The Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon (TV Movie 2008) Poster

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1/10
Adventure wannabe
Thomas Williams3 May 2010
Of cause, a TV budget allows for just so much. There is a golden rule in the receipt of a good movie, that one is "You are only allowed to create one lie". But with some creations, this rule can be hard to obey, if you do not come up with an extra million in the budget.

When this is said, the movie contains some great ideas with a great potential for exploring imagination and the inner child - but remains childish, or something that could fit a children's channel, if it were not for the blood and gore.

There is no excuse for poor timing (like when few seconds to act, becomes 30 seconds of horrifying embarrassment), no excuse for poor scenery (like when two prehistoric native Americans are running on a path carved by 21. century wheel tracks) or when someone shot in the leg, is switching between unbearable agony and a little limp - with seconds in between.

The actors delivered a far more convincing B movie act, which I would say were disgraced by an incompetent crew, a story that wouldn't even convince a 5 year old and a cutter and director who seem to have made a last effort in destroying this movie technically.
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3/10
More SciFi Channel fluff
MaeBeaBaeBea21 December 2008
I'm not even sure if this was a SciFi Channel production or not; if not, it certainly had all the hallmarks of one. Silly storyline, poor CGI, large plot holes, etc, etc, etc.

I won't reveal anything about the plot - not that it would matter really, the same story has been done many times. Lost scientist, searchers, treasure, ancient god, ignorant tribe of lost natives, et al. This time it takes place, miraculously enough, in the Grand Canyon, in some area that has never, ever been seen before by white men.

If you would care to spend two hours staring blankly at your TV while marveling at stultifyingly bad acting, this is the movie for you. You may be entertained during commercial breaks though. Also, Shannen Doherty is still somewhat recognizable, in a puffy kind of way.
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4/10
Low cost movie...
Pip  30 January 2009
I must admit that I saw this, because I heard Doherty was playing the main role (if there is one..). I love her movies Since Charmed.

Anyways, this movie is so predictable, you'll think you were the one who produced it.

The monster/god (or so they say...) is way too animated. But it's not just that. There's a scene in which a man is killed and you can clearly see that a red ink bucket or something in that style was thrown at the wall. The costumes and the actors also look too goofy. They don't exactly look or sound like some scientists/miners whatever.

I also think they rushed a little TOO MUCH at the end. Things with no sense started to happen, so they could put an end to it.

I think they wasted Doherty's talent in a weak, predictable movie.

Also, it's always the same story. Scientists getting lost, miners dying...

If you are a Doherty fun like me, then you'll probably make it to the end.
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Another Sci-Fi Channel V-E-R-Y Original Movie
Frumious_Bandersnatch_4630 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Michael Shanks and JR Bourne do make this one of Sci-Fi Channel's better offerings. Unfortunately, that bar isn't very high.

Once again, the writers for the Sci-Fi Channel ORIGINAL Movies got so very ORIGINAL that they made a complete mish-mosh of the Aztecs, their culture and their mythology.

• Half the "artifacts" looked more Mayan then Aztec; especially that stone "Key".

• If they can't hire native extras of the right racial group, at least they could have sprung for some body paint for the ones they did hire. I'd not seen such pale natives in decades! Especially desert-dwellers. — And flip-flops? Are they serious?

• I'd always thought that one of the purposes of CGI was to give movie-makers a range of monsters above the man-in-the-rubber-suit level. Their version of Quetzalcoatl was a joke! It was supposed to be a feathered serpent, not a lizard-man with bat-wings!

• Human sacrifice? That, too, was MAYAN, not AZTEC!

• And the dagger that Thain's (Shanks' character) father attributed to Pizarro? Pizarro conquered the Incas in what is now Peru. Cortés conquered the Aztecs in what is now Mexico.

• Note to wardrobe dept: When doing period pieces, please try to keep in mind the period in question. That flimsy top Ms Doherty was wearing would have been thoroughly unacceptable for a lady of her character's station in that era.

Do I need to mention the visible tire-tracks?

Again, I have to admire the film-makers' ability to get paid for this.
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No 'Treasure', but not complete garbage either
Christopher Smith22 December 2008
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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5/10
Pretty nicely done, and acted, for a Sci Fi channel production
Ray Humphries8 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The story line is pretty basic. Nineteenth century archeologists seeking lost treasure find bad things instead. There are few stupidities perpetrated by the script/cast save perhaps those of Dunbar and friend (comic relief?), and Dr. Langford (well played by JR Borne) who is somewhere between evil and uncaring, and the self-serving bitch Hildy, nicely performed by Ms. Doerksen. Hildy's fate is cleverly left indeterminate. One hopes she wound up as the willing sex slave of an Aztec warrior, rather than as a meal.

