Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tarzan the Tiger

I've been watching the old Tarzan the Tiger serial the last couple of days. I can't watch serials in big chunks, because all the cliffhangers and recaps start getting repetitive after a few episodes, but if I can watch an episode at a time and then come back later for the next one, they're a lot of fun.

There are some problems with Tarzan the Tiger though. First of all, tigers don't live in Africa, so his nickname is dumb, but they also show a tiger responding to his Tarzan yell at one point, so maybe they just don't care. Kids in the '20s probably didn't know any better. Still, it's dumb.

Worse than that though is Tarzan's goofy headband and the fact that he wears fur loafers when he's running around the jungle. I've also been watching Johnny Weissmuller's Tarzan the Ape Man and Johnny didn't need no loafers. Johnny was damn near naked, as Tarzan should be. Tarzan the Tiger (Frank Merrill) wears one of those over-the-shoulder furs too. That and his cute, little, bob haircut make him look kinda frilly. He does carry a rope though, like Tarzan does in the books, so that's pretty cool.

Jane isn't any big shakes either. I'm only three episodes in, but she started the serial off by whining that Tarzan's plan to steal a bunch of gold from the lost city of Opar was too dangerous and nagging him not to go. She did manage to escape from some slave traders all by her lonesome though -- and exchanged her harem outfit for some hot, jungle-girl furs in the process -- so she's not all bad either.

It's still way too soon to pass judgment on this thing, but even with the silly Tarzan and his shrewish wife, the story is good so far. I also like that -- unlike Johnny's version -- this Tarzan is the educated Lord Greystoke from the novels. I'll probably post again about it once I'm further in.

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