At the beginning of this century some owners of rubber plantations in the Amazonas jungle convert a village into one big prison. But the inhabitants have other plans...

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Arquimedes
...
Claudia
...
Howard
Andrés García ...
Carmelo Sierra
...
Manuela Aranda
Jorge Luke ...
Ramiro
...
Mario Buendía
Milton Rodríguez ...
Aranda
Carlos East ...
Scott
Carlos Nieto ...
Yusulaki
...
Joao (as Miguel Burciaga)
Alfredo Wally Barrón ...
Saldaña (as Wally Barrón)
Miguel Ángel Fuentes ...
First Bodyguard
Jorge Reynoso ...
Second Bodyguard (as Jorge Reinoso)
John Fonseca ...
Blanchard
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Storyline

At the beginning of this century some owners of rubber plantations in the Amazonas jungle convert a village into one big prison. But the inhabitants have other plans... Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A treacherous escape through the Amazon inferno.

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Adventure

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Release Date:

1979 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Slaves from Prison Camp Manaos  »

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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not quite what it could have been
26 July 2009 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

Despite some mind-blowing international exploitation movie genre star casting and easily the most awkwardly ridiculous theme song in history, MANAOS succeeds in being little more than a tepid curiosity piece of the forgotten jungle action genre.

Alberto Vasquez Figueroa is probably the most successful Spanish author to realize screen adaptations of his works. He also wrote the novelizations for other English-language films as Monte Hellman's IGUANA, Enzo Castellari's TUAREG, and Richard Fleischer's ASHANTI... all of which underperformed at the box office though I appreciate his ability to act as a link between three of my favorite directors.

This film was Figueroa's big chance to direct from one of his stories (though unlike his other, most obscure film RED GOLD, his script was co-authored by Carlos Vasallo (a perennial figure in the Mexican-Spanish exploitation movement). Figueroa's skill as a director, however as is often the case when writers are let loose behind the camera, is unfortunately lacking. There's plenty of action and exploitation nonsense at large, but precious little of it manages to be exciting. Also, the costume and prop design fails to communicate that this film is supposed to take place in the 19th century until so late a point in the film where it becomes rather awkward.

What IS successful are the lush location filming in Southern Mexico subbing in for the Amazon. The acting by all is a little stiff but worth it to see Fabio Testi, Jorge Rivero, Andres Garcia, and Jorge Luke (all big names in their respective Latin markets) sharing the screen. The two female leads Agostina Belli and Florinda Bolkan are unfortunately lost in unsubstantial roles. All that's missing is an appearance by Hugo Stiglitz - but Figueroa was able to cast him in the aforementioned RED GOLD so all is forgiven.

Horror fans may recognize a good portion of Fabio Frizzi's music to be recycled later in Lucio Fulci's ZOMBI 2.


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