Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tarzan's Three Challenges (1963)

Director: Robert Day

Writers: Robert Day, Bernie Giler

Composer: Joseph Horovitz

Starring: Jock Mahoney, Woody Strode, Tsu Kobayashi, Earl Cameron, Anthony Chinn, Salah Jamal, Robert Hu, Christopher Carlos, Ricker Der, George Pastell, Hungry the Elephant

More info: IMDb


Plot: Tarzan travels to the Far East at the request of a dying leader to escort his replacement, a young boy named Kashi, to the capital for his investiture. The dying man has reason to fear for Kashi's safety. His brother Khan believes that it is his son who should sit on the throne and is prepared to do whatever it takes to accomplish that. Tarzan faces many challenges as he must first convince the monks who have been educating Kashi that he is in fact Tarzan. With that out of the way, Tarzan and Kashi are attacked on the way to the capital by Khan and his men. When they finally make it to the capital, Khan invokes the right of a fourth and final test to confirm the boy as the legitimate heir: a fight to the death with his champion, Tarzan. Only one will survive.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Probably.

Gee, I wonder who wins the big fight at the end.  Hmmmmm. After watching the previous Tarzan picture yesterday, TARZAN GOES TO INDIA (1962), and it was a pretty good one, I slapped Mahoney's next and last go 'round as the loin-clothed one.  It's got a little bit of action early on but...

It turns to spectacle and light drama/adventure as Tarzan escorts the chosen one to his destination.  As per usual with the late 50s/60s Tarzan pictures, the scenery is wonderful and it must have been a fantastic time at the movies for young boys and girls dreaming of adventure all those years ago.  I'd love to see these in a theater with some corn and Coke.

I was diggin' the movie alright (about a 6.5/10) when the big fight between Tarzan and Khan began.  They're initially tied together with a four or five foot length of rope but they soon cut themselves free and go through all kinds of challenges to meet up at end where there's going to be a most unusual duel to the death, that is, if they make it that far alive.

They do, of course, and you just know Tarzan is going to win.  Look at what they have to do!  If the fall, it's curtains as there are several huge vats of boiling liquid underneath them.  This is some serious friggin' fight!


Tarzan is able to make Khan slip. Kahn is hanging beneath the rope inches from death.  Now normally in a situation like this the hero (especially a guy like Tarzan) would help the guy up and the bad dude would be grateful enough to change his ways or something lame like that but not in this picture.  Nope.  Tarzan starts bouncing up and down causing Kahn to lose his grip and fall to his death in the boiling whatevers below.  FUCKIN' A!!!


Because of that and the kick ass fight sequence at the end that lasted a good 10 minutes, this picture just got kicked up a notch on the score and it's definitely a must watch sometime down the line.  Only the next time it won't be some shitty taped off of TV copy, it'll be the real deal.  If Warner Bros. Archive DVDs didn't cost so damned much I'd get it.  $20 is just too much for a film that might get a couple of plays before you die.

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