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No fewer than nine actresses were given the role of "Ivana", but each in turn pulled out, for a variety of reasons. The writers did at one point consider changing the single character into a gang (a spin-off adventure, "Army of Ivanas" was even mooted), before finally the character was dropped completely - resulting in the character of "Bain" receiving a battlefield promotion from featured goon to become one of the main villains. See more »
I saw this film amongst a large pile of Biritsh produced features sent my way and I have to say this was one of the better ones.
By no means perfect and clearly done of the lowest of low budget, this Raider of the Lost Ark inspired adventure through the English countryside will at least have to entertained from start to finish.
Opening with a robbery and a shoot out the film quickly introduces us to our hero, Dr David Hilton (Richard Cambridge) a failed author dragged in by the Vatican to help find a missing former colleague (I Said it was inspired by Raiders) Off on the adventure, David uncovers lots of hidden secrets and the metaphor for the film (though not expertly articulated) seems to be, "be careful when you dig up the past" which may have been a better tag line than "Hell is Forever".
With some good action pieces let down only by limited budget and an interest array of characters (some portrayed more convincingly than others) this is a film well worth seeing. And unlike most action films where the female lead is there for eye candy or to scream, director Kevin McDonagh subtly makes Lucy Lake (Stephanie Elliot) a smart and involved female character.
With the villains Bain (Matthew Sheppard) and Father Calvert (Eley Furrell - chewing the scenery perfectly for this panto style villainous character) the film is at least not dull.
I gave it 10/10 mainly for effort as few film maker try such exciting and action packed films as this for their first and the fact they come up short is only to be expected, but they had a damn good go!
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