Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Maciste in King Solomon's Mines (1964)

I really wanted to like this movie more than I did.  it's 92 minutes long, and it takes forever to get going, and then it still meanders around a bit.  it commits the grave sin of not having enough action, or not being that interesting between the action.  or both, take your pick.  it's a cool idea, having a muscleman show up in a well known setting, but the execution isn't that great.  of course, all this would have occurred long before Alan Quartermain would show up, so it's really a prequel to that story.  perhaps I am overthinking it..

it's pretty much just what the title says- Maciste shows up to help a deposed queen and her brother take back their kingdom... in Africa.  the heck is Maciste doing there?  not that it matters, he later shows up in Scotland and no one is surprised at all. 

plays Maciste, and he seems a bit tired.  of course, he is in a drug induced stupor for a fair amount of the movie, so that might color my interpretation of his performance.  he's pretty good in the Hercules movies he's in.  is the fun role here, as the female usurper/land pirate.  she becomes more comfortable in her role as ruler and of course, that leads to trouble later on.

the copy I have is from Alpha, so it's mostly washed out sepia tone now.  a nicer presentation would probably help, but it would still be 56% dull.  the scenery is nice, some of it was shot in South Africa.  there's a smattering of stock footage of various wild animals.  the natives are presented as caring and nice, which would have been unusual at the time the movie was made.

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