Still attempting that 31 days of horror thing but needed something to get rid of the taste of Francois Sagat out my mouth.
This one has the word 'horror' in its original title so must be fairly suitable.
Invaders of The Lost Gold (AKA Horror Safari, Safari of No Return, Greed 1982).
Dir: Alan Birkinshaw.
Cast: Stuart Whitman, Edmund Purdom, Woody Strode, Laura Gemser, Harold Sakata, David De Martyn and Glynis Barber.
The year is 1945 and somewhere deep within the lush, verdant jungles of the Philippines a crack squad of (really sweaty) Japanese soldiers and their native minions are carrying huge wooden crates of gold to the coast where it will be shipped back to Japan to help the war effort.
All is going to plan until the (frighteningly bare arsed) local cannibal tribe decide it would be a good laugh to jump out of the bushes and start firing arrows at the unfortunate soldiers before beheading them and dancing about with the said heads on poles.
Which is nice.
After an out of focus minor skirmish the Japanese that still have their heads attached run away and hide the gold under a pile of leaves in a handy nearby cave before beating a hasty retreat back to the Holiday Inn or wherever they've been staying during the films production.
Before leaving tho' they make a vow to one day return together to retrieve the booty.
Without warning we suddenly jump forward in time 36 years to join weaselly Englishman Rex Larsen ('B' movie ne'er was Purdom) as he cruises the mean streets of Tokyo looking for the three surviving soldiers to 'persuade' them to take him to the caves so he can get his stinky little mitts on the gold.
Things aren't going that well for poor Rex tho' as a mix of bad manners (and bad luck) means that he accidentally kills the first soldier he came across (oops) and the second one he spoke to commits Hari Kari (must be his aftershave or his rotten fish breath).
Luckily the surviving squaddie, Mr. Jeff Tobachi is always looking for ways to fund his pie habit and offers to lead a team to the cave for a very generous 30% and all the cakes he can eat.
All that's left now is to get Brit Toff Douglas Jefferson (De Martyn in his only big screen role. Shame) to put up the cash for the expedition and pick a motley band of adventurers to head out into the jungle to retrieve the gold.
Rex is very annoyed to hear that Jefferson is insisting on using piss stained mercenary Mark Forrest (one time star and full time alcoholic Troy Tempest lookalike Stuart Whitman) to lead the team, it appears Rex and Mark have a history (but not of the sexy kind) and the thought of having to share a tent with him has left Rex all riled.
Cut to grainy (well grainier than the rest of the film) footage of sexy bar signs and slinky hipped oriental girls dancing badly. In between the baying sailors and bespectacled tourists is our hero Mark slumped over a bottle of finest J & B and dribbling like a baby.
Enter Cal (Strode), Mr. Jefferson's right hand man sent to find Forrest and offer him a deal. Pausing only to admire the dancers stomach muscles his enjoyable night out is spoiled by one of the group of sailors standing in front of him turning round and uttering the immortal (and possibly offensive line) "Check out the big black bastard here!".
Ignoring the barrage of thinly veiled insults as he bops along to the glorious disco sounds Cal finally loses his cool when one of the sailors admits to 'not liking niggers' causing the until now calm Cal to become a frenzied fight machine intent on kicking the absolute shite out of anything and anyone near him.
This is enough to sober up Mark who decides to join in.
Waking in the cells all snuggled up the next morning Mark and Cal have a quick chat about jungle trips before bidding their farewells and going their separate ways.
Mark however is interrupted a few hours later still drunk and mid shandy by Jefferson clutching a wad of cash.
Before Mark gets the wrong idea Jefferson explains that the money is to secure his services as team leader for the expedition.
Mark hiccups and drops off to sleep in a warm bed of his own urine.
Jefferson has only one option left open to him and that's to send his beautiful young daughter Janice (Glynis - Dempsey and Makepiece - Barber in a shocking wig) to seduce Mark into coming.
On the jungle trip obviously.
Well this seems to do the trick as next thing we known he's standing on the bow of a boat in all his safari shirted, open necked, man breasted glory as a team of stereotypical natives carry tins of peaches and condensed milk on board.
One of the party appears to have there own (evil) agenda tho' and if that wasn't enough, Mark's ex girlfriend the sultry Maria (purring pussycat Gemser) and her chubbie hubbie are acting (if that's not too strong a word) as guides for the team.
With this mix of ex minxes, jolly Japs, evil Englishmen and alcoholic Americans what could possibly go wrong?
They've only just finished setting up base camp before the horrible (and 'accidental') deaths begin.
