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Film / Zindy, the Swamp-Boy

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"Children's Entertainment" for a certain value of "children". And "entertainment".

"This movie's a love letter to all of us who've kidnapped our grandchildren and forced them to live in rustic seclusion with few provisions and countless ways to be mutilated or poisoned."

Zindy the Swamp Boy (Zindy, el fugitivo de los pantanos) is a 1973 low-budget film directed by Rene Cardona Jr.

Somewhere in Latin America, a village doctor flees into the wilderness with his grandson Zindy after killing a local big-shot who had murdered the boy's parents. For nine years they live together in the swamp, trapping crocodiles and cohabiting with a wry chimpanzee. Eventually the old man decides to turn himself into the authorities so that Zindy can return to civilization and inherit the family property. But things don't quite work out as planned.



  • Alternate DVD Commentary: A comedic commentary was recorded by RiffTrax in 2014.
  • B-Movie: In common with the rest of the Cardona oeuvre.
  • Box-and-Stick Trap: Zindy uses one to capture a turkey.
  • Chubby Chaser: Sebastian the shopkeeper, apparently.
  • Dead Hat Shot: Zindy knows that grandpa is dead when he discovers his hat sitting on top of the quicksand.
    Mike Nelson: Swallows men whole, but powerless against hats.
  • Dead Person Conversation: In a dream sequence, grandpa appears as a translucent phantom.
    Bill Corbett: Use the Force, Zindy!
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: A villainous example with the cougar, who mauls Zindy to death despite getting fatally shot!
  • Foreshadowing: Grandpa warns Zindy not to mess with the puma.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipe: Scene changes are often accompanied by a shimmery magic wand sound effect, even during moments of drama and high tension.
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  • Leave the Camera Running: We get a lot of long, dialogue-free scenes of grandpa canoeing on the river.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: The puma mauls Zindy to death, but by then, he has already been fatally shot himself.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: You wouldn't expect to find a chimpanzee in a new-world swamp.
  • Mood Whiplash: The entire film turns out to be one due to the serious Downer Ending. Aside from Grandpa's death, the movie is lighthearted with a comedic chimp sidekick and silly bits of misunderstanding between Zindy and Anita. Then Zindy is horribly mauled to death by the puma.
  • Mutual Kill: Zindy and the cougar both die this way in the end.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: When grandpa falls into the quicksand, Zindy immediately awakens and knows that he is in trouble.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The little girl Anita's mother tells her to go find help after their carriage overturns, but then in the next scene, men came and found the mother and brought her to safety. If Anita had stayed at the carriage with her mother, she would have been rescued as well.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Toribio the chimp and Cuca the tarantula.
  • Quicksand Sucks: How Grandpa meets his end.
  • Scare Chord: Often used during scenes with the puma.
  • Scenery Porn: Filming locations included the Florida Everglades, Grand Cayman, and the Mayan ruins of Tikal in Guatemala.
  • Shirtless Scene: Zindy enjoys stripping off his flouncy poet shirt whenever possible, to the disgust of prissy Anita.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Both the main characters die horribly.
  • Silent Snarker: Toribio the chimp is a master of face-palming and mocking pantomime.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: The film sets up a Jungle Book-esque ending, then yanks the rug out from under everyone.
    Mike: Of all the endings to this little tale I might have guessed, Zindy being mauled and eaten by a cougar would not have made my list.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: The dynamic between Zindy and Anita is along these lines.