There are ample heroics by the good guys, Jacob Thain (Michael Shanks) and Dr. Jordan (the venerable Duncan Fraser). There is also a surfeit of evil (well, badness maybe) from the natives and from the monster (Quetzalcoatl – who never looked like this), poor CGI though it is.

The still toothsome Shannen Doherty, though not the stone fox of her "Charmed" youth, does well with what little she is given by the script writers. Her role coulda/shoulda been much stronger.

Speaking of writers, 20th century idioms, such as "hang in there" and "take him out", seem quite out of place in 19th century dialogue. And the human sacrifice scenes are thoroughly disheartening.
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1/10
The Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon... Some things are meant to stay buried.
julian kennedy1 June 2009
The Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon: 1 out of 10: Well I was two minutes into the film and my girlfriend jinxed us. “Hey you know this movie isn’t that bad”. I turned pale… real pale. You don’t tempt the Gods like that. Not with a made for Sci-fi Channel movie. Not when one where the lead is Shannen Doherty. The words barely left her mouth and a CGI puppet began sliming a Frat Boy in a diaper. The Horror…. The Horror. If I am going to start somewhere I have to start with the Frat Boys in diapers. The movie claims these are Aztecs still hidden in the Grand Canyon at the end of the 19th century. (I know I know) Apparently they have been hiding from the white man for many years. Not to mention the Havasupai and the Painte and the Pai and the tourists at the Upper Canyon Ranch and perhaps the boys in blue down at Ft. Mohave. Anyway this lost tribe of Aztecs, like some Japanese WW2 sniper still hiding in a palm tree in 1971, is hidden in the Grand Canyon. What seems stranger is that they consist almost entirely of a hereto thou undiscovered group of Aztecs whom look like white college football players wearing diapers (well more of a mawashi) and war paint. I am all in favor of multicultural casting but I can’t believe that it isn’t a little insensitive to portray Native Americans as well extras in a Fire Island movie. Hold on a second Fire Island Movie????… The men are all buff and practically naked. The two woman are wearing pants and done up in to look twice their age. The monster spews slime on the buff boys for no good reason. Oh God no it’s Jeepers Creepers 2 all over again. The homoerotic horror film strikes again. Now I’m not sure that the over the top homoeroticism is directors Farhad Mann’s doing (or even intentional), but Mann is responsible for both Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace as well as Return to Two Moon Junction so with a track record like I am prepared to blame him for a Swine Flu outbreak let alone this film. So what else went wrong? Well the Quetzalcoatl design is all wrong (he looks like a puppet) and his CGI is bad by even the very low Sci-fi Channel standards. The sets look like Kirk and Spock are going to beam down at any moment. Half the explorers are grossly overweight; an unlikely condition in the far west wilderness that far from a Wal-Mart. As noted above Shannen Doherty who isn’t even forty looks forty-five and Heather Doerksen who isn’t even thirty looks fifty. And they have a five minute flashback at the end that repeats the entire film. But let’s face it buff white frat boys in diapers getting slimed from off camera and pretending to be Indians. Yeah that is just all sorts of wrong.
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3/10
Montezuma's Revenge
bkoganbing20 December 2008
Apparently the Spanish under Cortes and the many that followed did not completely destroy the Aztec civilization. Some of them managed to make it all the way to northern Arizona and found a hidden valley near the Grand Canyon. In the 19th century archaeologist Duncan Fraser heard some rumors about them from some of our native Indians who had better sense than go poking around the canyon looking for these people. But he got lost and now his daughter Shannen Doherty is putting together an expedition to find dad.

There was some basis for locating the Aztec civilization where it was. The Colorado River area from the Grand Canyon down to wear in empties in Mexico was the last area explored and mapped in the lower 48 states, it wasn't done until after the Civil War. So something could have been there, maybe.

Poor Shannen Doherty, she must have cursed the day she left Aaron Spelling twice, walking out on both Beverly Hills 90210 and Charmed. Is this all there is Shannen, chasing after dad among the Aztecs and that nasty serpent God of their's Quetzacoatl.

Quetzacoatl made the journey north with his followers. He's one ugly looking deity as well. But he flies, spits out some paralyzing green slime, and tears people apart with his teeth and talons. Good enough reason to worship anything, not to mention he's survived a few hundred years longer than thought.

