Monday, April 5, 2010

WTF Britain?!?: Jane & The Lost City

For regular readers, my review of The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak should still be pretty fresh.  That film was a French adaptation of an erotic (sort-of) comic strip.  Today's film is a British adaptation of a racy (sort-of) comic strip.  What does this film going for it if it doesn't have Tawny Kitaen topless?  How about Flash f-ing Gordon himself!  That's right- Sam J. Jones is in this movie with brown hair.  Yeah, apparently he was doing The Spirit (a very rare made-for-tv film in 1987) so he has it here.  It also has some other notable people in small, silly roles but is mostly built around our Jane.  Oh yeah, it's also directed by guy who made Hawk the Slayer.  Can the Brits outdo their rivals here?  Find out in my review of...
The film begins with a group of people out in Africa.  One of them arrives all battered and bruised & claims that he found 'the lost city.'  Guess we'd better get to changing the name!  Unfortunately, two of the men are killed, leaving the third to flee...into the hands of some Nazis.  The lead Nazi woman (Maud Adams) sends orders for the Brits to be intercepted before they can get over and try to find the place for themselves.  Her lead henchmen (picture a more annoying Tony Hale) sends his brother to do the job, but he doesn't have much luck.  At this point, you get a glimpse of the level of humor the film has planned for you.  First, the man is foiled by the old 'someone opens the door as you approach it' bit and later by the woman accidentally causing the anchor to drop.  We also get the most notable running joke with Jane: her dress keeps getting ripped off.  She's always wearing the same bra and panties set when it happens too, so she either has 1,000 pairs of that or never washes them.  Eww.  It happens when a random guy in a cast is brought by and lightly touches her.  It looks faker than the infamous bit from Future War!
After meeting up with a bad Churchill impersonator, the woman, her lead General and his butler go off to Africa.  Mid-flight, the pilot leaves and reveals that he is the other twin brother of the Nazi henchman.  Yeah, they're doing that joke.  He kicks all of the parachutes out and leaps out, but grabs the cooking equipment instead of one for himself.  Our heroine manages to crash the plane into the ocean & the trio ends up on the beach.  In an odd moment, the butler wonders aloud about how they got there, since he can't swim.  Um, what?  Everything goes alright until they are surrounded by killer Africans, only to be saved by 'Jungle Jack' (Jones).  In another odd moment, Jane lies about their reason for being there- it is a secret mission, after all- and says that they are hunters.  'Jack' freaks out and insults them...until the General tells him the truth about 1 minute later.  What was the point of that then?!?  At a hotel, we get a parody of Psycho when the woman is stalked in the shower by the dumb Nazi.  In the next room, a new, tougher henchman goes to kill the General, but slips on the soap and slides about 20 feet, knocks down the other Nazi and crashes through a wall.  That's either a good balancing act or some strong soap!  Jack gets captured by the Nazis and they figure out where the city is...sort of.
Our heroes eventually free Jack, although Jane falls for the 'torn-off dress' bit twice in about five minutes.  I guess they had a quota.  The Nazis wander about for a while until our the Butler recalls where the map was after a night of drinking.  They find the place first, only to be captured by different Africans.  After our heroine is disrobed again, she punches out the Queen to reveal...that she is British.  Yeah, apparently Sporty Spice here is the descendant of the tribe's leaders, but even she doesn't know where the diamonds are.  Within five minutes of getting freed, Jane and her friends find them- sigh.  She agrees to give the diamonds as a loan to Britain for WWII, but this proves to be a moot point as the Nazis steal them and lock our heroes up.  After escaping, our Queen runs across her boyfriend and rides off.  That was more abrupt than the villainess leaving in Deathstalker II!  Our heroes sneak onto the plane occupied by the Nazis and battle them.  In a *wacky* twist, we learn that the giant Nazi guy is afraid of Jane's dog.  The villains eventually flee the plane and our heroes win the day.  In an epilogue, we get a Casablanca parody that ends with the dumb Nazi being crushed and Jane being disrobed by a sliding luggage cart.  The End.
This film is bad, but it does have its moments.  Don't get me wrong- it is meant to be silly and dumb, but it's not that funny.  It has about four different jokes and runs them into the ground.  Occasionally new ones show up, but they don't last long.  It's full of every cliched joke you have ever thought of and nothing more.  Some of the acting is good though. Jones brings all the swagger that he brought to Flash Gordon and some of the Nazis are good.  The lead henchmen is freaking irritating though and his whole shtick is DOA, but never stops.  The lead Nazi woman is alright, but her role is mostly just to look down at everyone.  The General and his Butler are funny, but their parts are about as one-note as everything else here.  Nothing all that great happens here and it's just not that good.  Say what you will about Gwendoline, but it was pretty unique in a lot of ways.  Close us out, dancing fat guys!
Up next, I cover a rare Troma film that happens to be available for Instant Viewing.  There has to be an up-side right?  Right?  Stay tuned...

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