WILD WOMEN. Norman Dawn Productions, 1952. Re-released as Bowanga Bowanga and White Sirens of Africa. Lewis Wilson, Dana Wilson, Mort Thompson and Don Orlando. Written and directed by Norman Dawn. (Note: Not to be confused with Wild Women of Wongo, Captive Women or Mesa of Lost Women. Beware of substitutes!)

   A modestly enjoyable bad film if you’re in that kind of mood, but if you’re not, I recommend you stay away from this preposterous collage of mismatched stock footage and cheap-jack filmmaking.

   Mort Thompson and Don Orlando start out the film as Bwanas of a rather threadbare safari, who run across a wandering explorer (Lewis Wilson, the screen’s first Batman) who recounts how he came to be wandering.

   Whereupon we flash back to his childhood, and it seems he must have grown up in the 1920s because this part is taken from an old silent film (possibly one of Director Dawn’s early efforts; he was a pioneer of the silent film, introducing technical innovations like rear projection and matte shots) with something about an abusive jungle dad and a grass hut besieged by lions. There’s also some newer footage of a woman clad in animal skins, sometimes accompanied by a guy in a gorilla suit, but the ersatz ape is apparently just dropping by for a Guest Spot, as he has no further part in the story.

   A couple of flashbacks later, Thompson, Orlando and Wilson are off in search of the lost tribe of wild women, and shortly thereafter they all get caught by the vanished vixens and dragged off to a part of Africa that looks suspiciously like Bronson Canyon, the stomping grounds for generations of cheap movies, from the silent days to Robot Monster.

   I’d like to tell you more of the plot, but there isn’t any. The girls dance a lot, they take turns fighting over the guys, sometimes they fight the guys for a change, and sometimes we just look at mismatched stock shots of jungle animals, including a moose who seems to have wandered into this picture by mistake.

   Well, I never said it was a classic, but everyone keeps a straight face throughout and the actresses even put a bit of energy into the dancin’ and fightin’ parts. I had to admire their commitment, even while shaking my head at the silliness of it all.