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When I was a kid, I saw this movie and I loved it. I thought it was one of
the best movies I'd ever seen. Ten years later, I picked it up at the
store to take another look.
This is a bad movie! Really bad! Cheesy, badly dubbed, almost everything is done badly. Love those wires on the "floating" key! The climax is hilarious!
One good thing about the movie: Ever reliable Ennio Morricone gives the movie a good score.
No matter how you put it, this movie was created to contain as many gimmicks
as possible to exploit the 3D theme. And as such it succeeded beautifully.
I have seen this movie when I was 13, close to when it came out.
Little other movies of the 80s have made quite the same impact. No, it's not a good movie by normal standards. But Yes, this is probably the best 3D movie ever made, and as such is worth a couple of lines in someone's book.
J.T. Striker (Tony Anthony) is an adventurer / fortune hunter hired by
his associates Edmond (Gene Quintano) and Professor Montgomery
(Francisco Villena) to get his hands on the legendary Four Crowns,
which when obtained can make a person all powerful. This he has to do
because diabolical religious cult leader Brother Jonas (Emiliano
Redondo) is using them to control his mindless flock. To accomplish his
task, J.T. gathers together a bunch of his old friends: the weary old
Socrates (Francisco Rabal), the drunken Rick (Jerry Lazarus), and the
super sexy Liz (Ana Obregon).
You know you're in trouble when the opening "Star Wars" style crawl is sorely lacking in any sort of punctuation. This basically amiable movie, rushed into production in order to cash in on the success of the previous Cannon Group 3-D feature, "Comin' at Ya!", is entertaining in spurts. Its extreme crudeness and cheesiness (one can clearly see the strings that are manipulating objects) could have been forgiven if only the movie had more energy. It moves along much too slowly, and there's overkill in terms of exposition. The acting from most of the cast is pretty bland. The filmmakers thrust as many objects into the camera as they can.
Helping to uplift "Treasure of the Four Crowns" (starting with that title, it's all too obvious which hit movie was a big influence on this one) to a degree are its WTF moments, its admittedly amusing opening set piece that goes on for over 20 minutes without dialogue, its absolutely priceless climax, and a wonderful, stirring Ennio Morricone music score that truly deserved a better movie.
This just isn't as much fun as this viewer would have liked.
Five out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Oh sweet irony, thy name be "Treasure of the Four Crowns"
revolved its entire promotional campaign on the unique selling
proposition of 3-D effects, but it's this exact same gimmick that
continuously muddles up the pacing and negatively affects the script's
coherence. Instead of dedicating all their time and efforts to
searching for as many 3-D possibilities as humanly possible, the makers
should have focused on their narrative structure and continuity a
little more. It sounds like a rookie mistake, but in fact director
Ferdinando Baldi and co-writer/main star Tony Anthony should have known
better. The duo previously made the underrated but splendid spaghetti
western "Blindman", and that movie strangely enough revolved entirely
on detailed character drawings and story building instead of on
effects. I haven't had the pleasure (?) yet of seeing their other 3-D
film, the oddly titled western "Comin' At Ya!", but I fear it'll be as
bad as this one, judging by the rating and user comments. As you can
undoubtedly derive from the title and cover image, "Treasure of the
Four Crowns" is another Italian attempt to cash in on the huge success
of early 80's adventure movies, more particularly the Steven Spielberg
classic "Raiders of the Lost Ark". You know the principle of these
Italian rip offs: everything has to be a lot more grotesque! Tony
Anthony pretends to be a genuine Indiana Jones and the adventurous
opening sequence lasts at least three times as long as the intro of
"Raiders". Anthony plays J.T. Stryker, a professional adventurer hired
to recover two out of four magical crowns from the malicious hands of
the occult sect leader Brother Jones. According to the assignor, these
Crowns hold the power to solve all the earthly issues like war,
poverty, famine etc
only it's never really explained HOW. The evil
Jones keeps the crowns in a hi-tech secured temple with laser alarm
systems and deadly booby traps, so Stryker and his team of hired circus
artists spend the majority of the film climbing walls and hurling on
ceilings. There's plenty of action & stunts in the film, but it quickly
gets really boring because it's always the same. Of course, it didn't
help that wasn't wearing my 3-D goggles, but still, even then the
action sequences would rapidly get repetitive. The last half hour is
utterly atrocious and full of twists & turns that don't make the
slightest bit of sense. Heroic characters die in the most ridiculous
ways imaginable, faces get deformed and go back to normal and the fate
of the titular crowns is inconclusive. The only truly great element is,
as usual, Ennio Morricone's music.
