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Amazon High (1997)

TV Movie  |  Adventure, Drama, Fantasy  |  1997 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 56 users  
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Title: Amazon High (TV Movie 1997)

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Samsara
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Kor
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Karina
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Leon
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Cyane's uncle
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Olan
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Trivia

This film was the pilot for a proposed third show set in the Hercules/Xena universe, concerning (as the title suggests) the Amazons. However, the show was never picked up and parts of the film were used in the Xena episode Lifeblood (5x16). See more »

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Adequate pilot which had some potential
6 April 2002 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Because this series pilot was never picked up, it was recycled into the storyline of the "Xena: Warrior Princess" fifth season episode "Lifeblood", which was rated one of the worst episodes of the series for its use of non-related footage to make up for lack of a plot.

Independently, "Amazon High" is an entertaining idea, combining elements of both the Hercules and Xena universes as it details the origins of the Amazon nation which was left unexplored on both series. For the choppy sequences that we receive, Selma Blair gives a good performance as the 20th century Cyane pulled back in time to lead the shattered Tretomlec tribe to its Amazonian glory. Danielle Cormack and Karl Urban, New Zealand actors who have collaborated on previous projects, also give brief but good performances, although Cormack's role as Samsara smacks too much of her Xena character Ephiny.

Plotwise, the story is a shameless recycling of "Back to the Future", and several of the sequences, particularly the initiation and the Spirit Dance, are notsomuch intriguing as goofy, the spirit kiss taking the cake. The battle sequences, though repetitive, are classic Xena-style girl-kicks-butt fights accompanied by a fantastic female choral piece by Joseph LoDuca.

I think the series did have a small chance of success, but with its emphasis on feminist willpower in a patriarchal world (the male characters are all made out to be vicious savages), it would probably have turned into what we've already seen before on Xena. Its replacement, "Cleopatra 2525", though combining the same plot elements but in a futuristic setting, was shortlived.

The Xena series is now over, so you probably won't get to see "Amazon High" unless it is re-released or a friend has a copy of the episode Lifeblood. It survives in the music track "Amazon Dance Party", available on the fifth Xena soundtrack, "Lyre Lyre Hearts on Fire".


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