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This film is framed by a lecture in front of the "Adventurer
Club", where hte lecturer claims the film the audience is about to
see is a documentary shot by two explorers between 1912 and 1914 in
Cambodia, where they set out to find the forbidden city of Angkor and find
out why the once biggest city of the world had been abandoned a few
centuries ago. On their journey, our explorers encounter all sorts of
jungle animals, which they usually shoot of adopt. One thing that catches
their attention is the monkey cult all Cambodians seem to foster to some
Finally, our explorers make it to the village closest to Angkor
- where a weird native claims to be the king of Angkor, and he forbids all
the men to work for our heroes. So the explorers hire a dozen of topless
women as porters, then make it to Angkor, under the watchful eye of the
"king of Angkor" and ... a gorilla. At night, some of the girls
sneak away from camp to feed the gorilla, even.
In Angkor, a bunch of
frescoes show humans interacting with monkeys, sometimes feeding and
sometimes fighting them - which leads our heroes to the conclusion that
there must have been a slave revolt in Angkor where the slaves dressed up
as monkeys and overthrew their masters - which apparently led to the mass
exodus from Angkor. Eventually, the gorilla attacks, and the explorers
want to shoot him, but their female porters are getting in their way to
save the gorilla they worship as some sort of god, obviously, and refuse
to work for them anymore - which causes our heroes to leave Angkor for
Basically, this film is actually shot around a
documentary shot in Cambodia, including Angkor, footage that might have
been filmed before World War I, actually, and these shots are quite
interesting ... however, that's not the main attraction of the film, the
main attraction is the footage that was shot in 1935 in California to add
some drama to the old footage, featuring two ridiculous-looking explorers,
twelve topless girls who according to all reports were actually
prostitutes from a nearby brothel, and a man in a less-than-convincing
gorilla costume. The new shot footage doesn't gel too well with the old
footage, and some weird and failed experiments of superimposing jungle
plants over the footage as well as less-than-great backprojection shots
only add to the fake look of the new footage.
And that's exactly why the
film is so much fun: It pretends to be a serious documentary, but its main
selling points are probably its topless women and its pulp plot. And the
narration that tries to hold things together only adds to the
entertainment value in its crude (mis-)understanding of other cultures and
its insistence on white supremacy - which might not be politically
correct, but so what.
In all, watch this one, it's a hoot!!!