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Tarzan (Herman Brix), by now an educated man who still prefers life in Africa
to our civilisation, learns that his mentor D'Arnot has gone missing in
Guatemala & is blieved to have been captured by an ancient Mayan tribe. So
he wastes no time to join an expedition to Guatemala, consisting of Major
Martling (Frank Baker), his daughter Alice (Dale Walsh), her fiancé Gordon
(Harry Ernest) & comical sidekick George (Lewis Sargent), who look for the
legendary Mayan statue of a Green Goddess, which holds the formula to a dangerous explosive - & somehow they plan to use it for the good of
But of course, such a powerful explosive attracts all kinds of villains as well,
here in the form
of Raglan (Ashton Dearholt, having taken over from Don Castello, who fell in
before shooting commenmced - his name still appears in the credits though), who
wants to steal the formula for the explosive for an even more evil weapons
& so evil is Raglan, that in pursuit of the explosive he has already
killed the fiancé of Ula Vale (Ula Holt), who is now pursuing him to spoil his
plans & get revenge ...
Tarzan's expedition gets to the ancient city of the Green Goddess, but much
to their surprise, the city is still inhabited by hordes of ferocious Mayans
led by their ruthless queen (Mrs.Gentry), & they waste no time in taking the
group prisoner, & when Tarzan refuses to take their queen as his mate, they
are about to be sacrificed, & only Tarzan's strength & George's machine
gun can break them
free - along with D'Arnot, who was also held prisoner by the Mayans ...
But while the natives were preoccupied with their reluctant guests, Raglan
has seized the opportunity to steal the Goddes, & it's only thanks to Ula
that our little expedition group hasn't lost track of him - a track that, after
many a typical jungle adventure, leads them to
but by now, Raglan has stolen the Green Goddess, as the natives were
preoccupied with their prisoners, & only after a series of jungle
adventures & with the help of Ula Vale, who is still on Raglan's track
despite Tarzans suggestions for her to leave Raglan to him, can they keep up
with Raglan, who soon leaves the jungle for the next city to meet his contact,
but instead, he almost loses the Goddess to Tarzan here.
Soon though, it's back to the jungle for all but D'Arnot, Alice &
Gordon, who have parted for safety, & soon too, once again all our heroes
are captured by a natiove tribe (this time the natives are eerily hooded), but
again, thanks to Tarzan's prowess, they can all break free & stay on
Raglan's track until he reaches Mantique, where they can secure the Goddess
Unfortunately though, the boat they charter to take them & the Goddess
back to England belongs to Silas Blade - the very same weapons manufacturer
Ragloan has been in cahoots with - & he stops at nothing to0 get the
Goddess into his possession. Only a hurricane saves our heroes in the end as
Blade's ship is wrecked, & Tarzaqn, Ula, Martling & George turn outto
be the only survivors ...
Later, at Tarzan's estate in England, Ula decides - for the good of mankind
- to destroy the formula for the explosive that was found inside the Goddess
Edgar Rice Burroughs, not at all content with the treatment of his creation,
Tarzan, in the movies - he wanted him sees as an educated adventurer rather
than the noble savage he was in the MGM-series - decided to take matters into
his own hands & set up Burroughs Tarzan Pictures Inc to produce his own screen-versions of his novels.
For this, the first production of the company, he had an expedition
organized (the Ashton Dearhold expedition, as prominently displayed on posters
& lobby-cards) to take him & his whole film crew to Guatemala to film
on location - which was quite a venture for a film production back then,
especially a serial. Despite a great deal of authencity, this massive
on-location shooting does not work entirely for the serial, as in many
scenes it looks rather crude, many scenes could have done with a little more
planning or reshooting, the pacing is sometimes off, & the sound quality is
rather poor even for mid-30's standards. Also, despite the great efforts for
authencity, the filmmakers couldn't resist to throw in a few scenes of African
wildlife (filmed at the Selig Zoo, Los Angeles).
On the plus side however, the serial does contain some beautiful scenery
& the Mayan ruins are first class, thanks to the trip to Guatemala, &
some of the fights with wild beasts are rather breathtaking (since they are
real fights of man vs animal instead of actors getting rugs thrown at them),
& in general the action scenes - because of the rather primitive
on-location shooting - have a rather dangerous, daredevil quality.