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The Lion Man

USA 1936
produced by
Arthur Alexander for Normandy Pictures/First Division
directed by John P. McCarthy
starring Jon Hall, Kathleen Burke, Ted Adams, Jimmy Aubrey, Richard Carlyle, Finis Barton, Eric Snowden, Henry Hale, Lal Chand Mehra, Robby Fairy
screenplay by Richard Gordon, John Williams, based on the story The Lad and the Lion by Edgar Rice Burroughs

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Having been brought up by a hermit and his lions after his father got killed by Sheikh Youssef Ab-Dur (Ted Adams), El Lion (Jon Hall), by now a young man, has made a name for himself as the avenger of the desert and the benign guide and guardian of caravans traveling the desert. Young princess Eulilah (Kathleen Burke) in the meantime has attracted the attention of Youssef, but even against the will of her father Mohamund Bey (Henry Hale), she refuses to marry him. And when she one day is saved by El Lion from Youssef's henchmen who try to kidnap her, she falls in love with him. El Lion falls for her too, but when he asks her father for her hand in marriage, he bluntly refuses. From here, Youssef does everything to discredit El Lion, he even goes so far as to drug him at some festivities and then portray him as a useless drunk. Then Youssef again asks Eulilah to marry him, and this time when she refuses, he just takes her his captive, figuring El Lion, or rather the drunk he has made El Lion to be, will be powerless to free her - but far from it, El Lion doesn't only take apart Youssef's men almost sinlgle handedly, he also defeats Youssef in a fistfight, and since Youssef has killed his father, he throws him off a cliff to his death before finally getting the girl.


Cheaply made adventure movie that is often descrbed, and with some justification, as Tarzan in the Desert. And in fact, this was quite possibly nothing mroe than an attempt to jump onto the Tarzan-bandwagon as it is: It is based on a book by Edgar Rice Burroughs, El Lion has some striking similarities to Tarzan, and the film features a swimming champ in the lead. Still, as a film, Lion Man is less than accomplished: The low budget doesn't allow lavish sets or scenery, little use is made of the lions that give the film's lead his name and that are supposed to travel the desert with him - in fact, apart from a cute cub, the lions are only shown in a few shots in a cave in which they don't interact with any human characters -, and the screenplay is just dead boring, featuring a way too long setup and then lacking almost completely in the action and excitement department until the very end, and even that is nothing more than a standard shootout. Not a film worth your while.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD