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Wild Women of Wongo (1958)
Topic Started: Nov 11 2017, 10:47 AM (193 Views)
Laughing Gravy
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Wild Women of Wongo (1958) Dir. James L. Wolcott
A Jaywall Production
72 min. / Pathécolor / 1.66:1
On Public Domain DVDs

ITB Strange Science-Fantasy Cinema #145

Mother Nature introduces the film by telling us that 10,000 years ago she decided to have a little fun by creating a village called Wongo, where the women are gorgeous statuesque models and the men are fat, bald guys, and another village, Goona, where the men are Greek gods and the women look like the ladies in the donut aisle in Walmart. Well, I'm not certain what M.N. thought she was going to accomplish by this (other than some shits and giggles), but eventually the two villages meet, much to the chagrin of the Wongo men and the Goona women. A friendly rivalry develops that leads to death and dismemberment at the teeth of an alligator and the spear-point of an invading tribe of "ape men" (who are pretty much just regular guys with 3-day beards).

One of those astonishingly bad, stupid, inept films that everyone seems to love (well, everyone whose seen it, which is, probably, 6 or 7 people, tops). "The most obscure (and funniest) entry in the sub-genre of scantily-clad prehistoric women movies ... a must for anthropology students." - Michael Weldon, Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film.

Filmed in the Coral Castle of Florida and nearby Tahiti Beach, Parrot Jungle, and Fairchild Tropical Gardens, it says here. The inept script/direction drags in a "dragon god" (a stuffed alligator on a stick), some sacrificial bimbo dancing (the Dragon Goddess dances in a sharkskin dress with an alligator hat while the other Wongo lasses shake their heads in an epileptic fury and then run in place like Marines), nude bathing (filmed so far away the cameras might well have been in Louisiana), a generic music score that only suits the mood of the scene by accident, and dialog that is so stiffly delivered by every single "actor" in the film that the delivery becomes the funniest thing in the movie.

Million-dollar Dialog:
Wongoian greeting a Goonarite: "Look! He carries the wing of the white bird of peace!"

Yes, they tear the wing off a dove and impale its bloody stump on their spear to signify they come in peace.

In case you go in the other room to get a snack (or, more likely, you fall asleep, possibly for two days) don't fret you'll miss something, there's a talking parrot serving as a Greek chorus to keep you up to date.

This movie is terrible. I enjoyed it, but please don't make me watch it again. Please. I think there's a little-known sequel with Peter O'Toole, Lawrence of Wongo, but I might've dreamed that.

Also on the Program

For the kids, a trio of Paramount cartoons. First, in Quack a Doodle Doo (1949), we meet Baby Huey for the first time and learn he's the product of genetic engineering (his apparently single mum swallowed a whole bottle of vitamin pills prior to laying an egg). Huey wears brown pants; at first, we thought he'd shit his diaper but no, they're pants alright. Our next cartoon, not to be confused with the first one, was called Cock a Doodle Dino (1957); a museum truck loses a dinosaur egg, which rolls down a hill and into a chicken coop, where it hatches into a big purple dinosaur(!) raised by a chicken(!!). Finally, Kitty Kuddles (?) stars in Kitty Cornered (1950); a dotty old dowager leaves her fortune to her cat when she goes, and the butler treats the feline with deference until he discovers he's next in line for the money, and then spends the next several minutes trying to murder the kitten in extremely unpleasant ways, including drowning in the bathtub. A disturbing cartoon.

After trailers for next week's two million dollar double feature, The H-Man and The Woman Eater (one Japanese and one British, it seems, and The H-Man trailer is narrated by the Robot from Lost in Space but the male voices in the clips therein all seem to be Paul Frees, oddly enough), we enjoyed "The Sealed Room", the penultimate episode of our cliffhanger serial, The Shadow. Insert maniacal laugh here.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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Baby Huey's Papa, a old-fashioned little guy, eventually appeared in a cartoon; don't know if said cartoon was made before or after he became a major fixture in the comic books. The comic stories dispensed with the carnivorous fox and were set in a Duckburg-type world, where Huey would blunder into trouble (playing detective, wandering into a live TV broadcast, being drafted, etc.) while his Papa tried to do damage control. The comics I remember were usually amusing and sometimes clever, with none of the strange creepiness / ickiness that marked a lot of the Famous / Paramount stuff.

"The Film Crew", a brief DVD venture by the MST3K alumni who started over with "Rifftrax", did "Wild Women of Wongo". It was okay, despite the imitation-MST vibe to the host segments (they played blue collar guys hired to put commentary tracks on movies that otherwise wouldn't get them).

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