Pico (Joseph Allen) purchases girls from tribal chiefs. The girls are being sold on the gold coast as wives. While out in the jungle Pico finds oil coming out of the ground. Seeing an opportunity he says nothing for the time being until he can talk to his boss, Arco (Robert C. Foulk). Arco is an unscrupulous attorney who is involved in any and every illegal activity going on in the jungle. Lt. Barry (Steven Ritch) intercepts Pico in the jungle. Pico manages to escape after killing the latest woman he had kidnapped.
Currently Arco is defending a tribal chief, M’Gono (Vince Townsend Jr.) who is accused of murdering a constable. Arco manages to get his client released on a technicality. Until they can come up with another charge there is nothing Commissioner Kingston (George Eldredge) can do.
In the meantime Kingston has an assignment for Barry. He and Jungle Jim (Johnny Weissmuller) are assigned to accompany Bradley (Nelson Leigh), a government agent, to try to convince the chiefs, in an area previously known as the Valley of the Headhunters, to sign over mineral rights so the British government can mine copper for the Crown. Going along as interpreter is Ellen Shaw (Christine Larson).
Arco also wants the mineral rights to the land so he can get rich on the oil. Arco, Pico and their henchmen decide to pay M’Gono to raid the other villages and pretend to bring back the headhunters that use to roam around the valley. He promises M’Gono that he will make him chief of the whole valley if he gives him the mineral rights to the land. M’Gono agrees. Arco also plans on blaming Jungle Jim for the return of the headhunters thus getting rid of a thorn in his side.
“Valley of the Head Hunters” was released in 1953 and was directed by William Berke. It is a jungle adventure film and the 11th in a series of 16 Jungle Jim movies created by Colombia Pictures and starring former Olympic champion Johnny Weissmuller.
In the highlights, Jim battles a panther which is stock footage from several previous Jungle Jim movies. There is also stock footage of vultures picking at a carcass as well as a montage of jungle natives invading and burning other villages as well as stock footage of various animals. In addition to the usual treks through the jungle there is also some footage on a riverboat.
The story is average but entertaining. Tamba has more scenes than necessary. His getting “high” on ether and various other non-funny hi-jinks are getting more frequent than before. The reason is either to add supposed amusement for the kids or he has a better agent than the other actors.
Steven Ritch, who plays Lt. Barry, also played the poor sap that two mad doctors turned into a werewolf in the 1956 movie “The Werewolf”.