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Bomba on Panther Island

USA 1949
produced by
Walter Mirisch for Monogram
directed by Ford L. Beebe
starring Johnny Sheffield, Allene Roberts, Lita Barton, Charles Irwin, Harry Lewis, Smoki Whitfield, Martin Wilkins, Bill Walker
screenplay by Ford L. Beebe, based on characters created by Roy Rockwood, musical director: Edward J.Kay

Bomba the Jungle Boy

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Bomba number 2: 

The African jungle: A friend (Bill Walker) of jungle boy Bomba (Johnny Sheffield) is almost killed by  a panther, so Bomba makes it his mission to track down and kill the panther that could be a threat for others too. Eventually, Bomba bumps into his friend Andy Barnes (Charles Irwin), who helps Robbie Maitland (Harry Lewis) set up a plantation in the jungle - but Robbie just can't come to terms with the African continent as such, he can't understand the natives with their logic and their superstitions, can't understand that nobody around here gives much of a heed about money and timetables, and even can't understand why the killer panther, a constant threat to his enterprise, is sacred and taboo to the natives.

Robbie tries to hire Bomba as panther hunter, but Bomba, not understanding the first thing about work or money, initially declines ... until he sees Judy (Allene Roberts), Robbie's sister, whom he immediately falls for, and she feels attracted to him as well - as does Losana (Lita Baron), Judy's maid who does everything to spend some quality time (you know what I mean) with Bomba. The natives though only find more reason to complain, they now don't want Bomba the panther killer nor Losana, who's supposed to have the evil eye, around.

Bomba takes Judy on a little expedition through the jungle, and at the same time, Robbie decides to burn down the jungle because the natives' progress is much to slow for his liking (and is almost killed when doing so), and at the same time a hurricane breaks out ... and all of a sudden, Bomba's and Judy's life is in danger and they just make it to a nearby cave - where the panther attacks ... but of course everything has a happy ending, Bomba manages to kill the panther, the forest fire loses breath pretty quickly, and the hurricane moves on. And Judy starts to actually like the place as well while Robbie finally starts to understand Africa and the natives. 

And Bomba ?

He has accomplished his mission and killed the panther so he moves on, much to the dismay of both Judy and Losana.

 

The good news first: Just like Bomba, the Jungle Boy, Bomba on Panther Island makes a real effort to understand and respect Africa and its people when contemporary movies of both the Tarzan- and the Jungle Jim-series don't even acknowledge the existence of black natives in Africa. In this respect, Bomba on Panther Island is almost realistic (apart from having a white jungle boy as its lead, of course). The bad news though is that Bomba on Panther Island is rather boring, there's not too much happening along the way and some plot elements - especially the whole subplot about Losana - are gravely underdeveloped.

Still, not an entirely bad film, just not too good either.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
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starring
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out now on DVD