Jungle Jim (Johnny Weissmuller) is helping the Americans capture or kill all foreign spies in the area because of a top secret mission. They raid the last hideout in the jungle and blow everyone away. The stupid Americans want to test an atom bomb on a jungle island called Tulonga in Africa. The island has certain plant life that they want to examine and see what effects the radiation has on it. They call it Project Jungle X. Tulonga is inhabited so they want to remove all the natives temporarily. After the test they will rebuild the village and return the natives to the radiation poisoned island. I believe this was tried somewhere before and it ended with Godzilla and giant ants.
Jungle Jim is assigned to get the natives off the island and to a location near Dangor on the mainland. Joan Harris (Angela Stevens) from the World Health Organization is assigned to inoculate the natives before they are moved. They head off to the island to talk to the native chief, Wamai (Charles Stevens). The natives of Tulonga are superstitious so Jim has his work cut out for him.
One foreign agent, Carl Kroman (Gregory Gaye) manages to escape the raids. As a cover, Kroman trades with various native villages. Tulonga is his last stop for the season but he is told he is not allowed to go to the island. He contacts his stoolie, Paul Benek (Ted Thorpe) to find out why no one is allowed to go to the island and learns about the atom bomb test. Kroman and his main henchman Bruno (Leonard Penn) believe this is a perfect opportunity to screw up America’s plans.
Kroman and Bruno get to Tulonga before Jungle Jim and Joan. He riles up the natives so that they refuse to leave. Lutembi (Paul Marion) is second in charge so Kroman works on him to convince the natives not to leave. Lutembi challenges Jim in hand-to-hand combat. The tribe will follow the winner. Jim wins the match but they are still a long way from Dangor and Kroman has lots of tricks up his sleeve.
“Jungle Jim: Savage Mutiny” was released in 1953 and was directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet. It is a jungle adventure film and the 10th of 16 Jungle Jim movies done with Johnny Weissmuller playing Jungle Jim. The movie is basically atomic age propaganda. I’m not exactly sure who the target audience is here, kids or adults.
The stock footage most prevalent is that of a hyena and a bear fight as well as a hyena and a lion fighting over an antelope carcass. Jim battles a native to show his strength and kills a panther. Jim’s pet monkey, Tamba makes people laugh and does back flips.
The film is intended to be harmless adventure. It is supposed to show that the allies are good and that enemy agents are bad. In retrospect, however, the only real good guys here are the natives. Also, considering the dangerous weapon the Americans are playing with my opinion is that the superstitious natives have more sense than either the proverbial good guys or bad guys.
After the island is blown to smithereens and contaminated for one to five years, Radiological expert, Dr. Parker (Nelson Leigh) remarks that this is only the beginning. Jungle Jim asks if they have to do this all over again. The doctor remarks: “At other times in other places, wherever free men seek to find the weapons of peace.”