I liked the monster, but the rest of the cast looked like they slept walked through their roles. One other woman, Heather Doerksen, a feminist and suffragette is part of the expedition. She's out for the Lost Treasure Of The Grand Canyon and nothing else. Her ideas however may be what really destroys the last remnants of Aztec civilization.

Shannen Doherty ought to team with Luke Perry for one of these Science Fiction Channel originals. At least there's an established chemistry there.
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A REALLY bad movie!
Wizard-810 September 2012
In case you ever wonder if Canadian content laws for television are a good thing or not, a look at "The Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon" should give you a really big clue. Although officially made for the American Sci- Fi Network, Canadian movies like this are also used to be played endlessly on Canadian networks simply because there's nothing better available. To call this movie cheap would be a complement. Although filmed in semi- desert areas of British Columbia, it still looks NOTHING like the Grand Canyon in the United States. The rest of the look of the movie is even more tacky, with minimal (and cheap-looking) props, sets, and CGI effects. But the worst thing about the movie is its tone. It's utterly joyless, lacking awe when we should be amazed, instead giving off a depressing feel for the majority of the running time. Nobody connected with this movie seems to be trying, so you shouldn't be trying to track down the movie on TV or in your local video store.
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8/10
Horrible Title, but Passable Movie
bobwildhorror21 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
While I long ago gave up hope that the Sci Fi Channel would use its considerable assets in the pursuit of artistry, I've got to give credit where credit is due. THE LOST TREASURE OF THE GRAND CANYON is a passable Saturday afternoon feature. It manages to overcome the typical pitfalls of a Sci Fi Channel movie -- badly rendered CGI monster, limited sets, silly plot developments -- to showcase some low-budget ingenuity. And it does it with Shannen Doherty in tow...yes, that Shannen Doherty, the infant terrible of eighties teen television.

Lest you think Doherty is the decisive factor, I want to clarify that it's director Farhad Mann's skill that elevates the picture. He has the good sense to keep the evil CGI god hidden for the majority of the movie. And even after it makes its obligatory appearance, he has the good sense to recognize that less is more. Unlike his contemporaries, who seem hell-bent on sticking their CGI creatures into as many frames as possible, Mann makes the monster secondary to the locations. Which brings me to the second major asset of THE LOST TREASURE: the photography. Mann also has the good sense to allow the beauty of the Grand Canyon to become a character in the story.

Even Clay Carmouche's screenplay is decent. It's got its share of "Oh, no" moments, but it's got an equal dedication to recreating the atmosphere of an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel. It even sets it in a Burroughs style milieu.

I'm not sure the picture deserves an 8, but in comparison to most of the Sci Fi Channel's oeuvre, it's a towering masterpiece. The only major issue I have is with the title. What did the Lost Treasure have to do with anything? It was mentioned, but almost in passing. Couldn't someone have come up with a better name for the picture?

Guess I shouldn't think too hard. Nobody ever promised that the Sci Fi Channel was going to actually feature thought provoking science fiction.
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8/10
Good Fun Creature Feature
amconway22 December 2008
It's not art, it's not big budget, but it is fun! Michael Shanks and JR Bourne are excellent in it (and work very well together), as is the supporting cast. Shannon Doherty really should have tried a little harder, especially in terms of remembering that it's a period piece, and that acting involves more than being yourself. This was particularly obvious in her scenes with Michael Shanks, who is a very hardworking actor. He created a well rounded, interesting, and believable period character within the old fashioned adventure style of the movie. His performance has depth that is entirely lacking in hers, sadly. As for complaints about the CGI, people just don't realize exactly how expensive, time consuming, and difficult this can be. Pictures with great CGI use the entire budget of this film, and more, just on that. Considering the budgets given out by Scifi, the CGI wasn't bad at all. This movie was much, much better than anything that Scifi has commissioned before.
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1/10
Z grade STINKFEST Don't bother!
lanimae617 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
God almighty, this movie had nothing good about it. Wooden acting, stinky script with a plot thinner than grannies undies. I can't believe there were any named actors in this rubbish. With stars of Stargate SG1, Charmed and other top notch offerings, I expected better. In one scene, a particularly smart chappy decides to throw himself against a stone door in order to coax it open, 100 kg against 1,000 plus kg, get the idea? All he was going to do was give himself a head ache, and me into the bargain. SAVE ME! Every cliché was trotted out of the box to give us the impression someone knew what they were doing. Unbelievably, an Aztec pyramid in the Grand Canyon is meant to be credible as well as brief glimpses of a winged bit of nastiness stalking all those who enter. As they bumble through the story, looking for a lost professor and of course the treasure, you really wish it had been you who had been throwing yourself against the stone door, at least you wouldn't remember the experience next day! The lines delivered were as stale as last weeks' milk and nothing, I repeat nothing, was going to get me to the end of this without copious hot chocolate and cookies. There had to be something good to say in this review, because the movie certainly didn't give me much scope to say something pretty and sweet... I know it's science fiction, and I know its meant to entertain, but it fails on all counts. Rotten, don't bother.
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4/10
Not a bad movie
bbickley13-921-5866426 July 2014
It's one of those cheap movies that they make by getting two well known people (not necessarily stars anymore), two take a week out of their "busy" schedule to make a quick film.

