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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Adventure > Jungle > Sabu Double Feature: Savage Drums (1951) + Jungle Hell (1956/VCI DVD)

Sabu Double Feature: Savage Drums (1951) + Jungle Hell (1956/VCI DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C     Extras: C+     Films: C+



Thanks to Producer Alexander Korda and Director Robert J. Flaherty, Sabu Dastagir became an international film star thanks to hits like Elephant Boy, The Thief Of Bagdad (1940), Jungle Book (1942) and Arabian Nights (1942), so Sabu (as he was always known commercially) continued his career doing films in the same “exotic jungle action” subgenre until his untimely death in 1963.  VCI has issued two of them on one DVD: Savage Drums (1951) and Jungle Hell (1956).


The former has him as a boxer in training forced to go back to fight Chinese Communists on his Indo-Chinese island where his brother is a king in exile!  Yes, the film is that outrageous and Margia Dean is the bad girl villain.  Savage Drums is only 72 minutes and that is about as long as you’ll be able to suspend your disbelief.  Jungle Hell is a compilation of TV material form one of Sabu’s several attempts to have a hit TV show, but the combinations of the jungle and aliens in flying saucers is so wacky, it has to be seen to be believed.  It runs 78 minutes.


The 1.33 X 1 black and white image is not bad in both cases, with some good detail and decent prints used in the transfer.  They both look good for their age and have likely been cleaned up a bit.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono can have its share of noise and distortion, but has been cleaned up somewhat.  Just be careful of playback volumes and volume switching.  Extras include trailers and a very good Interview with Margia Dean about Sabu and her career.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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