I can still remember seeing the commercial of this movie on TV. Ah, them good ol’ days when movies like this could get a release at an actual theater. I never had any desire to see it, basically because it looked stupid. Stupid bad, not stupid good. Yes, believe it or not there are those “stupid movies” that are actually good. I tend to more commonly refer to them as good bad movies. I reviewed the sequel, Allan Quartermain And The Lost City Of Gold (1987), blu-ray a couple of years ago, which was also released by Olive Films. I still think it was odd of Olive to release the blu of the sequel before the first movie, but shit like tends that happens from time-to-time.
With the opportunity to see the first Allan Quatermain movie within my grasp, I decided to take it. Mainly because it’s now a “period movie,” coming out in 1985 when I was smack dab in the middle of being a teenager (16 years old to be precise), and as I’ve mentioned many times before I actually miss the 80s.
So, how did I like King Solomon’s Mines (filmed back-to-back with the sequel)?
For a low rent Indiana Jones movie it’s not bad up to a little past the midway point when the action turns boring. Even though the production value looks much higher on this one, the sequel entertained me more all the way through.
This first movie doesn’t bore you with any kind of set-up to the two main characters, Jesse Huston (before-she-was-famous Sharon Stone) and adventurer extraordinaire, Allan Quartermain (Richard Chamberlain) are already teamed-up once the opening credits are finished and they’re right in the middle of a jungle looking for Jesse’s missing father.
He’s missing because he knows where the fabled King Solomon’s Mines are and our two main villains, German Colonel Bockner (Herbert Lom) and Turk Dogati (John Rhys-Davies) want the treasure more than anyone on the face of the Earth. Interesting to note Davies also co-starred in Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981). But first Huston and Quartermain have to find the map, which they “coincidentally” run into before finding Huston’s father. And this map is very unconventional. It’s a female statue with big tits, and the tits are representations of mountains where the mines are located. Nice touch.
As you can expect they are led from exotic locale to another, two of the more noteworthy ones are when they are captured by an army of cannibals that try to cook them in a giant pot, and the natives that hang upside down from trees that help them. In the mines themselves we get treated to a giant spider who’s effect reminded me of that episode of Gilligan’s Island where they were besieged by a giant tarantula. I swear the execution of the FX looked exactly the same. I was not impressed. Oh, and we get a villain who seemingly gets killed twice but keeps popping back up. The best part of these two movies though are Richard Chamberlain, he really does makes a pretty decent Indiana Jones-ish adventurer. Sharon Stone’s character is more annoying in this one, being more the damsel who causes distress than anything else. But you’ve gotta love a film like this, at least, just a little bit that has an evil, rapist, German soldier getting fatally shot in the crotch by a sawed off double barrel shotgun that momentarily flings him up into the air. Another nice touch.
Well, I think my work here is done.
Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1080p 2.35:1 high definition widescreen—2.0 English DTS-HD Master Audio—English subtitles.
It’s not a bad looking print. It could be better, but it also be a lot worse. At least it’s in its original aspect ratio which is always a major plus with any disc release.
Extras included . . .