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  Allan Quartermain and the Lost City of Gold Oh, They Found It
Year: 1986
Director: Gary Nelson
Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Sharon Stone, James Earl Jones, Henry Silva, Robert Donner, Doghmi Larbi, Aileen Marson, Cassandra Peterson, Martin Rabbett, Rory Kilalea, Alex Heyns, Themsi Times, Philip Boucher, Stuart Goakes, Fidelis Cheza
Genre: Action, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 2 votes)
Review: Allan Quartermain (Richard Chamberlain) resides in his African home with girlfriend Jesse Huston (Sharon Stone) and she has returned from the post office tremendously excited because she has ordered a present for him. When he opens it, he can't hide how underwhelmed he is, because it's a suit of the kind Jesse wishes him to wear once they reach America, which is their destination very soon. Allan is keener on staying where he is, even more so when he sees himself in the new clothes, but then a man stumbles into their yard with an important message about his missing brother - looks like the trip is off.

You don't get many action heroes called Allan, do you? Maybe it was the extra "L" that moved H. Rider Haggard to so call his most famous creation, who had been brought to the big screen many times. This was not an adaptation of the better known King Solomon's Mines, but supposedly a version of a far less filmed follow up, or at least that was the idea as what this more closely resembled was the reason this was made in the first place: yes, it was Indiana Jones rip-off time again. What you had here was the swiftly made sequel to notorious schlockmeisters Cannon's King Solomon's Mines, actually shot back to back with that little respected effort.

It did mean that Chamberlain and Stone returned in the roles that had failed to do much for their careers, with Dickie on the way down and Shaz on the way up at the time, and if you were expecting them to have learned the lessons that the initial instalment had taught them, then you would be let down to discover this was the same bad taste mixture as before, with even cheaper special effects. This time around Allan and Jesse set out for The Temple of Doom - er, The Lost City of Gold where his brother has supposedly disappeared on the trail of, and you will not be taken aback when that self-same city appears in the latter half of the movie, with not much to do with the rest of what went before plotwise.

Still, at least we had James Earl Jones adopting an African accent to play Allan's old mate Umslopogaas, whch sounds like a stomach complaint but is actually an axe-wielding warrior who is so pleased to see Allan that he lifts him off the ground from behind. Also along for the ride is dodgy Indian stereotype Swarmi (white actor Robert Donner in brownface, just to add to the poor judgement) who is only out for the treasure, plus a selection of extras who carry the luggage, and are killed off one after the other without a line between them, as if this were no different from the nineteen-thirties Tarzan pictures. Add a few quips about stuff like Cleveland, because we know how much Haggard would have appreciated that, and stir.

Actually, not much is stirred here, as it plods along as if it were less a widescreen epic and more a low rent TV pilot, but Tales of the Gold Monkey was more fun than this. As often with Cannon movies, it was those excesses that made it stand out, in this case the shock moments designed to offer audiences that all-important Spielberg-style jolt, so every so often something would happen such as a corpse popping out from a hole in a wall that has its flesh fall off, or a host of rubbery snakes that Jones decapitates with that blimmin' axe (it's almost another character that thing, in spite of obviously being plastic). Once the city has been arrived at, Henry Silva livens things up with his laughing evil priest act, leading the charge against the nice queen who co-rules with horror host Elvira (Cassandra Peterson in cleavage enhancing get ups). Really this wasn't anything you wouldn't have seen before, notably if you'd seen the first part, but Cannon movies are probably impervious to criticism nowadays. Music by Michael Linn.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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