Blaise’s Bad Movie Guide: ‘Wild Women of Wongo” — you probably shouldn’t bother

Published: 9/8/2016 1:49:37 PM

Imagine a movie about an island inhabited by beautiful, primitive girls, with danger at every turn (and with one wild women played by Adrienne Bourbeau). Sounds tantalizing, doesn’t it? Now wipe that image from your mind, because you won’t find anything of the sort in “The Wild Women of Wongo” (1958), even though no-less-illustrious an artist than playwright Tennessee Williams had a hand in directing it (true!). This is an action movie with little action, a romantic comedy with meager laughs, and a sexy romp with a sexiness quotient equal to that of an episode of “Barney.”

The movie begins with narration by none other than Mother Nature herself. Some 10,000 years ago, she tells us, she and her good buddy Father Time conducted an experiment. They made all the women on Wongo Island beauties and all the men brutish dolts, while on the neighboring island of Goona, the men are all hunks and the women bags across the board. Now Wongo is infested with alligators and Goona is under attack by a tribe of ape men. With a squawking parrot to provide “commentary,” we are off and running.

A stud from Goona arrives on Wongo to warn the tribe about the ape men. In a seemingly endless banal exchange that turns out to be typical of the whole movie, the Wongonian asks him what message the Goona king brings, then asks him if he is hungry. Stud says yes: he is brought chow. The Wongo chief’s hottie daughter makes goo-goo eyes at stud man. Goona man again asks about the king’s message. And on and on it goes ...

So what actually does happen? Well, our heroine, Omoo (not the Shark God!), wrestles an alligator underwater, which takes up about half the film’s running time. The actress, Jean Hackshaw, has no acting ability, but she does have good lungs to hold her breath that long.

Then our Wongo gals perform a ritualistic dance in front of an old crone, jerking spasmodically as if they have sand in their shorts. Then two Wongo women get into a brawl. Then the ape men attack, but it appears their raiding party consists of a fighting force of two. The Wongo women gently prod the ape men (some extras with a touch of mud on their kissers) into the water, where the alligator gets a two-for-one brunch.

Finally, all the Goona hunks must perform a male rite of passage and go into the forest unarmed. The survivors get to return to their village and marry the ugly women of their choice — something they are less than enthusiastic about. Lucky for them, however, they get shackled with vines by the Wongo women, who force them to become their mates. (In the face of this more-than-acceptable alternative, one of them sourly notes that pretty women can’t cook). Turns out the brutish Wongo men are unperturbed by this development. Can you guess why? Yes, they have discovered the hidden cache of ugly Goona women and are instantly smitten all around.

The aforementioned old crone performs a massive wedding ceremony, during which all the men take turns winking at the camera. The End.

What about Adrienne Bourbeau? You should pay attention, because you’re thinking about Adrienne BARBEAU, not Bourbeau! I'm guessing even the parrot knew she was a fake.

— Blaise Majkowski

Gazette page designer and B-movie aficionado

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