Friday, September 8, 2017

Tarzan the Ape Man (1981)

Director: John Derek

Writers: Tom Rowe, Gary Goddard

Composer: Perry Botkin Jr.

Starring: Bo Derek, Richard Harris, John Phillip Law, Miles O'Keeffe, Akushula Selayah, Steve Strong, Maxime Philoe, Leonard Bailey, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Laurie Main, Harold Ayer, Tony Longo

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The most beautiful woman of our time in the most erotic adventure of all time.

Plot: While on an African expedition with her father, Jane Parker meets Tarzan, and the two become fascinated by each other.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

In 1981, this is the reason most people went to see this picture...

...but you don't even get that until nearly halfway into it.  It's not a good movie but it is beautifully shot by director/cinematographer John Derek.  There isn't as much nudity as you would expect (or like) but it is all in the second half and it's only Bo.  I can't get through this without saying how poor her acting is.  Part of it is her but the script is to blame for some silly dialogue.  In her scenes with Tarzan (O'Keeffe) she talks wayyyyyyy too much.  Less is more in this case.  Did I mention she's sometimes topless?

It is entertaining to a point.  Richard Harris over-acts (surprise!) but it actually works in this movie.  The biggest issue is that it's boring.  There's very little in the way of excitement.  I get they were going for an arthouse erotic twist on the Tarzan story but this is a misfire.  I lost count on how many times I checked for the remaining time.  Yes, Bo Derek is beautiful and she needs to be naked.  She needs to work on her acting more but she's got the naked thing down pat.  Oh, and you must see the end credits to believe them.  It's a few minutes of her frolicking topless with an orangutan while Tarzan watches.  Odd?  I'll say.  The Warner Bros. Romance Double Feature is a flipper disc with this on one side (in anamorphic widescreen with only an anamorphic widescreen trailer for an extra) and "10" on the other.

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