• Golden Temple Amazons (MVD Classics) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: MVD Marquee Collection
    Released on: September 11th, 2018.
    Director: Jess Franco
    Cast: Analia Ivars, Antonio Mayans, Stanley Kapoul, Françoise Blanchard, William Berger
    Year: 1986
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    Golden Temple Amazons – Movie Review:

    Is there a more inconsistent director that Jess Franco? He's made masterpieces such as Venus In Furs, Female Vampire and Vampyros Lesbos and he's made utter dreck like Incubus and this film, Golden Temple Amazons. Now in Franco's defense it's possible that he wasn't responsible for a lot of the post production editing of this film, as that is the case with some of the other less- than-renowned films he made for French production house Eurocine in the 1980s. However, that doesn't change the fact that Golden Temple Amazons doesn't have much to offer except wanton nudity (never a bad thing) and some unintentional hilarity.

    The story is basically Tarzan except with an attractive woman playing the lead. When Liana Simpson (Analía Ivars) was a young girl, her missionary parents were killed by a tribe of Amazonian women after her father stole some of the gold out of their temple and wouldn't return it. With both of her parents dead, Liana was raised in the wilds of the jungle by her housekeeper, a native man named Willy. When she reaches adulthood she spends most of her time frolicking in the jungle with elephants and her monkey friend named Rocky, usually without any top on.

    One day a friend of her late father's shows up and reads to her from her dear old dad's diary. It's here that Liana finds out the true story of why her parents were murdered. Because of this she decides to set things right in the world and avenge their death by taking on the Amazon warrior women who live just on the other side of the forest. She acquires the aid of a fat magic man named KouKou (Stanley Kapoul), who is basically on hand to provide some very awkward and poorly executed comic relief.

    On their way to the Amazonian base, they run into two white folks out on Safari. The man of the pair ends up getting gassed in a cave and, once he's out for the night, he finds himself the victim of an Amazonian kidnapping plot. This adds even more fuel to Liana's fire, and once the female member is also kidnapped, she and KouKou decide that the time to strike is now! Unfortunately for Liana, she's going to have to go up against the one-eyed leader of the Amazonians, a sadistic whip fetsishist and their high priest if she wants to get out of there alive with her friends.

    This movie is… pretty awful. While it does provide a whole lot of unintentionally funny moments and is therefore at least entertaining in that way, it's still a pretty terrible film. The props are super low budget looking to the extreme (some of the natives carry shields decorated with spray paint), the sets are about as cheap as you can get (the movie was shot in a park and the Amazonian cave is covered in golden metal foil wrap). The filmmakers couldn't even be bothered to hide a car that's evident in the background of one shot. Much of the movie is Liana running around with her elephant and monkey friends or swinging around on vines, which really doesn't help the pacing of the movie that much, and the KouKou character is just not funny at all.

    However, there are enough 'What the Hell?' moments in this one to keep your brain busy throughout. Attentive viewers (actually, you don't really have to be that attentive to notice this stuff…) will pick up on the fact that although she was raised by a native, Liana speaks perfect text book English. Most of the Amazonian women are of obviously European descent. Some of the native tribesman are white guys in bad make up. No motivation is given for the Amazonians to be as obsessed over their wealth as they are – they never really mention their motives for periodically kidnapping and killing off the white folk who wander into their caves. Because of this, pretty much all of the movie happens for no truly explained reason. But still, we get Françoise Blanchard of Rollin’s Living Dead Girl in a supporting role and we get to feel bad for William Berger, cast here as an Amazon priest.

    If you’re into bottom of the barrel Eurocine productions, you might get a kick out of this one but even with an extremely high threshold for trash it can be a task making it all the way to the finish line with the film. There are few things better than bad action and gratuitous nudity and this movie has that in spades but on rare occasions, that's just not enough. This is, sadly, one of those occasions.

    Golden Temple Amazons – Blu-ray Review:

    Golden Temple Amazons comes to Blu-ray from the MVD Marquee Collection in a 1.66.1 widescreen transfer in AVC encoded 1080p high that the label has been upfront about admitting is taken from an older, existing master. The feature takes up just over 22GBs of space on the 25GB disc. The image here is pretty decent. It’s soft in spots but detail handily rises above what DVD would have been able to provide. Color reproduction can be uneven in spots but that’s likely got more to do with the hodge-podge nature of the production than it does with anything else. There are a few spots where skin tones look just slightly waxy but it’s not a catastrophe or anything like that. The image shows no issues with compression artifacts or edge enhancement worth noting. Black levels tend to be a darker grey than pure black but all in all this a decent looking image.

