Sheena Queen of the Jungle - Episode 12
The Leopard Men

Director Frank McDonald
Producer Edward Nassour
Screenplay Frank Gruber
Story Supervision Joel Murcott

Sheena Irish McCalla
Bob Rayburn Christian Drake
Chim Neal

Helfer Fernando Wagner
Carver Jerry Molina
Chief Hafu Enrique Lucero

PLOT - NOTE: Spoiler warning
Sheena clashes with Helfer, a surly and belligerent prospector, who Bob is helping in his search for precious minerals (right).  They are both captured in a fight with the The Leopard Men, a violent cult that has been terrorising the local tribes and forcing the local inhabitants to abandon their land.  Helfer explains to them that he brought The Leopard men to the region because he wants to take over the uranium mine of Carver, a local miner and friend of Sheena's (below).  He plans to sell the uaranium to a hostile foreign power.  Helfer plans to use Bob and Sheena as hostages in case Carver decides to fight back.  Chim alerts Carver that Sheena and Bob are in danger and he rallies his men to rescue them.  Helfer keeps Carver at bay with threats to shoot both Bob and Sheena but Chim loosens their bonds while Helfer is busy talking.  They jump Helfer and fight off his men, allowing Carver and his men to charge Helfer's camp.  Helfer escapes, but Sheena follows him to the river through the trees and knocks him into the river where he is devoured by crocodiles.  The tribes can now live in peace again.

This is a fascinating episode for several reasons.  Firstly, The Leopard Man cult, who actually existed in West Africa, are iconic pulp fiction characters.  The featured prominently in Tarzan and the Leopard Woman (1946), but are sadly underutilised in this episode.  The appear only briefly and are quite comical as they appear to be wearing baggy leopard-skin pyjamas (see clips below).  The story is dominated by the bellicose and talkative Helfer character and The Leopard men are soon forgotten.  Secondly, in interviews Irish McCalla claimed that her vine swinging accident occured during this episode, but that was a spurious story concocted by her for complicated reasons.  Please visit Page 9: Irish's Accident in the Filming In Mexico section to read the full story.  Fernando Wagner (his real name) had earlier appeared in Episode 4: Forbidden Land, under the name Ferdinand Wagner.  He played Varga, one of the villains, in Tarzan and the Mermaids (1948), and also appeared in the Sam Peckinpah classic, The Wild Bunch (1969).  However, most of his work as an actor was in Mexican films and he also directed about a dozen films in Mexcio (see his filmography in Lynx below).

Click on the images below to see two short scenes from this episode:

• The production credits and plot were taken from my DVD of this episode
• All of the photos used on this page are screenshots from my DVD of this episode
• The two video clips were uploaded to Youtube by me specifically to use on this web page
• See a Fernando Wagner filmography at the Internet Movie Database (IMDB)
• Bag yourself a copy of this episode on VHS from Moviecraft; beware the high contrast and heavily cropped versions of these episodes currently available on DVD

SHEENA © is the property of Sony Pictures Corporation
This independent, fan-based analysis of the Sheena material is copyright © 2005-2008 Paul Wickham
This page was updated January 2008