A group of Japanese soldiers are transporting a large shipment of gold through the jungles of the Phillipines when they are captured by a cannibal tribe. After a large battle with the cannibals, several members of the group are dismembered and killed. A few of the soldiers survive and successfully hide the treasure in the jungle. Thirty six years later, an expedition heads into the jungle to locate the lost treasure, and wind up in a battle against the elements. Written by
The Philippines, 1945. Japanese troops escorting a gold shipment are ambushed by headhunting natives. Most of the soldiers are killed, but not before they manage to hide the gold in a cave. Three officers survive. Thirty-six years later, Rex Larson (Purdom) is hunting for the lost fortune. He recruits one of the surviving officers and has his financial backer help arrange for an expedition. The lead guide is Mark Forrest (Whitman) who helps arrange for assistance in the Philippines. Once in the wilderness, the group must contend with the elements, treachery, and murder. Billed as a cannibal film at my local video store, it does not qualify as such. It is definitely inspired by the Indiana Jones flicks, but is much more conventional. The film had many of the elements necessary for success including a strong cast. Woody Strode is a welcome presence, but is largely wasted. I came away with the impression that the filmmakers were simply manufacturing a movie for a quick release rather than making a genuine effort to entertain. While it likely wouldn't have become a blockbuster or anything akin to a classic, it could have been far better with only minimal script changes and perhaps a more firm directorial hand. Or not.
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