(Thanks, Blazing Trailers!)
Oh, I should have done this one a while back as a RFoTW, but I kept hoping SOME smart cable station would show it again because I haven’t seen it in ages. That hasn’t happened, but there was a DVD release back in 2009 from Warner Bros., meaning you too can snap this up and check it out legally at some point. Sure, this 1957 flick has a hilarious looking tree monster (once you see that Tobanga, you’ll have it stuck in your head for a few days), a plot chock full of wormy holes and you can’t say those natives are anything resembling realistic.
Nevertheless, the film works in it’s own weird way as a sort of remake of Universal’s classic The Mummy, only in a quasi-Polynesian setting with an unstoppable wooden fiend as the monster to be feared. As for actual scares, there are a few here and there and as a kid, I think I laughed a lot at/with it only after I saw the film once or twice and realized it just wasn’t that frightening. Of course, most modern folks will be doubled over laughing at all that’s on display, but I guess it’s better than beating oneself on the head with a real tree branch after one too many hits off a pipe full of funny smelling dried leaves, right?
Anyway, I’m not sure if this flick helped inspire the Swamp Thing or Man-Thing at all, but it’s not hard to see that stiff tree thing being accepted into the Parliament of Trees based on his looks and mythology, getting piss drunk off his wooden ass at the bar there and getting kicked out later for peeing in the bushes. Anyway, someone REALLY on the ball needs to start preserving/restoring these old horror and sci-fi gems so they can be aired on a rotating basis. As in on a REAL horror/sci-fi channel run by genre fans, not a corporation that shoves out the same old crap reruns and lousy made for TV movies that are intentionally awful because they “think” they know what fans want.
If only they knew…