“Blondes vs. brunettes in the African jungle.”
You need to be in a fairly forgiving mood to sit through this daft premise, yet it’s never boring or particularly irritating, largely thanks to Beswick as the queen of a tribe of brunettes, somewhere (and, indeed, somewhen) in the African jungle, who has enslaved all the blondes. Michael Latimer is hunter/guide David Marchant who arrives in the midst of it all, after a questionable event with a rhinoceros idol, and finds himself lusted after both by the Queen, and blonde slave-girl Saria. She is played by Edina Ronay who, as Chris pointed out, bears some resemblance facially to a chimpanzee…
The men, meanwhile are a serious third on the food-chain; at least the blondes get to see daylight. When Marchant spurns the queen’s advances, he’s cast into the cells with the others of his sex, only for Saria to convince him they need an “inside man” if their upcoming rebellion is to be successful. Oh, and did I mention the “devils” who take a sacrificial blonde every once in a while? Or the tribal dancing? Or even veteran villain Steven Berkoff (Beverly Hills Cop and Octopussy), in his first credited movie role? [Want another Bond tie-in? Beswick was one of the gypsy fighting girls in From Russia With Love!] Plenty going on, to be sure, even if little of it makes sense off the back of the cigarette-packet where it was likely written. Former Miss Jamaica Beswick is great, scornfully regal, single-minded, and deserving of a better movie to be in. Latimer keeps a straight face – which is more than we did – and if it’s painfully obvious that this one never came anywhere near the African continent, it’s Saturday morning entertainment of a very acceptable nature.
Dir: Michael Carreras
Star: Martine Beswick, Michael Latimer, Edina Ronay