Review Date: 8/25/19
Cast: Stuart Whitman, Donald Pleasence, Sonia Infante
Gorgeous scenery and stunning nature footage can't save this mess of an adventure film that stars Stuart Whitman as a crazed jungle explorer known only as "Gringo." A couple of gold-hungry Mexicans team up with Gringo to find a treasure hidden deep in the jungle, and they're in a race with a Nazi named Klaus (Donald Pleasence) to see who can find it first. Meanwhile, a group of three Americans are prospecting for oil in the jungle and run across a cache of diamonds. And headhunters.
It's certainly an attractive film, but it's unpleasant in nearly every way. The characters are cruel, mean-spirited, and generally unlikable, which makes it difficult to identify with anyone and hope for their success. The only pleasant character is a Mexican woman named Morimba (Sonia Infante), who happens to be topless for the entire film. The acting is poor and Stuart Whitman's raving delivery borders on lunacy, but I suppose that's a reflection of his psychologically broken character. He softens up and breaks character right at the end when he lets a woman into his heart, but she betrays him just like the rest. The narrative continuity is a disaster and it's hard to tell what's going on and why. It's a bit gorier than I was expecting, and the scene with the killer crabs is both inexplicably strange and needlessly gross. Fans of jungle exploitation may get a kick out of the film, but I just found it crude and nasty.