Powered By

Free XML Skins for Blogger

Powered by Blogger

Sunday, July 18, 2010

DVD Review: Sandok

Sandok (AKA La Montagna di Luce)

Italy 1965
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Writer: Fulvio Gicca Palli
Starring: Richard Harrison, Luciana Gilli, Wilbert Bradley, Daniele Vargas, Andrea Scotti, Nerio Bernardi, Nazzareno Zamperla, Giovanni Cianfriglia, Dakar.
DVD Released: June 29th 2010
Cert: NR
Running Time: 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Audio: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
Subtitles: English
Distributor: Mya Communication
Region: 0 NTSC

The Film:

Alan Foster (Richard Harrison) is a suave British thief hiding out in India. While staying with the Maharaja he gets shitfaced and loses a million rupee in a game of cards. The rajah wants his cash or Alan gets a bullet in the face so the thief has no choice but to try and steal the biggest diamond in India; "The Mountain Of Light" which sits on the forehead of a massive statue worshipped by hundreds and guarded by an army. Oh and surrounded by a moat containing a crocodile, naturally.

Given the only other Umberto Lenzi films I've seen involve people getting their genitals cut off and eaten by cannibalistic natives I was surprised to find myself watching a family friendly adventure flick here. Well, as long as your family speaks Italian and doesn't mind the racism inherent in a film that must have used up Europe's entire supply of boot polish to make it's Caucasian cast look slightly ethnic. Apparently this is Lenzi's 3rd Sandok film in three years, the previous two featuring Steve Reeves in the main role. It's a kind of Sinbad/Tarzan knock-off with sequences that could have inspired Indiana Jones; Alan Foster has a habit of just shooting the natives coming at him with swords. The film moves along at a nice pace, never boring, a couple of nice twists keep things interesting as does the relatively nicely shot location footage. Richard Harrison is entertaining enough as the musclebound protagonist - veteran of over 100 films in the spaghetti industry he was an American that couldn't get a starring role in Hollywood so jumped at the chance to work in Europe and never looked back. Famously it was Harrison that suggested Clint Eastwood to Sergio Leone when he was looking for a 'Man With No Name'. Eagle eyed genre fans will also spot Dakar from Zombi 2 and Dr. Butcher M.D. in a small role as a heavy and Italian sexpot Luciana Gilli as a blacked up Indian belly dancer that Foster inexplicably falls madly in love with near the end of the film.

Mildly entertaining is the best I can say about it - still it's a bit of an odd movie to be released on the Mya label, are they doing PG-rated spaghetti adventures now then? Oh and another drinking game presents itself; down a shot every time someone says 'Mountain Of Light' and try not to spill your drink every time Foster proclaims 'you dirty fakir'!

The Disc:

2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer looks quite good overall: strong vivid colours, some softening of the picture in the darker scenes. Audio is a mono mix in Italian; clean and clear, the English subs are free of errors.

Review by Giuseppe Rijitano

No comments: