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The Independent Critic

STARRING
Clay Moore, Phyllis Coates, Johnny Spencer, Roy Glenn
DIRECTED BY
Fred C. Brannon
SCREENPLAY
Ronald Davidson
MPAA RATING
NR
RUNNING TIME
167 Mins.
DISTRIBUTED BY
Cheezy Flicks (DVD)
DVD EXTRAS
NA
 "Jungle Drums of Africa" Hitting DVD With Cheezy Flicks 
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Jungle Drums of Africa is a 1953 12-chapter Republic serial that served as one of Hollywood's last ditch efforts to move young folks away from the television and back into the movie theaters. The film centers around a missionary's daughter (Phyllis Coates) who continues to serve in Africa after her father's death. She comes face-to-face with ferocious beasts and crazed savages, but ends up befriending two uranium prospectors. Unfortunately, this adventurous friendship leads to her being endangered by crooks seeking the uranium and a witch doctor who is afraid that she's a threat to his power.

Sound silly?

Of course it is. This is a Cheezy Flicks release after all. Those fine folks who give us the best of the B-movies are doing it again with a DVD release of Jungle Dreams of Africa, which features "Clay Moore," otherwise known as Clayton Moore of "The Lone Ranger" fame. You get all 12 chapters of the serial here, a pretty marvelous 167 minutes of B-movie entertainment for a fantastic price of $7.99 on the Cheezy Flicks website right now.

If you're expecting brilliant cinema, then you're going to be pretty disappointed. But, really, why would you be expecting brilliant cinema from a Cheezy Flicks release? There may not be anything brilliant here, but there's quite a bit of fun to be had and devotees of B-movies will absolutely have a blast with this one.

While Republic had a pretty strong reputation for serials in the 40's and 50's, by the time Jungle Drums of Africa came around they were winding down and you can tell by watching this film. While it's far from awful (and, again, quite a bit of fun), you can tell that Moore is going through the motions and he reportedly considered it one of his weaker cinematic efforts. Roy Glenn, another serial regular, also gave that same aura of going through the motions, though Phyllis Coates does deserve a few kudos for an energized performance.

Jungle Drums of Africa, especially at this price, is one for the B-movie collectors and you're not going to get a higher quality edition at a better price than you will with Cheezy Flicks.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic  
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