Gold of the Amazon Women (1979)

Gold of The Amazon Women (1979)‘In your world men uses women; here women uses men.’

An explorer searches the jungle for the legendary Seven Cities of Gold, pursued by an international drug dealer who wants the riches for himself. Both parties run up against a tribe of female amazon warriors, who don’t take kindly to them, or men in general really…

What looks at first glance like a project with cult possibilities turns out to be nothing more than a tired, slapdash movie made for late 1970s American television. The presence of Stanley Ralph Ross as producer and writer (under a pseudonym and no wonder!) suggests that this may have started out life as a spoof but there’s little evidence of that in the final product. He’d contributed scripts to both Adam West’s ‘Batman’ TV show and Lynda Carter’s ‘Wonder Woman’ but any wit or invention is noticeable by its complete absence here.

Proceedings begin at the Discover’s Club in New York where an old man shanghais disillusioned adventurer Bo Svenson into listening to his wild tales of wealth and treasure deep in the amazon. In moments he has two arrows in the back, courtesy of a pair of scantily dressed women lurking on a nearby skyscraper. You’ve got to wonder how they made it through customs dressed like that! And how they made it to the US at all, given it turns out the tribe know nothing about aircraft. Oh, well, I suppose they could have walked… Anyways, Svenson grabs comic ‘fish out of water’ sidekick Richard Romanus (who doesn’t get to do any comedy) and five minutes later they’re avoiding various assassination attempts by villain Donald Pleasance and a couple of renegade Amazonians. Which brings up an interesting point: if Pleasance has these two leggy natives on his side why don’t they simply show him where the tribe live and then where the cities are? Why does he need to obtain the map from Svenson or bother with him at all?

This is all very weak stuff indeed. The first half mainly consists of Pleasance and his girls shooting at Svenson and Romanus, followed by some half-baked jungle shenanigans which feature a tribe of anonymous lovelies ruled by 60’s poster child Anita Ekberg; forever remembered for dancing in the Trevi fountain in Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’ (1960). Sadly, almost 20 years later, her career in leading roles was almost over and the generic dialogue she’s landed with here does her few favours. There’s a slight attempt at addressing gender politics with two of the warriors fighting over Svenson’s services (yes, those kind!) before it’s all interrupted by a plastic crocodile and the big man has to save the day himself (the women not being capable, of course).

Gold of The Amazon Women(1979)

‘I wish Quentin would hurry up and get here…’

It’s hard to convey the lack of energy that pervades the entire film. Everyone here is just going through the motions; mechanically hitting their marks and delivering their lines. Svenson shambles amiably from one scene to another waiting for Quentin Tarantino to turn up and revive his flagging career, and Pleasance delivers his usual sinister, but whiny, villain while probably thinking about what he was going to have for lunch.

With the constraints on network television in the late 1970s, both financially and in terms of content, this was never going to be anything more than a formulaic adventure but that still seems insufficient excuse for the sheer banality on offer.

Weary, boring and with no features of interest at all.

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