Tarzan, The Ape Man (1981)


Spread the word: new chimp in town

TARZAN, THE APE MAN —–“directed by John Derek” could be the whole review, but since this infamous run through the bungle includes wife Bo (who produced as well as “acted”) we’ll be courtly and salute her contribution to the lore of the heroic vine-swinger.  He swings more sinuously than usual with Jane in this 1981 version of the Burroughs classic, told from Jane’s viewpoint. The daring Derek’s expenditure of $6,500,000 did manage to yell up $36,565,000, thanks to (1) her body and (2) her body.  A well-timed layout in “Playboy” could have been a factor. What were the articles in that month’s issue?…


Tarzan, no putz, shows native intelligence

Richard Harris needed the money (bar & coke tabs being what they were), and John Philip Law needed to erase memory of how lame he was as ‘Sinbad’.  Inexperienced 25-year-old hunkboy Miles O’Keeffe made his debut as the Lord of the Apes. He would follow this triumph with Ator, The Fighting Eagle.

Filming in Sri Lanka, Bo had a lot of trouble with the crew, firing 15 of the 23 involved: Art can be a harsh mistress. Hubby Derek also did the cinematography, yet he was not dismissed. Burroughs estate sued.


What’s wrong with this picture?  Quite a bit.


One thought on “Tarzan, The Ape Man (1981)

  1. I was just a teen when this hit and I remember the media frenzy the producers were pushing for. Then it debuts to a bomb. Still me and my high school friends couldn’t wait for the VHS tape to hit stores just so we could get a look at Bo. If only today’s teens could know what it’s like to have to wait months to see there own Bo. Now just Google her…. Anyway love Richard Harris so it’s one of his great low points. Apparently half nude for much of the shoot I think I’ve read. Yes I have an original one sheet to trigger those teen memories. Lol.

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