The story in the film is pretty decent about an expedition to find another exception gone missing in an attempt to find a treasure of a long lost civilization that worships a CGI monster like a God.

I also like Micheal Shanks performance as a snobbish archaeologist on the expedition for a personal agenda. It also has a great set of interesting characters played out by some good actors, including the other name in the movie Shannen Doherty.

It's one of those things that when it repeats on Syfy, you'll catch it and you'll like it, but it's not worth going out of your way to see.
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3/10
The lost search for a good movie
TheLittleSongbird17 April 2012
I liked the idea of the story(though the film could've done with a much more imaginative title), but I was also dubious. Seeing The Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon for myself, it was neither better or worse than I was expecting. As I said, there was a good idea which had potential to have a well-constructed, interesting story to go with it, but the things that don't make the film any worse than it turned out to be were some good scenery(though there is some cheap looking ones too), a decent if not great Shannon Doherty and some tense death scenes. On the other hand, the filming is too dark in places, and while not haphazard as once nothing in the camera work stands out much. The effects for Quetzalcoatl look terrible, and while not as bad the monster in appearance and how it moves is often too animated, but the worst assets were the hackneyed script, the utterly predictable and silly story that mixes Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider but with a complete lack of imagination or excitement and the stereotypical characters. Doherty aside, the acting is nothing to write home about, with Michael Shanks and JR Bourne both sleep-walking through their roles. All in all, unimaginative and dull, a sub-par movie at best. 3/10 Bethany Cox
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6/10
Not Bad At All, I Would Watch It Again!
FromBookstoFilm21 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I enjoyed this movie. Archaeologists stumble on a lost Aztec civilization. In Aztec legend the Aztecs came from a land North of Mexico possible Archaeological locales have been Arizona,New Mexico,Texas and California and even a remote possibility of being related to the Mound builders and the Aztec language Nahuatl are part of the Ute-Aztecan languages of the United States. Quetzacoatl was a human looking God and this Quetzacoatl in the movie was far from it as was the personality's character. Costumes and sets were well done. Attention could have been paid more to the hairstyles of some of the Aztec warriors. The human heart sacrifices were well depicted as was the head rack (Aztec and Maya Indians used head racks for the skulls of enemies and warriors). In my humble opinion the person who directed this movie was strongly influenced by Mel Gibson's Apocalypto and Nova's documentary Aztec Massacre and possibly the Sci-Fi made in Hawaii feature Aztec Rex. This movie is for anyone who likes any story based on Mesoamerican cultures.
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2/10
Another crappy movie from Sci-Fi Channel
lordbowler23 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I only give this movie two stars, one for poor Michael Shanks and 1 for poor Shannon Doherty, and none for JR Bourne. I've seen all of these actors in much better Films and TV. They can act, but in this movie, they apparently didn't bother.

The acting is lame on all accounts, although Michael Shanks actually tries to bring the movie up at least until 2/3rds into it when he gives up. The natives mostly just stand around and run when told. Several characters sacrifice themselves, only to be allowed to live and then attempt to sacrifice themselves again.

Characters get poisoned but recover with no medical attention, are captured but miraculously escape.

This movie had a decent storyline and decent enough actors if they only used them to make a watchable movie, alas this is not one of them.

In the 90s Sci-Fi made some fine B-Movies. Since then, none have compared to them. They'd be better off showing B Sci-Fi movies from 80s and 90s rather than spending money on this crap.
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5/10
So my question is...
rcn_sf16 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
...not about the CGI or the budget. I can deal with those. I'm no expert, but they seemed acceptable to me. I figure SciFi channel movies are basically 2 hour episodes of the Outer Limits - story telling with a limited budget, usually done on 2 sets with a total of 10 people.

Michael Shanks' character is ridiculous, and the archaeologist character is total type-casting, but I can deal with that.

And its kind of ridiculous that *SPOILER* the critter explodes at the end. *SPOILER* But I can deal with that too.

