Friday, November 12, 2010

Lock Me Up!: Allan Quatermain and the Temple of Skulls

Wow, this has been a really long week, hasn't it?  Don't worry- the pain will be over soon.  After Saturday, we'll move on to a brand new kind of pain.  In the meantime, enjoy this shitty Asylum movie.  When the world heard that they were going to make another Indiana Jones film, most people were super-excited.  People like me, were a bit more sublimated.  In the end, the film was a giant mess that contained some good moments that people tend to want to focus on instead of, for example, Indy's son swinging on vines like Tarzan.  Given the hype about the film, you just know that The Asylum guys were salivating.  They went back and dug out a film character that hadn't had a major film since the mid-80s, not counting the TV movie with Patrick Swayze.  The film we got is somewhat of a remake of King Solomon's Mines, but with the usual Asylum tweaking (read: messing up).  A tweaked-remake of a film story that is not exactly good to begin with- yea.  On the plus side, they did apparently shoot in South Africa.  Yeah, I still don't care.  Get out your magical glove for my review of...
The film begins with a pair of old-timey guys wandering around in South Africa before one of them finds a map.  He tries to hide it, but gets a gun pointed to his head by the friend.  Oddly, they make up mere seconds later and agree to separate with their two halves.  Sure- why not?!?  The mustachioed man is blocked by a group of villagers, who kill him by throwing a CG spear.  How do you throw that exactly?  In the present day (of the film, mind you), our hero is out on the countryside.  By the way, I hope you like these views of the countryside, because they get more screen time than all of the stars and the plot!  Basically, Allan gets hired by a woman and a guy to help them find a treasure.  On the train ride there, they run afoul of some trouble when a truck is parked on the track.  Since their vehicle can't seem to go over twenty miles per hour, they have to stop.  This is where we get to meet our villain: a creepy, old guy.  I'm sure that there's more to his character, but I can't muster the interest.  We get some 'will they, won't they' moments between Allan and the lady as well- who's surprised?  In addition, we get a shoot out between Allan and some men in which the guns make a very minor bang.  Who brought pop guns to the set?
Holy crap, the middle of this movie is so boring.  I seriously fell asleep twice watching this- in the middle of the day!  The Asylum only works in one real CG moment here- save for the spear- and it involves a swarm of flies.  Oh, how interesting.  Allan flirts, the girl acts sour and their guide makes vague statements that are clearly not setting up a later event.
The group ends up in an authentic-looking village, but the bad guy got there first.  He uses the group's power to sway things in his favor and get into the Temple.  Before that, the villagers show off their cool toy: a glove that allows you to rip someone's skull off of their body!  That's so cool that...the movie ignores it until the finale.  Seriously, why isn't that the focus of the movie?!?  Inside the Temple, we learn how it got its name: it has about six skulls piled up in one corner.  Naturally!  He holds the woman hostage as he confronts Allan.  He tells the guy to let the woman go and they can fight- so the bad guy shoots her in the head.  This leads to the final fight between Allan and the man & boy is it shitty!  Seriously, I've been in staged fights that looked better!  In the end, Allan uses the glove from earlier- why was it there exactly?!?- to kill the man.  He mourns the loss of the woman, but, shockingly, she's alive.  How?  Because she had a metal band around her head.  Screw you, properties of metal!  They return to the village and learn that their guide was actually the Queen of the tribe.  Okay then.  The End.
This movie sucks- even by comparison to the other Allan Quatermain films!  Seriously, this movie has nothing all that interesting to do or say.  I can usually rely on The Asylum to fill a dull movie with silly effects- see The Land That Time Forgot.  This film- not so much.  Why can't they see that their movies are boring as hell when they don't bother to put in the funny crap?  Apparently they spent all of the money flying people out to South Africa to film a snoozer of a flick instead.  You know what this movie needed?  A scene where a man is eaten by CG ants.  How about a bit where they reference the first Indiana Jones movie with no payoff?  I know- a scene where a dead actor from the series gets a cameo as a statue who gets his head knocked off!  I would rather watch Harrison Ford be launched across the country by a series of nuclear bomb explosions than endure this crap again.  Let's just move on with our lives now...
Up next, we end Asylum Week with a bit of Instant Asylum Trash.  Let's wrap the whole week up with one of the few films that almost got the company sued.  Stay tuned...

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