Shout Factory presents
The Film Crew: The Wild Women of Wongo (2007)
"Oh, nice going, movie!"- Mike Nelson
Stars: Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett
Other Stars: Mary Ann Webb, Johnny Walsh, Jean Hawkshaw, Pat Crowley, Burt Williams, Rex Richards, Zuni Dyer, Olga Suarez, Ed Fury, Adrienne Bourbeau, Cande Gerrard
Director: James L. Wolcott
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (occasional mature humor)
Run Time: 01h:23m:00s
Release Date: 2007-09-11
DVD ReviewThe third film in the Film Crew series once again finds former Mystery Science Theater 3000-ers Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy forced to endure and provide wacky commentary on another horrible B-movie, in this case the 1958 tropical island adventure Wild Women Of Wongo, from director James L. Wolcott. That Wongo is such a comically amateurish feature makes the riffing the equivalent of knocking batting practice pitched out of the park, something that Nelson, Corbett and Murphy unleash rather easily.
It takes a good twenty minutes or so before Wolcott's film—shot in large part at Florida's Coral Castle—begins to really make any sense (not that it ever really does), something to do with Mother Nature (she provides the opening narration) having set up a pair of islands, Wongo and its ugly men/beautiful women and Goona with its handsome males/unsightly females populace. When a buff Goona warrior bucks tradition and ventures unwelcome to Wongo to seek an alliance and warn them of a possible ape-man attack, his hunky good looks set off a hormonal explosion in the titular "wild women", none of whom seem particularly rambunctious, though they do seem a little horny. Mix in a supposedly vengeful dragon god (re: alligator), a demented priestess who loves dancing, underwater gator wrestling, a talking parrot who wears out his welcome quickly, and a couple of hilarious fight scenes and there's plenty here to riff on.
Like MST3K, The Film Crew references are all over the road, crossing a very wide range of subjects, moving from Jim Jarmusch/The Ascension/Menendez Brothers to Flintstones/Simpsons/Exxon Valdez gags in a heartbeat. It takes a while for this one to get rolling, but there are some very funny comments throughout this one, though I found myself wondering how they passed on a number of glaringly easy targets, such as a quick reveal of the horribly incomplete dye job of the Wongo king.
And like the other Film Crew titles, there are three host segments (at the beginning, a break in the middle, at the end) where Nelson, Corbett and Murphy try to stretch out a thin joke for a couple of minutes without the benefit of the movie to fall back on. And as before, it is these segments that drag on a little, and it's disconcerting to see three funny guys falling through bits that often aren't that funny, though Murphy's "lunch break" bit about a revised map of the world is amusing.
Wolcott's film is comically odd and disjointed, yet stacked with some alluring animal-skin-clad women—especially head wild woman Jean Hawkshaw as the fiery Omoo—and a fair amount of homoerotic innuendo. The spastic sensuality of the temple sacrificial dance sequence is a weird mix of sexy grinding and apoplectic lunging, and all of the humorous input from Nelson, Corbett and Murphy seems completely unnecessary at a moment like that, because Wolcott has in those brief bursts of nonsense constructed something so wonderfully askew that it almost works on its own.
Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B+
|Aspect Ratio||1.33:1 - Full Frame|
|Original Aspect Ratio||yes|
Image Transfer Review: The full-frame transfer of Wild Women 0f Wongo is pretty ugly, sporting some terribly faded colors, often so bad that it appears characters hair color changes from scene to scene just because of the levels. Plenty of age-related problems aside from the color fade, with tons of specking and dirt throughout. The host segments—with Nelson, Corbett and Murphy—is a bit soft-edged, but colors are understandably more vibrant, yet still a little on the dull side.
Image Transfer Grade: B-
Audio Transfer Review: Audio is presented in a plain 2.0 stereo mix, one that provides clear voice quality for the comments from The Film Crew, which is really the key element here. Wolcott's Wongo suffers from flat, hissy audio—and some periodic distortion when voices are raised—but most of the imperfections are acceptable, considering the film is goofed on.
Audio Transfer Grade: B-
Disc ExtrasAnimated menu with music
Scene Access with 5 cues and remote access
1 TV Spots/Teasers
Packaging: clear plastic keepcase
Extras Review: Extras include a 3.5" x 5" Film Crew logo sticker, for those of you jonesing for such a thing. Like the other films in the series, packaging for this single-layer disc is a clear plastic keepcase, which when opened reveals some additional images from Wild Women.
The rest of supplements are rather short, but good for a quick laugh. Make The Film Crew Dance borrows from one of the stranger sequences in the main feature, editing the wacky Priestess' demand to "DANCE!", here used to showcase the spastic moves of Mike (:32s), Bill (:27s) or Kevin (:13s), with What Madness Drives Her? (:16s) acting as a capper. Goodbye, Wongo-Style (01m:35s) has the guys doing their version of Wongo's comical "winking" finale.
Extras Grade: C
Final CommentsAnother bad movie, another block of wacky riffing from one-time Mystery Science Theater 3000 alums Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy, now reinvented as The Film Crew. Wild Women of Wongo is a great selection to be made fun of, almost too easy at times, and the big laughs come pretty often.
Rich Rosell 2007-10-03