Blu-ray Review: Sheena (1984)

March 31, 2019

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

After her parents are killed in a cave-in in deepest Africa, young Janet is taken in by the Zambouli tribe where she is viewed as a goddess and given the new handle; Sheena, Queen of the Jungle! Sheena (Tanya Roberts) matures among the tribe in their land of Tigora where she learns the ways of the animals and develops a telepathic bond with them…as one does.

Soon our buxom heroine finds herself up to her bleached blonde hairdo in an assassination plot which she must help solve with the assistance of  reporter Vic Casey (Ted Wass), and his cameraman Fletch Agronsky (Donovan Scott)…all while finding the time to ride a zebra bareback and ass around with some chimps and an elephant. Priorities and all that…

Look boils n’ ghouls; this is Tarzan with tits and it features all of the lunacy that concept suggests! You get a stunning beauty in Roberts, who is athletic, and fun to watch…even if she does deliver her nonsense dialog with the passion of a piece of soggy driftwood. More than up to the task at hand is television staple Wass (he was Blossom’s dad…how many of you just said “Oh, that guy!”?) who acts in this thing like he’s having the time of his damn life.

Along with that you get well done action scenes, absolutely jaw-dropping scenery (the film was shot on location in Kenya and the vistas presented by Cinematographer Pasqualino De Santis are worth the price of admission alone), and some of the best animal acting I’ve seen (seriously, these critters seem to be ultra-relaxed around Roberts and crew, but not in a shot full of drugs way…more like they are beloved pets). Additionally, the score by Richard Hartley is rousing and epic, and definitely makes things seem grand even when they are delightfully (and intentionally) silly…I’m looking at you flamingo helicopter attack sequence…

Also of note, this is a PG rated film from the ’80’s, so naturally we get sequences of full frontal nudity from Roberts.

Director John Guillermin and Screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr. (along with David Newman)…both responsible for the ’76 version of King Kong (which I have always dug, but your mileage may vary) deliver a fun, beautiful, and campy adaptation of  W. Morgan Thomas’s comic book jungle queen that should satisfy and lovers of pulpy high adventure!

 

 

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