Invaders Of The Lost Gold (1982)

Rating: **
Alternate Titles: "Greed", "Horror Safari"
Review Date: 12/19/21
Cast: Stuart Whitman, Edmund Purdom, Woody Strode, Harold Sakata, Laura Gemser, Glynis Barber

A group of Japanese soldiers hide a cache of gold in the Philippines during World War II and make a vow to return for it later. But they never do. Thirty-six years later, a sinister American named Rex Larson (Edmund Purdom) shows up in Tokyo and starts killing people in order to get a map of the hidden treasure. Much to his dismay, the expedition to retrieve the gold is led by a down-and-out mercenary named Mark Forrest (Stuart Whitman), who has some bad history with Larson. Naturally, the financier wants to come along to oversee and protect his investment, and his gorgeous daughter (Glynis Barber) insists on accompanying him. Her sex appeal is what convinced Forrest to sign on - that, and a chance to settle a score with Rex. A handful of others join the crew, including beautiful Laura Gemser, who just so happens to have a romantic history with Forrest. But none of that matters because everyone starts dying as soon as they enter the jungle.

Apart from the beautiful locations in the Philippines, the film is embarrassingly cheap and inept. As director Alan Birkinshaw puts it, "producer Dick Randall could see a good idea, but he couldn't execute on it." The film's attempts to capitalize on the exploitation angle with gruesome violence and gratuitous nudity are shallow and fail to make an impact. Laura Gemser's sole nude scene is as baffling as it is cliché, and the sheer pointlessness of it is disappointing. The dialog is atrocious, and far more offensive than anything else the film has to offer. The writing is a "make it up as you go" hodge-podge of outdated ideas and stereotypes from the 1940's, and the cringe factor is high. The pacing is also painfully sluggish. Despite the high profile cast, the acting is pretty poor, and only Stuart Whitman and Edmund Purdom appear to be taking the work seriously. Or as seriously as they can. Everyone else just looks like they're reading lines, which were then poorly dubbed in post. While the film isn't unwatchable, I can't recommend it to anyone other than Laura Gemser completists.