    LPCM 2.0 Mono tracks are provided in English and French, although there are no subtitles of any kind provided. The audio on the disc sounds fine. As far as the English track goes, there’s surprisingly strong bass noticeable in the opening theme song wherein our topless warriors ride across the land in slow motion. In fact, the score sounds really good from start to finish. Dialogue is easy enough to understand although some of the canned sound effects are thin and a bit goofy sounding – not a fault of the mix specially, more just the way that the audio for this particular movie sounds. There is some minor background hiss that you won’t be able to ignore in parts of the movie, but thankfully it isn’t a constant and when it is present it doesn’t make anything unlistenable.

    The disc includes menus and chapter selection as well as a trailer for the feature and bonus trailers for Diamonds Of Kilamandjaro, Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes and The Violence Movie. None of the extras from the 2005 DVD release that came out via Media Blasters have been ported over to this Blu-ray release. We do get a slipcover though, if you’re into that.

    Golden Temple Amazons – The Final Word:

    Golden Temple Amazons is a ridiculous film by any standard you’d care to apply, but it’s amusing enough even if it isn’t actually trying to be. Hardly an example of Franco at his best, it’s vapid, dopey affair but for its fans, MVD’s Blu-ray release offers a nice upgrade in the transfer and audio departments while falling short with the extra features.

    Click on the images below for full sized The Diamonds of Kilimandjaro Blu-ray review screen captures!

    Comments 6 Comments
    1. Jason C's Avatar
      Jason C -
      I thought this was hilarious. I was mesmerized by the topless girl on the elephant and the first time I spotted cars in the background I thought it was a funny mistake. I'll be tempted to upgrade.
    1. Killer Meteor's Avatar
      Killer Meteor -
      Can't believe companies like MVD and Severin are too lazy/cheap to include subtitles for the original (ish) language tracks
    1. Lalala76's Avatar
      Lalala76 -
      It's areal mess of a film, and the English dub is laughable. However, there is a strange charm about it which makes me like it somewhat. The highlight for me is definitely Analia Ivars as she doesn't get enough love in the Franco world. How much of this film was directed by Franco is anyones guess as porn peddler Alain Payet takes some directing credit for this, although there are certain shots and a very brief appearance by Lina as an Amazon guard most definitely indicates franco's involvement in the shoot.
    1. agent999's Avatar
      agent999 -
      I've never bothered with this one, but I do enjoy the two seventies Amazons/Maciste films he made so may check this one out.
    1. bflocket's Avatar
      bflocket -
      Quote Originally Posted by Lalala76 View Post
      How much of this film was directed by Franco is anyones guess as porn peddler Alain Payet takes some directing credit for this, although there are certain shots and a very brief appearance by Lina as an Amazon guard most definitely indicates franco's involvement in the shoot.
      This is a somewhat entertaining movie because of its stupidity and unintentional humor. I even have a retarded (along with various psychoses) cat that would always go in and look up at the TV, either because of the animal noises or the monkey. I'm not really sure.

      The absolutely most Godawful terrible movie that "Jess Franco" made was definitely "Frauengefängnis 2" -- aka Women Behind Bars, (perhaps) aka Les gardiennes du pénitencier, aka Jailhouse Wardress, aka Woman’s Paradise or Hell and who knows what else it's called. It is definitely a Eurocine patchwork job, supposedly from 1979, or 1986, or 1988, or 2004. I have the X-Rated Kult DVD (part of the "Jess Franco Collection 2004") and it was released on Dutch DVD too. It is basically bits and pieces of (at the very least) three different actual movies and pieces of unfinished Eurocine productions that were just thrown together to try to make a new movie. Whoever did the piecing together failed miserably. It has parts of Barbed Wire Dolls, Helltrain and Elsa Fraulein SS in it. It doesn't make much sense, but it looks weird because the parent movies were different aspect ratios and/or open matte that were then cropped down to 1.33:1. IMDB credits Jesus Franco and Allan Steele as the directors.

      Golden Temple Amazons is like a multiple Academy Award winning masterpiece compared to that thing, which I'm not even sure could be considered an actual movie.
    1. Lalala76's Avatar
      Lalala76 -
      The absolutely most Godawful terrible movie that "Jess Franco" made was definitely "Frauengefängnis 2" -- aka Women Behind Bars, (perhaps) aka Les gardiennes du pénitencier, aka Jailhouse Wardress, aka Woman’s Paradise or Hell
      Jailhouse Wardress isn't actually a Jess Franco film. It just uses footage from Barbed wire dolls. Also not to be confused with the actual other "Women behind bars" film Diamonts pour l'enfer which is half decent and actually directed by Franco