Forbidden Adventure in Angkor (1937) L.C. Cook, George M. Merrick

Forbidden Adventure in Angkor (1937) aka Angkor

Genre: Documentary | Proto Mondo
Director: L.C. Cook & George M. Merrick
Country: USA
Language: English
Subtitles: none
Aspect Ratio: 1.49:1
Length: 81mn
File: Dvdrip Xvid Avi - 716x480 - 1.00gb

Distributed by Dwain Esper, the notorious madman behind MANIAC and MARIHUANA, FORBIDDEN ADVENTURE, better known as ANGKOR, is an incredible hodge-podge of stock footage, National Geographic travelogue scenes, and inserted topless shots of L.A. prostitutes being harassed by a guy in an ape suit. The film’s story begins with a meeting of the Los Angeles Adventurers’ Club, a fictional group if there ever was one, who proceed to screen a film put together with footage shot by two explorers, who later died in the first World War. The men reportedly ventured into Cambodia in 1911 and returned in 1914, and the producers edited all their footage together into a feature film. After spending time in a local village, they hire guides to help them trek into the jungle to find the forbidden city of Angkor, where an ancient treasure resides and its million inhabitants mysteriously disappeared. Along the way they encounter killer crocodiles, playful monkeys, natives performing fire rituals, an insane Buddhist claiming to be the reincarnated king of Angkor (!), giant monitor lizards and pythons, and a vicious tiger fight. Once they reach the lost city, they find the ruins inhabited by bloodthirsty bats, a regal peacock (huh?), a killer cobra, and a giant ape that proceeds to have its way with the explorers’ female guides!

This haphazardly-created travelogue is like Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom with tits. Substitute Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler for the no-name actors in fuzzy fake beards here, and you'd have a craven carbon copy of that nature-loving nonsense. Using lots of topless gals, a series of white hunter safari slaughter scenes(***), and a healthy dose of noticeable rear projection, this scientific expedition to the lost city of Angkor is just an excuse to see semi-clad gals getting down with dudes in ape suits. Indeed, the main premise of the movie has a pair of scholars searching for the legendary locale in order to prove out their theory that a once-great civilization was horribly undermined by an unnatural desire for monkey lovin'. Using a series of frescoes and some incredibly crappy reenactments, our narrating guide concludes that the women of Angkor, under the sway of a slave in a gorilla disguise, were taught the forbidden ways of simian sensuality. You know what they say—once you go ape, there's really no escape.

The native girls here were rumored to be prostitutes from a regional brothel who got angry when filmmakers demanded they work past their allotted $10 time limit. When people started questioning the film's authenticity, roadshow regular Dwayne Esper (who had acquired the film) made sure that the narrative indicated that there were some factual recreations and truth-twisting involved. The sense of seriousness is further muffled by the random insertion of superimposed foliage over the naked naughty bits. In order to avoid censorship complaints, big black silhouettes of ferns and grass were created to cover-up our jungle gal's corporeal coconuts. Unfortunately, all this faked fauna did was turn Forbidden Adventure into a perverted peek-a-boo game. One can just imagine the members of the raincoat crowd squinting and shifting to get a good glimpse of what is barely blocked out to begin with. It turns an otherwise nominal exploitation entry into something stunningly surreal.


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