Jungle Jim (Johnny Weissmuller) is on hand to visit his friend Prince Zuwaba (Bernie Hamilton) and to witness a ceremony crowning Zuwaba’s father Chief Boganda (Vince Townsend Jr.), and his heirs, as Chief of Kambiziland. He then saves Dr. Bonnie Crandall (Karin Booth) and Inspector Jeffrey Bernard of Scotland Yard (Richard Stapley) from being killed by Zulu (Paul Thompson), the chief of the Moro tribe. The captured Zulu is taken to the camp of Commissioner Kingston (Lester Matthews) until he can be tried.
Also in camp is Leroux (Gregory Gaye). Leroux represents an international diamond syndicate that controls the flow of diamonds around the world. They know that a new diamond field has been discovered somewhere in the jungle. The syndicate is afraid that the diamonds from the new field will flood the market and make the value of diamonds crash. The field was discovered by three men. Two of the men went to Paris to negotiate with the syndicate. They were murdered. The last man is somewhere in the jungle working the mine. They need to find him before he too is murdered and the diamond market flooded.
During the night Leroux unties Zulu and conspires with him to find the diamond mine and kill anyone who gets in their way. Leroux gets the diamonds and Zulu gets to be king of the valley. They find and kill the third man taking from him the map to the mine. While extracting the diamonds Leroux has Zulu burn down the Kambizi village and kill Chief Boganda. They capture Zuwaba and his pregnant wife N’gala (Louise Franklin). With the help of Bernard, Jim attempts to save Zuwaba and his wife while stopping Zulu and Leroux from completing their diabolical plans.
“Jungle Man-Eaters was released in 1954 and was directed by Lee Sholem. It is the 13th of 16 Jungle Jim movies that starred Johnny Weissmuller. It is also the last of the 16 that called the hero Jungle Jim. The last three films of the series referred to the hero as Johnny Weissmuller. This is not unusual. This was similarly done with stars such as Gene Autry and Roy Rogers.
This is your basic Columbia Jungle Jim movie although there is more stock footage than usual. Also most of the natives in the film are actually black and not South Sea or Pacific Islanders.
Stock footage includes shots of various wildlife running from fires and running from an airplane as well as footage of African tribal dancing. There is also a rather grisly fight between a lion and a bull. Jim battles a lion and a crocodile. As for the title of the film, except for the lion and the crocodile that Jungle Jim kills, if there were any man-eaters, I missed them.
Bernie Hamilton, who played Zuwaba, also played Neb in “Mysterious Island” 1951 as well as Captain Dobey on the television show “Starsky and Hutch”.