Article 3357 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-10-2010
Posting Date: 10-23-2010
Directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet
Featuring John Hart, Rick Vallin, Ben Welden
What it is: Bargain basement serial thrills
Captain Africa, Mighty Jungle Avenger, helps a deposed caliph regain his throne.
This serial was originally intended to be a sequel to Columbia's THE PHANTOM, but after they completed it they discovered that their option to make a sequel to the previous serial had expired. Therefore, they brought back some of the actors and reshot some of the scenes to make it look like a different hero, one Captain Africa, was doing the heroics. To me, the serial looks like it was cobbled together mostly from footage of other serials (especially THE PHANTOM), with the new actors standing around and looking at things and having conversations. The plot feels like it was barely thrown together, and everyone seems detached from the action. To my mind, this is one lousy serial with virtually nothing to redeem it, yet I find it sitting on IMDB with a 7.2 rating. Now, I know that serials like this are only rated by people who love serials to begin with, but there are far worthier serials out there to defend. The fantastic content: Captain Africa magically appears and disappears in front of the jungle tribes (explained in THE PHANTOM but not here) and Captain Africa consults a crystal ball on occasion.