'Wild Women of Wongo' Movie: Lovely to Look At Cult Classic

by Danny Fortune

Wild Women of WongoAt first, the women in The Wild Women of Wongo don't look so “wild.” They are compliant and obedient to their Wongo male counterparts, sporting perfectly coiffed hair and donning custom-made summer wear. (I guess beauticians and tailors were plentiful around 1,000 BCE.) But when a handsome male member of the neighboring Goona tribe washes ashore to negotiate for a Wongo bride, the women are so smitten by him that they rise up against their men to prevent them from killing the Goona guy, knocking over an image of their Dragon God in the process. Thereafter, they are banished from the tribe and must wander in the wilderness – in the land of the Ape Men – until the Dragon God takes revenge on them. That's when they really go wild, wrestling an alligator and slugging it out with each other over the Goona men.

The Wongo women are all beautiful. The Goona men are lovely to look at, too. (One of them is Ed Fury, who was a successful bodybuilder and all-around beefcake in the 1950s, appearing as a physique model in several American Model Guild movie loops.) But the Wongo men and the Goona Women are not so comely, so it is only natural that they change partners.

This chauvinistic piece of camp contains the usual dreadful acting and senseless screenplay (by Cedric Rutherford) of the drive-in genre. It was filmed in a process called Pathe Color, sharing much of the same music soundtrack as Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space. Director James L. Wolcott, for his part, displays a curious sense of humor about the storyline, even including an irritating parrot that squawks out commentary between scenes. Someone named Olga Suarez is credited with the “choreography,” which consists of nothing more than thrashing and writhing.

The Wild Women of Wongo was followed by “Gay Guys of Goona.” Don't miss it.

Wild Women of Wongo (1958).
Dir.: James L. Wolcott.
Scr.: Cedric Rutherford.
Cast: Jean Hawkshaw, Adrienne Borbeau, Ed Fury, Mary Ann Webb, Cande Gerrard, Johnny Walsh, Zuni Dyer.

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