For the episode, see MST3K 203 - Jungle Goddess.

Plot

Bush pilot Mike Patton is told by his fellow pilot Bob Simpson about Greta Vanderhorn, whose Dutch diamond magnate father is paying a handsome reward for anybody who can find her (or at the very least her remains) in the jungles of Africa where she lost herself six years ago. Mike thinks it's a waste of time and they'd be better off ferrying passengers. But since Bob has a majority share in their operation, he insists.

Flying over the general area where she had gone missing, Bob spots the wreckage of the plane on which she had been traveling. After landing, they have an encounter with some natives that ends with Bob shooting one of them. They are taken as prisoners and marched to the tribe's village. There they discover Greta, who is clearly held in high esteem by the natives. After hearing the accounts of what happened, Bob is sentenced to death during the next full moon in eight days time. Since Mike had tried to stop Bob from killing the native, he will be allowed to leave after the execution.

Mike and Bob are held in a hut while they wait for the execution, where they start devising a plan for escape. Greta summons Mike, who explains to her why they've come. Greta then recounts how she ended up here. Six years ago, she had been attending an American boarding school when the outbreak of World War II occurred in Europe. She decided to put her first aid training to good use by volunteering to be a nurse. However, on her trip to Johannesburg to see her father, the plane she was on experienced mechanical difficulties and crashed, with her the only survivor. Wandering through the jungle, she encountered some members of an isolated tribe who had never seen a white person before. They believed her to be a goddess and took her back to their village. She gained more favor when she successfully treated the fever of a girl named Wanama, who became her devoted companion. Having recounted this, Greta agrees to help them escape, though she isn't shy about stating that she thinks Bob deserves what he has coming.

While Mike is okay with this arrangement, Bob is not so accepting, especially when the witch doctor Oolonga (who has never really bought into Greta's supposed divinity) drives the rest of the tribe into a frenzy. Complicating matters, they find that one of the tribal effigies is made from a mineral used for processing uranium into fissile material, arousing Bob's baser instincts. Figuring that would be worth more than the reward for Greta's return, he decides to skip out. He still has a revolver, which would allow him to force his way out. However, he'd still need someone familiar with the area to guide him, so he tries pressuring Wanama into helping him. His lecherous tactics frighten her and she runs off to Greta.

Meanwhile, Mike and Bob have a disagreement about who gets to carry the revolver and it devolves into a fistfight. During the struggle, the revolver goes off and kills one of the guards outside the hut. Seeing this, the other guard runs off to summon the other natives who are out hunting. Mike, Bob, and Greta are thus forced to make their escape immediately. Their progress is slowed when Greta twists her ankle and they're unable to make it back to the plane before nightfall. As blundering through the jungle in the dark would be suicidal, they are forced to stop, lighting a fire to ward off the nocturnal fauna.

During the evening, Mike and Greta's relationship becomes increasingly amorous. This does not sit well with Bob, and he abandons thems the next day, taking the revolver and the compass. However, Bob becomes increasingly jumpy, firing at the slightest provacation. This makes it easy for Mike and Greta to trail him, along with the natives. Eventually, they make it back to the landing site, where Bob ambushes them. During the struggle, a native sneaks up and throws a spear through Bob. Mike and Greta board the airplane and fly off to civilization.

Cast

Notes

  • The film was the first to be produced by Robert L. Lippert's independent production company, Lippert Pictures.
  • The two male leads of Jungle Goddess, George Reeves and Ralph Byrd, later had success on television playing the comics characters Superman and Dick Tracy, respectively.
  • Among the wildlife seen in the film are cougars and orangutans, neither of which are native to Africa.

References

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