Invaders of the Lost Gold (aKa Horror Safari and Mercenaries of Death) is a 1982 horror adventure film written and directed by Alan Birkinshaw (Killer’s Moon, The House of Usher, Ten Little Indians, and The Masque of the Red Death). It was written by Bill James (Happy Days) who also came up with the story and he was the project coordinator. It was produced by exploitation legend Dick Randall (Pieces, Slaughter High, Living Doll, Emmanuelle 3, Emmanuelle Goes to Cannes, Don’t Open Till Christmas, Crocodile, The Daughter of Emanuelle, Escape from Women’s Prison, and Death Dimension).In the last days of WWII, a Japanese platoon is attacked by headhunters while attempting to hide millions in gold. After a large battle with the cannibals, several members of the group are dismembered and killed but a few manage to stash away the gold there. 36 years later, a grizzled guide Mark Forrest (played by: Stuart Whitman from Night of the Lepus, The Monster Club, Demonoid, Guyana: Cult of the Damned, Eaten Alive, and Shock Treatment) is convinced and hired to lead an expedition to find it in the dangerous jungle put together by Rex Larson (played by: Edmund Purdom from Absurd, Pieces, Don’t Open Till Christmas, 2019: After the Fall of New York, Ator, and The Fifth Cord) and financed by Douglas Jefferson (played by: David De Martyn from Mababagsik na anghel). This deadly mission includes Tobachi (played by: Harold Sakata from Death Dimension, Ninja Strikes Back, Mako: The Jaws of Death, The Wrestler, and Goldfinger), Janice Jefferson (played by: Glynis Barber from Point Break, Terror, Edge of Sanity, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and Hammer of the Gods), Cal (played by: Woody Strode from Vigilante, The Cotton Club, The Quick and the Dead, Jungle Warriors, and Keoma), Fernando (played by: Junix Nocain from Silk 1/2, Formula 51, Faust, Sinbad, and Mortdecai) and Maria (played by: Laura Gemser from Deep Blood, Emanuelle franchise, Women’s Prison Massacre, Ator, Love Camp, and Endgame). Can this unlikely group find the treasure and fight off the blood thirsty cannibals????
Invaders of the Lost Gold tries to be a hybrid of Cannibal Holocaust and Indiana Jones but the final product is not as cool as it sounds. Invaders of the Lost Gold actually starts out very strong and you think it’s going to be another great Cannibal flick from the 80’s but it runs out of gas really quick. The script is kind of a mess and it doesn’t really know what type of feature it wants to be but luckily it has an all star cast so it ends up better than you would think. The flow, pace, and editing is problematic at times and it drags at moments during it’s almost 90 minute running time. Let’s point out some of the positives here, it does have some great nudity and eye candy. The violence and kills are solid when they go down in Invaders of the Lost Gold, don’t expect it to be contestant and non stop in that department. The locations are great in this and the it has a nice score. The characters are very unlikable for the most part but that helps with some of them being killed off because you are rooting for it which makes a fun experience here. The best thing about Invaders of the Lost Gold is talented cast that loaded with all kinds of familiar faces which includes Stuart Whitman, Edmund Purdom, Woody Strode, Laura Gemser, Glynis Barber, and Harold Sakata. They all do their best with the material that they are given and elevate the entire production with their performances. My best advice for going into this one blind, don’t expect a certain type of sub-genre or movie because it has a little bit of everything here and it doesn’t stay in one lane. Yes, it could have been better but it’s still an entertaining jungle and survival action flick. This one is kinda obscure and it’s awesome to see it get such a good home video release. The great folks at Severin Films bring this one to the states on blu ray for the very first time, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation and special features from Severin Films! This 1080p (1.85:1) transfer is from a brand new 2K restoration. It’s not perfect but it’s a major improvement over all the older home video releases that looked really rough back in the day. It’s the best it’s ever looked so far. The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is also an upgrade compared to the past. All of the dialogue is very clean, all the jungle madness is elevated, and the music has a nice boost to it. It has English SDH subtitles.”Rumble In The Jungle” is a little over 16 minute interview with director Alan Birkinshaw. This is an amazing chat with the filmmaker and he is brutality honest about his experience on the feature. He chats about the legendary producer and what he did for this movie. He said someone backed out so they had to get a new lead actress. He tells a hilarious story about the crocodile that they used here. He says they shot at the same spots as Apocalypse Now and used some of the same crew from it. He talks about all of the main cast in this. He mentions how they got involved and tells some interesting stories. He says the titles and marketing was out of his hands for this when it was released. “Outtakes from Machete Maidens Unleashed” has a little over 22 minutes of extended interviews with director Alan Birkinshaw and producer’s wife Corliss Randall from this awesome documentary. Alan Birkinshaw goes over some of the same stuff that’s on the previous interview. He chats about the inspiration and true events for the film. He talks about animal cruelty and stunt men doing vet dangerous work in this. He is very detailed, gives lots of information, and shares some interesting stories about the production here. Corliss chats about her husband getting robbed during this and the deadly environment that they were working in during the movie. She talks about the cast a little and her interactions with them. She goes over her husbands films and him selling them all over worldwide. If you order it direct from the Severin Films site, they have an exclusive and uncensored slipcover. This standard version is available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!