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I recently re-watched Tarzan and his Mate (1934), and the surprisingly violent content in it reminded me of a couple of fragmented images that I would like to track down from other Tarzan films.

The first is of a tank disguised as a dinosaur/dragon, and used by the white antagonists to terrify the 'natives' (and which also terrified my young self).

The second is of explorers who fall foul of the locals and are tied to trees that have been forcibly bent into 'X' shapes - and which are then unbound, thus springing back to upright and neatly tearing the victims in half. Very gruesome, I agree, and a powerful image that has stayed with me for many decades.

I have no other recollections from either film, sorry.

Are these elements from Johnny Weismuller Tarzan films (or even Ron Ely's TV show), and if so, can you identify the films?

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The book series The Three Investigators, issue #14, Mystery of the Coughing Dragon, also features the "Tank-as-Dragon" element. Was first published in 1970, written by Nick West who might have woven a nod to Ian Flemming into his yarn here... – isync Dec 27 '11 at 1:38
up vote 4 down vote accepted

The tank/dinosaur featured in a 1967 Ron Ely episode of Tarzan called 'Track Of The Dinosaur'. From memory the bad guys were using it to scare off locals to gain land.


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Well, the first scene about this tank diguised as a dragon sounds like Dr. No, the very first James Bond movie, where the evil guys used a tank made up like a dragon to scare the locals away from their doings.

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You are correct - I'm a big Bond aficionado and though I am aware of this in Dr. No, the image I can remember is definitely in the jungle and leans more towards a sauropod than a dragon. Many thanks for your reply. – Nobby Dec 26 '11 at 23:24

For the record, I have discovered that the gruesome 'death by bendy trees' can be found in Tarzan Escapes (1936) - but I am still perplexed by the 'dinosaur/tank' memory.

I'm definitely not thinking of Dr. No, the location was in the African jungle.

I am making this a bounty question.

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