Browsing through IMDb, I learned that director Baldi passed away very recently; on the 12th of November 2007. I wished I could have written better things about his movie, but it's simply not very good. Personally, I'll remember him for the aforementioned western "Blindman".
I remember this movie coming on numerous times on HBO and Cinemax when I was a kid and I watched it every chance I could. I know now that it was a cheesy movie and if I watched it again it would probably be not as good as I remembered, but I did like it when I was a kid. Sure most 3-d movies do the hokey sticking stuff in your face routine, and this movie is no different, but I still enjoyed it. Even though during one scene of the movie you can see the string on the "flying" key. The parts I enjoyed most are the first and last parts of the movie. The lead guy in the first part has to get through various traps to retrieve this key thing. I always love boobey traps. The middle just consists of him recruiting people to help retrieve the two crowns. Then it is like a spy movie as they break into some cults palace that has numerous traps. And yes there were only three crowns, one only had paper, the other two had gems, the forth one supposedly was broken by someone who tried to open it without the key. I don't think this was in the original foriegn version. I think it was mentioned only because Treasure of the Three Crowns just doesn't have the same type of ring to it. In the end many of the characters die, and perhaps they get the stones or not...I would say but I don't want to spoil the really dumb ending.
I remember this movie being shown endlessly on HBO on Saturday afternoons in the 80's. Clearly trying to cash in on "Raiders of the Lost Ark", the only thing this film had going for it was the 3D and this is sadly missing on the video version. Strings are completely visible, repititous scenes of objects being poked at the camera and bad dubbing make for a difficult watch. Too bad MST3K didn't get a hold on this one.
Treasure of the Four Crown in 3-D is the heartwarming story of a man
suffering from impotency (Tony Anthony) who races through Southern
California with the government closing in. A hypnotist (Ana Obregon)
reluctantly helps in the daring plot. Gene Quintano disturbs in the
role of fetishist "Edmond". While the performances are rather uneven
overall, you won't forget Kate Levan in her breakout role as "Possessed
The film though cannot be fully appreciated unless viewed in 3-D. Only then do the strings attached to the "floating key" and the fact that there's only two crowns shown in the movie (though a third is briefly mentioned) truly jump out a come alive for the viewer.
I remember seeing this movie when I was 11 with my brother,
That was in 1982 and we still make fun of it and use it to
jokes. I remember only two crowns and no real purpose to the
3-D. This was just a bad movie. Not even good for a " bad movie night." Just stay away from it. Save that time in your life for something important, like cleaning lint form your bellybutton.
This movie is absolutely awful. As a kid of 8 years old, I saw this at
the movies with my brother. I remember being bored during it then, but
the idea of fantastic powers from crowns appealed to me.
I recently found it on Ebay and was excited to get it. Now, I look back on this movie as just trying to make a buck off of Raiders of the Lost Ark with the additional gimmick of 3D.
There is not character development. There isn't any point as to why the 3D effects have to happen. You can see all the strings used for the fireballs, darts, and the flying key.
I can just imagine the "creative team" thinking this movie up. "If one rolling ball was good for Indy, why not create 2 or 3 flaming rolling balls coming at the lead character."
This movie isn't even bad funny. To quote comic book guy, "worst movie ever."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Diabolical cult leader Brother Jonas (a rabidly hammy portrayal by Emiliano Redondo) gains possession of a set of mystical artifacts that gives him the power to lord it over his mindless followers. It's up to devil-may-care mercenary J.T. Striker (blandly played with stunning blankness by Tony Anthony, who also co-produced) and his motley crew who include a drunken dude (insipid Jerry Lazarus), a strongman brute with a weak heart (brooding Francisco Rabal), and, naturally, a token feisty babe (fetching Ana Obregon) to retrieve said artifacts from Jonas's heavily guarded fortress. Boy, does this hilariously horrendous clunker possess all the so-wrong-that-they're-paradoxically-right stuff to qualify as a real four-star stinkeroonie: Ferdinando Baldi's ham-fisted (mis)direction, the plodding pace, a plethora of shoddy (far from) special effects (you can clearly see all the obvious strings that levitate various objects throughout the picture!), the cardboard characters, the maladroitly staged action set pieces, the laughably terrible acting, the ratty cinematography by Marcello Masciocchi and Giuseppe Ruzzolini, and the jaw-dropping outrageous climax all give this delectably dreadful doozy a considerable amount of lovably cruddy charm. Moreover, not only does this movie hurl every possible object at the camera (arrows, spears, snakes, birds, keys, flames, and much, much more!), but it also boasts more than enough explosions to make even Michael Bay green with envy. Only Ennio Morricone's robust majestic score manages to rise above the general unintentionally sidesplitting ineptitude. A tacky marvel.
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