Monday, April 18, 2011
I already covered King Solomon's Mines for The Agony Booth so I figured I'd tackle the sequel here. Richard Chamberlain returns as rugged adventurer Allan Quatermain in a quest to find his brother who has vanished, looking for a mythical lost city of gold. Sharon Stone also returns as Allan's love interest Jesse and she contributes just as much here as she did in the first film. Yep, not much at all.
Our duo is joined by Odious Comic Relief mystic Swarma (a really offensive, annoying role essayed by Robert Donner) and tough guy sidekick Umslopogaas (a thoroughly embarrassed James Earl Jones). Once they find the city of gold and Allan's brother (played bizarrely by Chamberlain's real life boyfriend), they have to contend with a mad priest played by ex-Rat Packer Henry Silva and an evil queen played by Cassandra "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark" Peterson.
The film takes forever to get moving as we don't even start the quest for the lost city until about twenty five minutes in (and the film only runs about 96 minus credits) and the trek itself hits just about every single adventure movie cliche you can imagine.
The problem is that nobody seems to give one tenth of a damn. The actors seem bored, the action is uninspired and even the music and effects seem to know they're in a dud. It might have been a simple case of exhaustion since this was shot back-to-back with the original or it could be that everyone just stopped giving a damn.
Like the first film, the effects work is amazingly shoddy with some of the worst rear-screen projection I've ever seen and in an amazing display of cheapness (for Cannon that's saying something), they just recycle the score for the first film throughout the second with nary a care as to whether it fits the scene or not. Making it even worse is that Jerry Goldsmith, who did the music for the first film, apparently never got paid for his music being used here.
Performances, as I said, are just bad across the board. Chamberlain and Stone look like they'd rather be somewhere else, Silva is just terrible, Donner has an awful role and Jones just goes through the motions looking like he wants to Force Choke someone. Having watched this movie a few times, I can relate.
A few weeks ago, I reviewed a cheap little flick called Bloodstone for the site. It was bad, yes, but it had energy which this movie does not. The second Allan Quatermain adventure manages the amazing feat of not improving on the sight of Bloodstone. It's not even fun on the level of the first entry which is as much damnation as I could ever heap on the movie. Too bad, it has one or two fun moments but nowhere near enough to make it worthwhile.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Regardless, today's entry is a gnarly little Alien ripoff from Italy. If there's one thing I enjoy more than really good genre flicks it's cheesy Italian knockoffs of said really good movies.
Luigi (Starcrash) Cozzi directs this tale of alien pods that cause people to explode bloodily upon contact with them. The military is called in to deal with the problem in the form of Colonel Stella Holmes (Louise Marleau), and a disgraced British Astronaut (Ian McCulloch) who first discovered the pods on Mars. For some reason, a New York cop (Marino Mase) tags along and after several exploding bodies, a gloriously cheesy looking monster and some wonderfully gory shots, the day is saved...Sort of.
Alien Contamination is the sort of gloriously fun bad movie I love to see. It's fast paced, bloody as hell and is just good dumb fun. Cozzi is one of my favorite Italian directors. In addition to Starcrash, he's also done a few Hercules films starring Lou Ferrigno and some other horror films. If there is one constant with his movies, it's that they move at a nicely breezy pace and are generally very cheesy in the best possible way.
Ian McCulloch is another favorite of mine, for an even better look at his work you can just check out Lucio Fulci's Zombie (1980). Alien Contamination is the edited American cut which runs 83 minutes. A longer 95 minute cut is available as well under the title Contamination.
This is a great cheeseball flick from the 80's that's definitely worth viewing.