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Ramar of the Jungle - The Mark of Shaitan

USA 1953
produced by
Rudolph C. Flothow for Arrow Productions
directed by Paul Landres
starring Jon Hall, Ray Montgomery, Merrill McCormick, Victor Millan, Edgar Barrier, Frank Fenton, Steve Conte
written by Barry Shipman

tv-series
Ramar of the Jungle, Ramar in India

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Upon invitation of the Maharajah of Tata (Edgar Barrier), jungle doctor Ramar (Jon Hall) & his companion doctor Ogden (Ray Montgomery) are invited to India, where, before they can even as much as meet their host, an old Guru warns Ramar of forthcoming perils ... & really, it's not long before Ogden is attacked by a man in a gruesome mask, & a mark - the Mark of Shaitan - scratched upon the back of his hand ... & as the legend goes, once the mark has faded away, its bearer will die.

& as if that wasn't enough, at the Maharajah's court, the Maharajah's friend Kruger accuses them of wanting to rob the treasure of Shaitan, since only those who try to do so would bear the mark. Still, Ramar & Ogden, along with their native guide Zahir (Victor Millan) head for the jungle, where Ogden's health steadily worsens, & when the native bearers see his mark, they panic & decide to sacrifice him, & Ramar & Zahir too. But then Ramar has an idea: since he has found out that the man who has inflicted the mark upon Ogden lives in one of the neighbouring caves, he just goes there & unmasks him - & wouldn't you know it, it's Kruger himself -, which pretty much ruins the natives' belief in the Mark of Shaitan ...

But ... Ogden is still dieing ... until Guru comes along, prays a little, & Ogden is as good as new - because, Guru says, not some poison was causing his decay but only his belief to have been poisoned ...

 

After a successful run of the series set in Africa, the producers decided, in the middle of season one, to switch locale to India, just for a change ... though actually rather little has changed, since the stzudio sets that in the past represented the African jungle, now were supposed to be India, the natives were as naive, savage & sacrifice-bent either way, only the spliced in stock-footage dffered slightly. For season 2 however, it was back to Africa again for the remainder of the series' short run.

This episode, the first of the Indian period, suffers severly from an incoherent script that seems to take plottwists into just about every direction rather deliberately, with no regard to storytelling, which makes it pretty hard to figure out what's going on - even though this is just a naive jungle adventure.

 

review by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD