This is my entry for the Accidentally Hilarious Blogathon for Movies, Silently. If you have a chance, head on over to that website and check out other crazy bad movies alongside some great insights into the history and nature of silent film.
When I picked my movie that I was going to write about, the answer was simple. Find the craziest name for the title of a movie and hope that it is worth writing about. The Wild Women of Wongo is a pretty insane title and one that grabs you instantly. Just how wild are these women of Wongo? Well I guess I am about to tell you.
The movie opens with a voice over coming from the Mother Earth. She boasts about how freaking awesome she is and how great Father Time is too. But she is not without faults. She eventually cops to an experiment that both her and Father Time failed in executing properly (at least in their eyes). They decided to pair up beautiful women from the island of Wongo with brutish men and have attractive men merely a canoe boat away and who only have ugly women to choose from. Oh no, what ever will they do? Get together of course! But I am getting ahead of myself. First we need to see these two tribes barely interact with each other, perform oddly sexual rituals and show off their sweet bodies (Both the men and the women have some nice bodies… if only I could have turned the sound off.) before some real action with the ape men (who are two in number and oddly not ape like in any way) kicks the movie into high gear.
This movie is easily one of the worst movies I have ever seen. It is so incredibly incompetent and terrible that I was baffled that there was any humans that worked on this instead of aliens who like to string up bodybuilders’ lifeless corpses and dance them around. Everything is wrong about this movie: the casting, the acting, the screenplay, the direction, the costumes, and the set design. Let’s take each one and dissect its terribleness. First the acting. In the movie, the main actress (whose name is just some vowels thrown together to show just how uncivilized their community is: they talk like babies!) is the daughter of the king of the village. This king is supposed to be a menacing and imposing older fellow that brings down orders like the hammer of Thor. Instead we get a much younger man who has died his hair white and oiled up his sweet bod. He recites his lines as if he is about to fall asleep at any moment. He is not menacing or authoritative in any way. So when the daughter disobeys his orders further on in the movie, it seems less dramatic than it should be because she is basically disobeying a block of wood. The main actress in the movie is probably the best actress and she is pretty bad. When she is on-screen I am more interested in her terrible choice in outfit that makes her look way more hippy than she is then what she is actually saying. I mean c’mon leopard print? Can we get more obvious people? Anyway the acting is uniformly the worst I have ever seen even from the extras. There is a very long scene in which all of the women are banished (from being too WILD!!… I crack myself up) from the island and must perform a dance for the goddess. These women are dancing to please their dragon god (which is an alligator) and if they don’t they bad things will happen to both them and their loved ones. They perform these herky jerky movements that you see in a lot of beach part movies from this time and in movies about people loving rock and roll too much. But none of the extras can hold a straight face while they are dancing. I don’t think they are even aware of what is happening to them (Thus my theory about aliens creating puppets out of these people). But the camera insists on giving these vacant airheads their close-ups anyway. So we get one woman who is taking very seriously juxtaposed with a woman who couldn’t hold in her laughter long enough to shake it in front of the camera for a couple of seconds. And they kept her in!
This leads me to the direction. The choices that were made at every turn was just plain wrong. Little choices like having the dragon goddess peer over a rock to watch someone approach to big choices like having a freaking parrot actively respond to the goings on in the story all show that this person should never have been given money to do this. The director of the film didn’t go on to do anything else and that was probably a wise decision. Because not only did he actively keep in obvious line flubs, uncharacteristic dialogue, and crack ups by the extras, but he also decided that all the women should be dressed like they were in the sixties instead of ancient times, and to film at some resort location that is clearly not an island.
But nothing is as egregious as the screenplay in the film. Scenes follow one another with no connective tissue, there are wild jumps in tone, and the dialogue is easily the worst dialogue I have ever seen. Let’s play example time! Here is a great one early on: “He carries the wing of the white bird of peace.” Or here is yet another great gem: “I will think of a man to keep me awake.” Yeah it is some subtle stuff going on here. This screenwriter could have been the next Shakespeare.
I could probably write about this movie forever, but this is where I will stop. I enjoyed my time laughing at the obvious dialogue and the terrible action scenes (the main actress wrestles an alligator!) thoroughly. It livened up my day.