I Saw A Film!

A couple years after Richard Chamberlin and Sharon Stone did a remake of the old “African” treasure hunting adventure, the Brits did yet another remake with a few pin-up girls teasing the audience with a bit of skin, though nothing more than a typical underwear catalog. Zero sexuality takes place despite our star, Jane, played by a total unknown (to me) Kirsten Hughes, losing her dress several times. Her dress pops off in one piece no less than three times, once pulled off by a monkey. Glorious stuff.

Africa is once again represented as a giant unknown world full of adventure possibilities. White men command the respect of black tribesmen, and at least this time the ruler of the tribe overseeing the doomed lost city is a lovely dusky-skinned Elsa O’Toole instead of Britt Eklund. Once again Nazis are chasing a treasure, just before WWII and our antagonist, rather than Herbert Lom, is another pin up queen, Maud Adams (from Rollerball) with some of the highest cheekbones and one of the more appealing bad-girl names, Lola Pagola. She’s aided by a creepy psychopath with knife fetish and a hulking brute with a fear of tiny dogs.

Yes it’s played for comedy and while there are some disturbing allusions to violence and careless brutality, the enterprise is mostly without sex or violence. Our Jane bends over a lot and shows off her lovely legs in those old stocking contraptions, and yes she’s so blonde and blue-eyed it’s kind of cartoonish, and, of course, she is based on a comic book heroine so bravo for capturing the ditz and appeal, but overall the thing is fit for Saturday morning kid’s television (which used to be a thing). Sam Jones, last seen here in Flash Gordon, plays Jungle Jack Buck who aids and protects our intrepid Jane throughout her treasure hunt along with the Colonel and his assistant. Unfortunately, aside from O’Toole being lovely, the entire enterprise appears homemade, super-imposed, and quite a step below the King Solomon’s Mines from two years before. I do not quite understand who such a film is constructed for. Grown people looking for something sexy could easily locate something much more suitable. Even children interested in an adventure fantasy would lack much interest in this empty film. What the film almost entirely lacks is any sort of African thrills, little in the way of African wildlife, or peril of any sort, not even a tsetse fly. Mainly we’re interested in the antics of the protagonists as they pursue Jane. Their weird giggling madness, and their haughty, stalking meanness are amusing, but not much for a lost city in Africa film.

It runs free on Prime, but I can’t say there’s much value in it. It occurs to me that there was a market for Vargas pin-up style art from the age before cheaply reproduced photos became ubiquitous, and possibly this is meant to tickle the fancy of the old fellows who remember the nearly Victorian induced thrill of seeing an ankle.

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