Sheena is a 1984 Columbia Pictures film based on the comic character of the same name. A hybrid of action-adventure and soap opera-style drama, Sheena, shot on location in Kenya, told the tale of a female version of Tarzan who was raised in the fictional African country of Tigora by the equally fictional Zambouli tribe. Starring Tanya Roberts, Ted Wass, and Trevor Thomas, and directed by John Guillermin and written by Lorenzo Semple Jr.. It was produced by Paul Aratow. Sheena bombed in theaters but found cult success home on home video and DVD.
PlotEditWhile investigating rumors of a mystical "healing earth" whose powers are said to flow forth from the sacred Gudjara Mountain, geologists Philip and Betsy Ames (Michael Shannon and Nancy Paul) are killed in a cave-in, leaving their young daughter Janet an orphan. Young Janet is adopted by Shaman, woman of the native Zambouli tribe (Princess Elizabeth of Toro), and because of a prophecy about the cave-in ("when the sacred mountain cries out") she is viewed as a child of the gods and named Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. As Sheena (Tanya Roberts) grows up, she learns much from Shaman about the lore of the jungle and the ways of all its creatures and is even entrusted with the secret of telepathic communication with the animals.
Outsiders rarely disturb their territory, since that part of Tigora is under the special protection of King Jabalani (Clifton Jones). But trouble is brewing in Tigora; the King's ex-football champion younger brother Prince Otwani (Trevor Thomas) is conspiring with his brother's fiancee, Countess Zanda (France Zobda), to have Jabalani assassinated so that they can exploit the titanium-rich Zambouli lands (this may or may not have something to do with the healing properties of the soil, but this is never explained). Experiencing a vision foretelling the death of the King, the Shaman hastens to Tigora's capital of Azan to try and warn him, but is arrested by corrupt police officers working for Zanda.
Otwani's old "friend", reporter Vic Casey (Ted Wass), and his cameraman Fletch Agronsky (Donovan Scott) are in Tigora to do a story on the former football player. When King Jabalani is killed and the Shaman is framed for it, Vic and Fletch realize they are on to a much bigger story than they had anticipated. Heading to a remote prison compound to interview the Shaman they bear witness to her rescue by Sheena and her animal friends: "Chango", an elephant; "Marika", a zebra (portrayed by an obviously painted horse, with no attempt made to simulate a solid tail); and "Tiki", a chimpanzee. As they escape back into the jungle after destroying the prison, Vic and Fletch follow.
Meanwhile, Otwani obtains the services of Colonel Jorgensen (John Forgeham) and his small army of soldier mercenaries, the Black Berets. The Black Berets' job is to eradicate the Zambouli people so their territory will be open for strip-mining. Now Vic must join forces with Sheena to stop the evil Prince and his army, and along the way, Vic and Sheena fall in love.
- Tanya Roberts .... Sheena
- Ted Wass .... Vic Casey
- Donovan Scott .... Fletch Agronsky
- Princess Elizabeth of Toro .... Shaman
- France Zobda .... Countess Zanda
- Trevor Thomas .... Prince Otwani
- Clifton Jones .... King Jabalani
- John Forgeham .... Colonel Jorgensen
- Errol John .... Boto
- Sylvester Williams .... Juka
- Bob Sherman .... Grizzard
- Michael Shannon .... Phillip Ames
- Nancy Paul .... Betsy Ames
- Nick Brimble .... Wadman
- Paul Gee .... Blau
- Dave Cooper .... Anders
- Oliver Litondo .... Chief Haromba