the director is listed as "Itza Fine"), but at least the financiers had enough dough to build a makeshift tree house and a rubber crocodile with flapping jaws, in addition to renting an old sedated tiger for Tarz to wrestle.

© 2004 by Steven Puchalski.