Allan Quatermain and the Temple of Skulls Reviews
also stars Christopher Adamson, Wittley Jourdan, Natalie Stone, Daniel Bojour, Mduduz Nxumalo, Muzuza, Nick Everhart and Phiwayinkosi Gumede.
directed by Mark Atkins.
stars Sean Cameron Michael, Christopher Adamson, Natalie Stone, Wittley Jourdan, Daniel Bonjour, Mduduz Nxumalo, Muzuza, Nick Everhart and Phiwayinkosi Gumede.
directed by Mark Atkins.
I have seen this movie, it is very low budget and total waste of time. I was attracted by the colourful title on DVD. But it is the worst movie I have seen. will grade it F grade.
So bad, in fact, that I have been driven to joining RT purly in order to share my experiences of it in the hope that no-one else ever wastes two hours of their life watching it. It really IS that bad.
Usually, I'd say watch it for a laugh. Enjoy the wooden acting. Puzzle over the historical ambiguities. Cringe at the cultural stereotypes; the most laughable villain; and least heroic hero of all time (he doesn't even get his girl for godssake!)...but alas the coma-inducing storyline, bone-dry dialogue and absolute absence of any action will soon wipe the smile off your face.
If there was a plot to spoil, here goes...
The DVD cover suggests some Indiana Jones homage (or rip-off) but despite the bullwhips and glowing skulls and lions and biplanes and hoards of angry 'natives' this is not an action movie in the sense we all know and love. In fact, of all these things, only the natives make an appearance at all (and their presence is mostly in the form of whooping women with their breasts out!)
Meet our 'hero', the eponymous Allan Quartemain, kitted out like a costume-shop Indy. Unfortunately, he must have left his bullwhip (and personality) on the plane. Anyway, up he rocks, to a dusty back-country bar (which sells Smirnoff Ice!) in deepest, darkest Sef Efrica with a fragment of a map seemingly drawn by an artistically-deprived Portugese child.
In comes our 'heroine' the buxom Lady Anna with her wide-brimmed hat and lacy Victorian number clashing terribly with her Max Factor 'shocking cerise' lippy, accompanied by the practically pre-pubescent Sir Henry Curtis (more contemporaily clad). Surprise surprise they have the other half of the map. They try to persuade AQ to join them on a mission to find the treasure which Lady Anna's lover disappeared looking for many moons ago.
The incidental music attemps to announce the arrival of our 'villain' - Mr Hartford - a truly sinister-looking man with terrible teeth and a singular inability to act. To cut a long and extremely tedious exchange short, he wants the map (so he can claim the treasure for the National Party), threatens them, they have a shoot-out (with what sound like air rifles) and our party of goodies escape on a steam train (during which time AQ musters all the charisma he can to crack on to mi'lady!).
Anyway, after a lot of faffing around at AQ's African pad (during which time Lady Anna somehow finds time for a bath!) they have another shoot out, grab the mysterious maid (remember this) and head into the wilderness in search of the fabled treasures of Solomon.
And so the 'epic' journey finally begins...very slowly and frankly un-epically. But just in case you were wondering if it wasn't more of a gentle sunday stroll through bucolic High Veld farmland, cue the safari-park footage of a blissfully browsing rhino and then (my favourite 'fright') a SWARM OF BEES. FFS! Both encounters, while of absolutely no consequence, still leave our heroic party shaken.
Finally, some real action appears in the form of a party of raiding 'Zulus'. Smirnoff Ice and sneakers have certainly passed these guys by - they're decked out in the full leopard-skin-and-shields-of-hide tribal gear and brandishing spears. The 'Party of Heroes' is dragged (rather too cooperatively it seems) to the Natives' kraal where, after a protracted assault by a gaggle of whooping, wailing women with their breasts out, they are presented to the Big Ugly Chief.
Without much ado, they are lined up and inspected one by one by (and this is TOTALLY THE BEST BIT IN THE FILM) a hilarious dreadlocked witch doctor. Looking like some ghastly drag act from a Cape Town dive, she tests each victim with her fly whisk, before pronouncing some poor native chap (who appeared from nowhere as far as I can work out) to be lying. The Chief pronounces the death sentence and promptly whips out a GIANT MECHANICAL CLAW device which rips the poor fellow's head clean off. As I say, this is truly the zenith of the film...
Lo and behold, the villaious Mr Hartford turns up again in the Big Bad Chief's hut, clearly in cahoots. He musters all his acting skills in an entertaining scene where he attempts to barter Lady Anna for cattle (this should be obligatory viewing for all 6th form drama classes). However, before they have a chance to seal the deal, in burst the menfolk (recently strengthened by an unexplained bout of hymn-singing!) and before you know it, the Chief is dead (those toy guns are leathal in the right hands). I think Mr Meanie legs it.
Anyway long story short again, loverboy shows up (quelle surprise), having been held captive by the nasty natives. And the maid (I told you to remember her!) turns out to be the rightful Queen of the tribe and eventually they all leave as friends. At this point, I must have drifted off with the sheer monotony of it. Next thing I know, they're approaching the 'Temple' - in reality, a grimy, unimposing cave. Here, the titular skulls make their only appearance (on the floor at the left of the screen if you cared to notice them). There looked to be about 20 in a dusty pile - hardy warrenting a mention really! The treasure, when we see it, is equally discreet...a small mound of dirty-looking coins in the corner. But it doesn't really matter, because no sooner do AQ and gang set foot in this subterranean sham, than Hartford appears from the gloaming. He grabs the girl and, after a labourious altercation, shoots her point blank. The floor of the cavern begins to open and the ceiling cave in. From nowhere, AQ picks up another GIANT MECHANICAL CLAW device that just happens to be lying near by (or did he carry it in with him?) and decapitates the villain.
That's pretty much it to be honest. No treasure. No girl. I couldn't help wondering if AQ and co might perhaps have been better off spending a bit more time in acting classes and a little less time galavanting around the world looking for treasure...
To entertain myself during the low points, I tried fruitlessly to figure out when the darned thing was meant to be set. If it is faithful to the book, it should rightly be the first Anglo-Boer war. But with references to the Apartheid government; characters wearing sneakers and jeans interacting with people in Victorian dresses; and a healthy confusion of Smirnoff Ice ads, steam trains and spear-shaking, semi-naked natives, your guess is as good as mine!
Anyway, I write this all in the hope that you resist actually watching this film. Call it a small humanitarian contribution if you will...