My questions are...

Why is the sun never shining in the shots of the desert & the Grand Canyon? It looks like a foggy day in San Francisco. In reality that are is 100 plus degrees and blisteringly bright most days. Is it so expensive to send one camera guy to film some wide shots in the actual southwest for a few days? The plane fare from Vancouver or LA can't be more than a few hundred dollars.

Who wrote this atrocious dialogue? It feels like a first draft.

Who determined the accents the actors would use? They seem pretty random, and change from scene to scene. At least be consistently Canadian or Boston blue-blood or Californian.

It seems like even if the filmmakers don't have a lot of cash for production they could still have a solid story. I imagine writing is the cheapest part of the entire process.
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1/10
"Pond scum"
merklekranz20 September 2016
Everything about this cheap "Raiders of the Lost Ark" wannabe stinks. The acting is "high school play grade". The screenplay is ultra boring. The monster looks like it just crawled out of a 1980s video game. This is on the same lowest of the low level as garbage like "Sands of Oblivion", only perhaps slightly worse. The question is, who is the intended audience. With unlikable characters, with zero development, doing the stupidest things, this abomination would bore even the lowest level of "Sci-Fi Channel" viewers. I'm even ashamed to pawn this off at a garage sale for one cent on some unsuspecting buyer, who might think he is getting a bargain, while in reality he is paying too much. - MERK
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1/10
Filmed in Canada?!
casugi14 August 2010
Is it just me, or shouldn't a film with the Grand Canyon in the title be filmed somewhere near the actual Grand Canyon? Nothing in this looks remotely like Northern AZ, much less the Grand Canyon! Guess they couldn't afford to actually drive one state over? It'd help if the AZ legislature would wake up and make film-making more appealing to the studios, but they just keep sitting on their hands, or passing questionable laws like allowing anyone to carry a gun where-ever they want. Yikes! Maybe that's the real reason they resorted to filming elsewhere.

Add to that the silly storyline, bad acting, terrible script, and you have one disaster. I had to look up how old Doherty is, cause she looks so bad in this. Seems to be hiding her weight behind baggy clothes, too. I was surprised to see her in this, but she's not done much else lately.
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5/10
Low-budget TV adventure with some redeeming qualities
Wuchak12 November 2015
Released to TV in 2008, "Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon" chronicles events in the early 20th century when a team of Smithsonian researchers discover a lost Aztec city in the Grand Canyon guarded by a flying creature; they then go missing. The daughter of the professor who led the expedition (Shannen Doherty) assembles a search & rescue team, which leads them to the lost city and the Aztec "god" Quetzalcoatl. Duncan Fraser plays the father while Michael Shanks, JR Bourne, Heather Doerksen and Toby Berner play members of the rescue team, amongst others.

With the SyFy channel you never know what you're gonna get. Their movies can be surprisingly good or even great (like "Sasquatch Mountain" and "The Lost Future"), mediocre (like "Carny" and "Frankenfish") or bottom-of-the-barrel bad (like "Curse of the Snow Demon" and "Bigfoot"). Some people place "Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon" in the last category because of the cheap-looking filmmaking, but if you can overlook this it has several attributes. For one, it was shot in desert regions east of the Cascades in British Columbia (substituting for the Grand Canyon, of course). Say what you want, but quality locations cost money. Secondly, the movie contains high adventure a la survival-in-the-desert, Indiana Jones-like shenanigans and a flying monster. Speaking of which, the CGI creature looks pretty malevolent despite its cartooniness. Then you have a decent cast, a few horrifically gory scenes, potent subtexts and an almost-moving & impressive ending (notice I said "almost"). These positives may not make the movie good, but they redeem it from the "bad" category IMHO, even though the filmmaking is palpably dubious at times.

The movie runs 88 minutes and was shot in Cache Creek & Kamloops, British Columbia.

GRADE: C
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2/10
the lost B movie
Scott Robinett16 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I was really hoping this would not be a spoiler, so I'll try to avoid the plot, as obviously the producers, directors and actors did.

I can sum it up though the decades; 40's dialog, 50's special effects, 60's cinematography, 70's acting, 80's actors and 90's mystery writing. You will not fine another like this one, truly unique, and fun for the whole family.

Since I need at least 10 lines for this review, I thought I would take a line or two to talk about something interesting. We rented this from Netflix and I had a Coke and popcorn, and then later we had a cookie. At one point I booted up my laptop and started writing this review.

I would have given this a 1, but I really enjoyed writing this review.

I hope I didn't spoil it for you!
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