THE WILD WOMEN OF WONGO a film by JAMES L. WALCOTT (1958) (Triton DVD)

 |   |  2 min read

THE WILD WOMEN OF WONGO a film by JAMES L. WALCOTT (1958) (Triton DVD)

Everyone is allowed their guilty secrets when it comes to bad movies: I have an unnatural affection for Zardoz (Sean Connery in the future somewhere) and The Long Ships (in which Sidney Poitier seems to swim from somewhere Moorish to the land of the Vikings).

These are stupid but fun and allow you plenty of couchtime to add up the continuity errors and so on.

The Wild Women of Wongo is something else again, and here is a the spoiler alert: it has no redeeming features.

It may be one of those film which isn't so bad it is good, just simply so bad it is awful.

But the story about it -- and its wafer-thin plotline -- makes for some interest: apparently the director Walcott was an accountant who quit his job to make this odd piece of quasi-Pacifica escapism (Florida actually) where one village has handsome men and ugly women and the other (Wongo) has . . . you guessed it.

Of course the twain meet when a handsome prince ends up in Wongo and the ugly thuggers try to do away with him. They are an odd bunch with weirdly blue hair and one guy looks like Monty Burns from The Simpsons. The ugly women are pretty brutal on the eye also.

wild_women_1   The beautiful women of course look like perfect Fifties housewives, except in leopard skins and skimpy outfits. All the men are bronzed (the handsome ones chesty).

   There is some primitive worship of The Dragon God (cue library footage of a small alligator) and more fake ritual than in an episode of Survivor. Among the highlights are a mad dance sequence by the women at the temple (early interpretive dance by a one-time Broadway dancer, be warned).

   The men earnestly declaim every line (in accents which seem to shift from some imagined Congo in Tahiti to Southern California) and there is even a parrot which comes in with comments or squawks during cutaways.

Howlingly bad -- with cat fights!

And did I mention there are mysterious Ape Men who rarely even appear, a fight with The Dragon God (which seems seriously sedated or an inflatable mock-up) and a final few minutes which will have you howling with laughter and disbelief?

wild_3The godawful Wild Women of Wongo has been released in a package with two shorts: Supervising Women Workers from 1944 (described as the most sexist film ever made, you be the judge) and The Relaxed Wife of 1957 which was a somewhat surreal film (with a commentary in rhyming couplets) to promote a tranquilizer called Atarax designed the make you more at ease in the busy, problem-filled world you are forced to endure.

Weirdness abounds.

The package comes with an eight page booklet and in cover art by the Australian illustrator Graeme Dickinson.

I hope he asked for money and not a copy of the DVD. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Film articles index

MONTY PYTHON: ALMOST THE TRUTH, THE LAWYER'S CUT (Eagle Rock DVD): This is all getting far too silly

MONTY PYTHON: ALMOST THE TRUTH, THE LAWYER'S CUT (Eagle Rock DVD): This is all getting far too silly

If you thought the last word on the Pythons had been the DVD box sets, the CD reissue of their albums and their Autobiography modelled on the Beatles' Anthology book, then . . . Yes, here at... > Read more

IN SEARCH OF SHAKESPEARE (DVD): He doth bestride the world . . .

IN SEARCH OF SHAKESPEARE (DVD): He doth bestride the world . . .

My favourite story is the one about the guy whose wife tells him to murder his boss and grab the top job. He does, but then he’s got to kill a few others to keep it. Along the way, as the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EPs by Shani.O

EPs by Shani.O

With so many CDs and downloads commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Shani.O. She will scoop up some of those many EP... > Read more

ELMORE JAMES: Sliding with the king

ELMORE JAMES: Sliding with the king

It has been almost half a century since Elmore James bent over to pull up his socks before going out to play in an Chicago nightclub . . . and went face down on to the floor with his third and... > Read more