Basically Raiders of the Lost Ark had the budget been slashed in 1/900th's repeatedly. Andy J. Forrest is pretty good as an all- American treasure hunter out to find a mysterious lost tomb of cleopatra out in the Sahara desert. However, before he does much adventurin', he gets locked up in a dusty stockade run by a couple sadistic French foreign legion-types who force him to find the treasure for them. This means that Forrest must team up with a greasy sewer rat (played by CANNIBAL FEROX's Danilo Mattei) in order to repeatedly break out of the prison, dig up artifacts, and then return to the prison to show the warden what they were able to come up with. HUH???
Well besides Mattei and Muller, the supporting cast is not too notable and the photography by Luigi Ciccarese is bland. On top of that, there isn't much action or adventure and the film is far too incoherent, badly plotted, and vague to keep you too engaged. However it does feature one of Luigi Ceccarelli's earlier (and better) simple synthesizer musical scores and have a couple well-done sequences. Massimo Pirri (director of FATAL FIX and few other notable films) was one of the youngest of the Italian directors in the late 70's, early 80's, and known for his very sloppy approach to film-making. Often he doesn't bother to aim the camera at the right spot or have his actors do anything besides stare blankly into the camera, saying their lines emotionlessly.
Andy J. Forrest fared much better in Umberto Lenzi's better-made World War II film BRIDGE TO HELL, made around the same time. However, as a World War II film, it generally deserved better than another cheesy Ceccarelli score and Ciccarese camera-work. This film works as a good sort of primer for BRIDGE TO HELL's lunacy, though aside from that I really can't think of much to recommend MARK OF THE SCORPION.
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