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Set in the Grand Canyon, a team of Smithsonian researchers have stumbled across a lost walled Aztec city guarded by some evil spirits, including a "great flying serpent of death." As days turn to weeks, Susan Jordan, the daughter of the professor leading the expedition, assembles a team to rescue her father and his colleagues from the clutches of the ancient Aztec warriors and their horrible serpent god. Written by
I'm sure that most of my enjoyment of The Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon was based on the fact that I had sat through the horrible The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor the night before I saw this. That is not to say that The Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon is a great picture, or even a very good one, but it is a much more competently made monster movie than most made these days (such as The Mummy 3). The director of 'Grand Canyon' is Farhad Mann, a man whose previous film work I am unfamiliar with. Based on the evidence presented here, I would say if given a proper budget and a better script, he just might be able to deliver a great sci-fi flick. As it is, Mann does what he can with what he is given. The sets and special effects are not top notch, but the editing is well done as opposed to distracting like with the majority of the genre pictures produced these days. Mann keeps the gore to a minimum and keeps the mysterious monster(s) on screen for just the right amount of time. Again, the special effects aren't great, but because of proper direction and editing, it looks pretty good for its budget.
I have yet to mention the story. To be honest, there isn't much of one. It's the typical team-of-specialists-explore-where-they-shouldn't't routine. There are no surprises. However, the characters are given a little more depth than the average Sci-Fi Chanel original movie, which is nice. As a result, the acting is better than average as well. Shannen Doherty does a fine job as the female lead though I wish she was given more to do and better dialog to deliver. Her character is sweeter than the characters she has played in the past so for fans like myself looking for her in a different kind of role, this may be worth checking out. The acting from the rest of the cast was decent as well. Personally, I think the two women (Doherty and Heather Doerksen as her assistant) were much stronger than the men here, in terms of performances and character.
Despite the disappointing story and low budget feel, I would ultimately recommend The Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon to fans of monster movies and/or Shannen Doherty only. Everyone else is advised to stay away. 6/10
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