Sheena, Queen Of The Jungle (1984) (DVD film review).

March 20, 2021 | By | Reply More

As I was supposed to be reviewing a book about the film, I realised I ought to give the 1984 ‘Sheena’ film a look first. Oddly, the Columbia Essential Classics edition comes in an Castilian version and didn’t spot when I bought it but largely because it had the best cover. If you go the same root, ensure you change the language to English by selecting the second setting in ‘Idiomas’.

Going back to the origins of Sheena to the success of Tarzan. You didn’t need to have someone raised by the apes but just growing up with a foster family tribe in Africa who sees you as their future protector. The original film series version was actress Irish McCalla For the 1984, it was actress Tanya Roberts, who alas died this year.

When the pre-teen Sheena’s parents killed in a cave-in, she was raised by the local tribe as a prophesy to become their protector.

Years later, there is an insurrection planned by the King’s brother, Prince Otwani (actor Trevor Thomas) when it is discovered that there is a titanium mountain in the homeland of the Zambulis tribe, which is sacred territory. Sheena’s foster mother, Shaman (actress Elizabeth of Toro), has a vision of the King’s death and goes to warn him.

Meanwhile, in a plane over head, sports reporters Vic Casey (actor Ted Wass) and Fletcher Agronsky (actor Donovan Scott) are flying over the Zambuli territory and the latter spots Sheena’s distinctive blonde hair. They land at Tregora and meet King Jabalani (actor Clifton Jones) as his guests and are friends of Otwani. They also get an inkling something else is going on, passing by armed men and a tank. The King is shot with a Zambuli arrow and Shaman is framed for the murder. Evidence is caught by the reporters and they realise Shaman is innocent and Otwani is involved.

Going to the prison late at night to interview Shaman, they instead see Sheena and a few animal friends come to rescue her and go in pursuit. Otwani and his wife, Zanda (actress France Zadba) orders and goes with mercenary Jorgensen (actor John Forgeham) and his team to follow and kill Shaman or the plot will be discovered.

The reporters catch up with Sheena or rather her with them and she leaves them in a circle and a lion and rhino guarding with a warning not to leave it after realising they aren’t the enemy. Alas, Shaman dies from injuries from the prison and she returns to them and Casey tries to convince they he had proof of her evidence. Fletcher takes the range rover to get the evidence while Sheena takes Casey into the jungle and then across the desert to evade the mercenaries. Alas, they are too late to rescue the villagers from the mercenaries as they cross their paths.

Fletcher and his black film processor and pal (whose name seems to escape synopsises elsewhere) in the city also have to flee to a nearby village but they have the processed film evidence.

Much of the film is the mercenaries chasing after Sheena and Casey. They might score a victory against the mercenaries by destroying their petrol supply but less successful evading the attack helicopter and forced to surrender. Casey tries to convince a deal for the exchange of the negatives for the protection of the Zambuli tribe and Sheena through the UN. Of course, there’s bound to be a double-cross. More so, as Zanda has taken Sheena by attack helicopter to the Zambuli Falls to be thrown from on high and show to her people as she dies.

For the ending, you’ll have to watch the film for yourself. It’s not an inherently bad film even if a little predictable even for its time period. Except for the violence, it would have become a 13 rating, although there was a version out that was toned down, this one is unedited.

The first two extras are in Italian, giving the plot and other stuff in text. The third is a minute’s worth of photographs.

GF Willmetts

March 2021

(pub: Columbia, 2012. 116 widescreen film minute with extras. Languages: English and Castilian Price: I pulled my copy for about £16.00 (UK) but it looks like the price has dropped since so had a bad buy day. ASIN: B006W6RAZY)

cast: Tanya Roberts, Ted Wass, Donovan Scott, Elizabeth of Toro, France Zodha, Trevor Thosa, Clifton Jones and John Forgeham,

check out website: www.sonypictures.com

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Category: Fantasy, Films

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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