Friday, May 11, 2012
Gold of the Amazon Women (1979)
With a title like Gold of the Amazon Women and produced by Alfred Leone, starring Bo Svenson, Donald Pleasence and Anita Ekberg it would be easy to believe that this is one of those sleazy, violent, Italian jungle-adventures - but hey, believe it or not: this is actually an American TV-movie directed by Mark L. Lester of all people! But don't let that scare you away, because even if it lacks the violence and nudity of the Italian movies it's basically in the same style, just a lot more light-hearted and family-friendly. It even starts like a lot of Italian genre movies from this time: Zombie Flesh-Eaters, Contamination, Zombie Holocaust etc - in
New York, something
weird happens and our heroes need to travel to South
America to solve the mystery!
Bo Svenson plays an adventurer who together with a New York-friend who hates the jungle decides to try to find the "Seven Cities of Gold". But he's not alone in this. Evil drug lord Donald Pleasence and his female bodyguards is also out to get the gold and start a drug emporium like never seen before. Everything is well until Bo and his friend is caught by an angry tribe of Amazons, dressed very lightly, lead by über-queen Anita Ekberg! They kidnap men and use them for breeding! I guess that's both bad AND good for our brave heroes?
Gold of the Amazon Women is an easy-to-watch adventure tale for... almost everyone. People die and the women have very little clothes, but it never becomes nasty or "too sexy". This is actually very typical TV-movie, even if the budget seems a bit higher than usual. The locations, I guess it's shot down in South America somewhere, looks fantastic and it's a big cast and has a couple of nice temple sets. Imagine a good-budgeted Italian adventure flick and you know what you get. Mark L. Lester knows how to get good shots and even if the budget isn't high enough to make any big action scenes it's at least gorgeous to look at.
Regarding the actors. I never been a big fan of Bo Svenson. It's not enough for me that he's Swedish. He's quite flat here, sometimes he looks drunk, and it's more posing than acting. Donald Pleasence, as the veteran he is, makes good use of his flat dialogue and have fun with his part. He's hardly convincing as a dangerous drug lord, and that might also be the point with his character. He's an odd character fitting the comedy of the movie well. Anita Ekberg, my favorite, hasn't much to do - but she's awesome as usual. I guess it has more about her charisma than looks, even she actually looks stunning compared with the boring female army she has around her.
Gold of the Amazon Women was one of those movies that always glanced at me from the shelves at the video store as a kid. I never really glanced back because I wasn't clearly the target audience for a movie about half-naked Amazon women wanting men for breeding, at least that was how the cover texts described it. Now Studio S in
has released it on DVD and it's fantastic that I finally got a chance to see it
after so many years. The print is interesting - fullscreen like most TV-movie
from that time, but it also seem to pieced together from two prints. A couple of scenes has a different, lower,
quality. That's okey for, because I want the most complete version and this
obviously is that. Sweden
After a movie like this I need some Fassbinder to re-animate my brain cells, but it was worth the time!