Zindy the Swamp Boy (1973)

The entire Cardona movie must have come together on this one, because Sr. directed it (you may have seen his movies Night of the Bloody ApesSanta Claus and Las Mujeres Panteras — at least I hope you have!), Jr. wrote it (you totally should see his movies TintoreraGuyana: Cult of the Damned and The Bermuda Triangle) and III stars in it as Zindy. Our young friend would go on to make Vacaciones de Terror and show up in Cemetery of Terror, ensuring that his family’s history of bizarre movies would continue into the 21st century.

Sr. also plays Abuelo, a fugitive* who lives in the swamp with his grandson Zindy, who has a chimp named Toribio. He’s played by Chucho-Chucho, who was a trained animal who still lives in a zoo. You can also see him in The Holy MountainLas Tarántulas and Chanoc contra El Tigre y El Vampiro.

If you’re tuning in for a feel-good family film, let me warn you. Grandpa drowns — in quicksand no less, a fate I was sure I’d have to deal with in my youth — and Zindy gets mauled to death by a puma. This being a Cardonna film, I am shocked that there isn’t use of heart surgery footage.

*He killed the people who killed Zindy’s parents, in case you wonder why.

You can watch the Rifftrax version of this movie on Tubi.

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