Now, for this month's Musical Question: Who's the Smexiest Jungle Chick nine to five (evenings and weekends she has off) - yes, Who's that Queen of the Jungle Jive?? And if you answered anything other than "Jungle Girl Heather," you're apparently reading the wrong web page! That's her over there on the right, stepping off the Studio Tour Bus, wearing sunglasses so that her fans won't recognize her - our resident Jungle Chick - Queen of two an' a half acres of tropical foliage, with her own parking space, and friend to all the jungle creatures (especially after she's had a sip or two of Jungle Juice)...
Because, you see, continuing with our theme of Movie Genre Calendars - this month we take a look at Studio Back-Lot Jungle Epics, the type which were filmed on a half-acre of weedy shrubs with a potted palm tree or two - a dozen bored extras an' some guy in a gorilla suit. In fact, just the sort of Jungle flick that our resident Jungle er... Bunny might appear in...
Appearing alongside Heather, High Priestess OoLaLa (played by Yvonne Renarde) is making her calendar debut... OoLaLa (if you don't recall) was introduced in "Jungle Buns and the Family Jewels of Ophir"... Exactly why she and Heather are seemingly trapped in a lower court of the city ruins while being menaced by some guy in a gorilla suit, I can't exactly say... Just something to do, I suppose... Let's face it, the plots in these B-Movie jungle flix were somewhat predictable - if you've got a smexy actress in the cast, then she almost always is menaced by something or other - or alternatively, she attempts to menace or seduce the handsome hero (or preferably both)...
Which reminds me, we owe a tip of the pith helmet to H. Ryder Haggard, the creator of the Lost Jungle Civilization Genre, and to Edgar Rice Burroughs, who popularized it more than any other author with his Tarzan books, in which he also introduced the Lost Atlantean City of Opar - populated by degenerate apelike subhumans, and ruled by La - the sultry, sexy, voluptuous, amorous, bloodthirsty High Priestess... Hey, Burroughs knew what sells!!
Then a few years back, midst a spate of Jungle Girl calendars, Mr. Burroughs' works of fiction inspired yours truly to scribble out a minor effort of the genre, "Jungle Buns and the Family Jewels of Ophir" (which unlike Mr. Burroughs' stories, didn't sell) - but that you too can read by clicking here... This link right here! Yes that's the one! Not yet, read the rest of this first, then Click!
Also, For those of you too young to remember, perhaps we should mention that Heather's ensemble harkens back to those Jungle Girl comics of the 1950s - the ones where voluptuous blondes in leopardskin bikinis cavorted around the jungle, (Though a modern Jungle Girl like Heather, with an eye to the unPC nature of the fur trade, wears only polyester print leopard-spot scanties)... A Jungle Chick's hair was perfectly coiffed, eyebrows perfectly penciled, lips perfectly lipsticked... She never got a tick bite or a leech on her um... wherever... while rescuing safaris, righting wrongs, wronging rights and escaping those irksome Fates Worse than Death...
While Miss Yvonne Renarde's bejeweled brassiere, bangles, briefest of breechcloths and not much else - are the fashion favored by the maidens, priestesses and femme fatales who seem to populate all those various lost and ruined cities scattered across darkest Africa... (Hey, I'm not knockin' it!)
But fashion reviews aside, Inspired by the general lack of interest in my aforementioned jungle tale, a couple or three years later, I typed out a sort of a sequel (Creatively titled, "Jungle Buns the Sequel")... And I had semi-intended on doodling out a few illustrations to present it along with this month's calendar... But, well... What with one thing or another I ran out of time, so that didn't happen - though it does somewhat explain why our calendar illustration is set in the ruins of the lost lath-and-plaster city of Ophir (located behind sound stage 7 and across from the studio commissary)... In case you're wondering, this scene appears nowhere in the sequel - nor in the original story either... It was mostly just an excuse for a moderately exciting calendar scene... and now, if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to work on Bunz & Katz... JQ
August Calendar Pix: