Sheena: Queen of the Jungle


Release Date: 1984
Director: John Guillermin
Running Time: 120 minutes
Cast: Tanya Roberts, Donovan Scott, Ted Wass, France Zobda, Elizabeth of Toro
Comic Artist: S.M. Iger, Will Eisner
First Appearance: Editors Press Service 1937


The female answer to Tarzan, Sheena started in 1937 and was created by Will Eisner and S.M. Iger for the newspapers. Mort Meskin (art) and William Thomas (script) produced Sheena for Fiction House's Jumbo number 1 in September 1938 where it lasted for 167 issues (until March 1953). Sheena had her own title from Spring 1942 until Winter 1953 (18 issues). Aimed at adolescent boys the title was very successful and even spawned a TV spin-off starring Irish McCalla.


Based on the famous comic strip, Sheena chronicles the adventures of the title character (Tanya Roberts), a fair-skinned orphan taken in by a kindly Zambouli priestess (Elizabeth of Toro, a real-life African queen) in a remote African village and trained in the ancient arts of makeup and hairstyling. When American newsmen Fletcher (Donovan Scott) and Vic (Ted Wass) travel to her homeland to cover a story on Prince Otwani (Trevor Thomas), they uncover his plot to assassinate his brother, the reigning prince (a renowned field-goal kicker), and frame the priestess for the crime. Sheena joins forces with the newsmen to stop him and restore order to the country. Although Roberts looks great in a loincloth, her assets alone cannot save this turkey; one wonders where the jungle princess manages to plug in her blow-dryer. This ridiculous film was panned across the board upon its release and subsequently bombed.

© Jeremy Beday, All Movie Guide

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