First up Maria's fat hubby is killed by a snake (after first embarrassingly having a tent collapse on top of him) then a nameless man is killed in slow motion by a photo of a crocodile (or five photo's of a crocodile in a jammed, second hand Viewmaster, tho' it may have been an alligator the picture was so scratchy it was hard to tell) and Rex disappears (whilst shaving no less).
Mark, between bouts of drinking and sticking it in Janice decides that the merry gang should stick together in case anyone else suffers a mysterious accident which is Maria's cue to go skinny dipping (she's already disappointed us by not having a big sexy lesbian shagfest - as she does in every other one of her movies - with Glynis so this is the next best thing).
After a good (and I do mean good) ten minutes of Lovely Laura frolicking about in the water the soundtrack goes all sinister whilst the picture went all grainy and slow-mo.
I actually thought my player, having finally had enough of all the shite I force it to play had become sentient and decided to end it all.
Worriedly fiddling with the front of the player whilst randomly hitting buttons on the remote control I was brought back to reality by Ms. Gemser's shrill screams as an unseen horror appeared to do bad things to her under the water.
Anyway the next thing we know she's lying face down in a puddle, her arse shivering in the cold air as Cal shoots at something strange in the trees.
Yup, after 30 minutes screen time and nary a minge-munching in sight Gemser is out of the picture.
I know the lovely Glynis is still around but honestly what are the chances of her wanking off a monkey at the directors request?
Now everything has gone to Hell in a handbasket (I still have no idea what that means), Mr. Tobachi is sweatily blaming Cal, Mark is feverishly searching for a bottle of scotch to dull the pain of the script and Cal is playing guitar as Janice and her dad stand around looking like right tits in their pith helmets.
But the quest for the gold must continue tho' as there's still 25 minutes left on the running time (not to mention that seeing as there are less folk now it means the survivors will get more cash) but will any of them make it out alive?
Will Cal fall off a rope bridge and fall to his death in a 'bottomless' 15 feet deep cravas?
Will Jefferson end up skewered like a big leathery posh kebab?
Will Tobachi ever have a full tummy and will the cannibals re-appear to protect their sacred land?
You'll have to see Invaders of The Lost Gold to find out.
Tho' the answer is rather upsettingly no to the last one by the way.
Invaders of the Lost Gold is one of those unique movies that transcends it's simple, cack handed film making roots to become something so much more.
You actually begin to feel sorry for the cast and crew as the film plays out it's threadbare plot, taking the obvious pain and hurt in their eyes as your own, every disappointed glance and hungover action begins to affect you on a personal level, almost as if you been the victim of some cruel crime from which you suffer waking nightmares and flashbacks.
After a gung ho opening that offers us guns, gold and gory cannibal action the film jumps forward in time and grinds to a halt never regaining its momentum as it's unfortunate cast are forced to deliver clichéd line after clichéd line whilst wandering around the directors garden in the vain hope we'll think they're in the jungle.
Minutes of valuable screen time is used showing the cast erecting brightly coloured garden party marquees on freshly cut grass whilst chatting inanely about about the green jungle hell and the dangers therein when (as viewers will testify) the only danger facing anyone is the very real possibility of Stuart Whitman collapsing from too much drink, his puffy red eyes and hideously sun burnt neck reminding one of the old tramp you always find sprawled out in the local kiddies play park on hot summer days.
True, there are some scenes of genuine horror in the movie but they're inadvertently the ones where the geriatric and bloated Whitman is giving it full on tongue action with the fresh faced Glynis Barber.
You can almost hear the strain of his trousers as he gets more excited than he has for years (or at least since his last drink) and this image if nothing else will haunt me till the day I die.
Add to that the fact that this was made the same year as Raiders of The Lost Ark and you can be guaranteed a chill down your spine just thinking about it, I mean what was director Alan Birkinshaw on?
Whatever it was he must have continued taking them seeing as he followed up this classic with the terrifying straight to video hell that is The Best of Gilbert and Sullivan (featuring one time Master Peter Pratt) and the star studded An Orchestral Tribute to the Beatles (?) before 'modernizing' a couple of Edgar Allen Poe and Agatha Christie stories and redeeming himself with three episodes of the fantastic Gerry Anderson 'cops in space' show Space Precinct.
His last known whereabouts was directing the German Teevee series Die Unbestechliche in 1997.
He's been missing ever since.
It's just a pity this film isn't.
But saying that, if you follow this blog chances are you'll love it.
I know I did.