Red Bamboo – Jason Lyttell (1935)

sascoverAt the head of the safari rode a lone white man and a girl.

The man is checking out her “undulating breasts” with “an insane desire to crush one firm globule in his hairy hand.”   The men in this collection have the hairiest mitts since 3rd-from-the-right-guy on the evolution chart.  They also seem to share another trait:

  • Shanghai Jester:  Her boyish body was clad in a negligee that had fallen open at the throat.
  • Cave of the Criss-Cross Knives:  A pair of sheer silk step-ins only partially covered her boyish hips.
  • Red Bamboo: He licked his lips as his eyes strayed down her body . . . down her slim waist to her lithe boyish thighs.

Sally’s fiancee John Evans financed this safari and is bringing up the rear.  Leaving the sweaty, glistening, scantily-clad Sally with the manly-man guide Masterson on the lead camel might not have been the wisest choice.

Masterson stops the caravan for the night.  When one of the crew [1] begins pitching a tent (heh, heh), Masterson kicks him for positioning it above some bamboo shoots.  “The damn things will grow right through a man’s bedding during the night!”

Masterson gets a nice show from Sally as she strips for bed, silhouetted against the side of her tent (like in Austin Powers but with less fisting (or Seinfeld)).  After getting pretty worked up, he creeps over to her tent.  It seems likely he would have raped her if Evans didn’t save the day.

The men fight, but stop upon hearing “a weird, pulsating wail.”  Evans recognizes it as the cry of frightningly-named Torzo the Wicked One from the not-at-all frightningly-named Valley of Little Pale Women.  Evans is concerned for Sally’s safety, but Masterson refuses to turn back.

In a temple in the jungle, Masterson finds a jewel.  As he is stealing it, something strikes his hand — he is surrounded by little white women who only come up to his waist.  “They were entirely naked except for hair like spun gold . . . His eyes fastened themselves on the tiny curves of their perfectly formed breasts . . . heavy gold bracelets encircled their tiny ankles.”  They swarm him and he begins tearing them apart, breaking bones, squashing them.  Somehow, they manage to paralyze him, and he lets out “the long agonized wail of a soul in hell.

Sally, Evans, and their associates [1] hear the scream and decide maybe it is time to turn head back to civilization.  As Masterson is writhing in agony on the ground, he sees the body of another man with a bloody bamboo shoot sticking through his abdomen.  I think we are to believe that they are going to kill Masterson by paralyzing him and letting a bamboo shoot grow through his body.  If this is indeed the ludicrous plan, all I can say is BRAVO!  That is truly original.

Masterson let out another “soul-rendering scream“.  One of Evans’ entourage [1] says, “Better we pack.  Big white man not come back.”

The story is nothing special, but kudos for imagery of a tribe of tiny naked blondes — and I can’t stress this enough: tiny adult women, not children! — swarming Masterson. And for an utterly original method of torture and execution which is actually fore-shadowed.  Well done!


  • [1] Slaves
  • First published in June 1935.
  • Also that month: Joe Louis whoops Primo Carnera.

Also seen this day: After being delayed more times than a Delta flight through Atlanta, Flight 7500 was finally released this year.  It is not bad as much as it is a missed opportunity.  The pieces are all here: mostly good cast, unoriginal yet always fun plot, claustrophobic airplane setting — it’s just very blah.  Not even the very cute stewardesses can save it (and might be the most unbelievable element of the movie).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.