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Tarzán en las Minas del Rey Salomón

Tarzan in King Solomon's Mines

Spain 1973
directed by José Luis Merino
starring David Carpenter, Nadiuska, Paul Naschy, Alibe, Sergio Alberti
written by José Luis Merino, Tarzan created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, music by José Luis Navarro

Tarzan

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Doris (Nadiuska) hires guide Stanley (Paul Naschy) to lead her through the African jungle to find her brother Paul and bring him some special equipment for his excavations of King Solomon's Mines. She doesn't know of course that this special equipment is a strongbox full of guns, and that Paul is the captive/loveslave of the Goddess, the leader of a local tribe who wants to use the guns to conquer all other tribes ... and Paul in return hopes that if he gets her the guns she will let him snatch the treasure - or somesuch.

Anyways, to get them through the jungle, Stanley enlists the help of Tarzan (David Carpenter), who agrees to accompany them only if they go unarmed - a rule that Stanley breaks though, and good thing Tarzan doesn't know what's in the strongbox, either. Anyways, Tarzan is more interested in Doris than anything else, so he doesn't care all that much when Stanley kills the bearers when they want to make an escape, or that Stanley is almost eaten alive by a lion, or that Stanley eventually teams up with the Goddess's tribesmen. And eventually he even delivers the strongbox to the Goddess singlehandedly - only there are no guns inside, because Tarzan has swapped boxes.

In the finale, all the baddies die of course, and Tarzan cuts the Goddess's tribe down to size when he calls his friends the lions into their village ... well, and in the end he of course gets the girl.

 

I don't deny for one moment that I'm a fan of jungle adventures, especially those on the low budget side that tell highly unlikely, even slightly absurd stories and don't give a hoot about realism or ethnological accuracy - yup, films just like this one. And yet, Tarzan in King Solomon's Mines is not a movie that necessarily impresses me, mainly because it lacks the sense of wonder so essential especially to bargain-priced genre entries. Basically, the film is just a by-the-numbers Tarzan-movie, a bit too obviously filmed in a local safari park, with the jungle footage a bit too obviously spliced in that especially fails when it comes to exploiting the wilder parts of the story (like the Goddess's secret lair or her sexual desires) while putting too much emphasis on just more of the usual. And while Nadiuska at least has enough sex appeal to carry her role (even if she looks much too glamourous for a jungle adventurer throughout), David Carpenter as Tarzan is nothing short of bland. Paul Naschy at least is ok, but his role is too straight-forward to develop any life of its own.

All that said, I'm sure fans of 1970's trash, low budget Tarzan and of course Paul Naschy and Nadiuska will all want to see this film, and to be fair it honestly isn't a total trainwreck - it's just a rather forgettable jungle adventure that has nothing really going for it!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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