THE FILM CREW: WILD WOMEN OF WONGO
Reviewed by: Jamey Hughton
Michael J. Nelson
What's it about
Bill Corbett, Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy (of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 fame) are The Film Crew, and offer a running commentary over the truly wretched 1958 film WILD WOMEN OF WONGO, which features the (naturally) scantily clad ladies of the Wongo tribe, who discover that the other side of their desert island is inhabited by bare-chested, rippling men. Don't expect any sex or nudity though.
Is it good movie?
The Wongo's are one of two tribes that Mother Nature created 10,000 years ago. Their females are blessed with wonderful curves and sexy good looks, while the men are old, flabby and disgusting. The Guna tribe, meanwhile, is composed of men who more closely resemble Brad Pitt, while the women are hideous dogs. Cue the great human experiment. Mother Nature has a sense of humor, apparently.
WILD WOMEN OF WONGO is a strange bi-product of skin flick exploitation and beach party jamboree, although none of the leopard skins come off at any point. There's plenty of beefy men around once the Guna tribe shows up, although the monosyllabic acting from the male members of the cast is downright embarrassing at times. The "action", if you want to call it that, crawls along at a lethargic pace, creating some truly boring stretches of film (the movie contains the funniest spear fight in cinema history). There are a few alligator attacks, made amusing by the obvious dummies being torn to pieces once they sink their teeth into their meals (which is appropriately mocked by the crew).
The three jokesters have a field day with the overtly sexual nature of the film. There's plenty of slightly obscure pop culture references (even Jim Jarmusch gets a nod - sweet) and one member of the Wongo tribe is aptly compared to Mr. Burns. An annoying parrot that shows up everywhere becomes the brunt of many jokes. The sheer absurdity of WILD WOMEN makes it a good candidate for this kind of commentary.
Unfortunately, the segments at the start and middle of the film do not measure up to the sly banter going on as the movie plays. I got a chuckle or two out of the use of a map featuring Wongo and everything else from Middle Earth to the Island of Misfit Toys, but these gags seem a bit tired and past their expiration date. I like the jovial nature with which The Film Crew mocks the movie, but I think they need a few fresh ideas for these segments next time.
Video / Audio
Video A classic print of WILD WOMEN shown in 1:33:1 format.
Audio Digital Stereo 5.1
Firstly, there's Make the Film Crew Dance, which is fairly self-explanatory and includes a line from one of the Gods in the movie, demanding the tribespeople... yes... "DANCE!" It's mildly amusing.
Secondly, there's something called Goodbye, Wongo Style. Not really worth your time.
While The Film Crew isn't tickling my funny bone as much as MST3K, they still provide a comfortable, casual viewing experience. Their commentary for WILD WOMEN OF WONGO is consistently amusing throughout, and the movie itself is a bizarre piece of jungle camp. Enjoy.