At the end of the 19th century, during the British rule of India, the goddess Kali commits a number of murders, among which the man who was conducting a cargo of serum to a village infected... See full summary »
At the end of the 19th century, during the British rule of India, the goddess Kali commits a number of murders, among which the man who was conducting a cargo of serum to a village infected with disease. Worried with the vast number of fatalities that will result from stopping this shipment, Dr. Palmer asks for help from Major Talbot. The Major suspects about the murderer turn onto the doctor, and he must take refuge in the jungle, after faking his own death by a tiger. Help does come in the shapely form of Amrita, a native dancer, who will give him shelter, and will even free him from a gang of robbers. Dr. Palmer still has a number of real and fantastic adventures until he sees an end to his tribulations... sent him by the vengeful Kali. Written by
This is the first part of of a pair of films which bear many similarities to Fritz Lang's Indian Epic, not least being that that too was filmed in two parts and on location in India.
French actor Paul Guers is a bit of a damp squib in his first lead, as a doctor whose shipment of serum intended for a plague-stricken village is stolen, supposedly by servants of the Goddess Kali, and who is then blamed for the murder of a British officer with his only witness another officers wife. I'm afraid that the intricacies of the plot were lost on me since the only DVD release to date is from Germany and I only have a basic understanding of that language.
The film is a bit over ambitious in trying to cover both the Hindu religion and the British occupation of India, but at least boasts impressive location work, beautiful sets, and an eccentric international supporting cast.
Of these you have Lex Barker, Ian Hunter (in his last film) and stunning Senta Berger comprising the British contingent, while the Indians are made up of trouble-making sect leader Sergio Fantoni, Klaus Kinski, Roldano Lupi and temple dancer Claudine Auger, all in typically unconvincing black face, with genuine Indian I.S. Johar thrown in for good measure and comic relief.
Unfortunately the storyline would appear to be too slight to warrant the obvious expense which has been spent here, and the fact that the film received a very limited international release outside the countries that funded it, and remains obscure to this day, would tend to back this up.
It does look absolutely beautiful in the German DVD release, but unless you have a good understanding of that language then I'm afraid I would find it difficult to recommend other than as a bit of an ordeal for the curious. There are poor quality English language prints around, but this film really needs to be seen in a decent print to be appreciated.
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