King Solomon's Mines


Director: J. Lee Thompson


Director: Gary Nelson

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

The 1985 film was barely based on the H. Rider Haggard classic Victorian novel King Solomon's Mines. It features Richard Chamberlain playing Allan Quatermain as though he were a cheapjack Indiana Jones impersonator in a gay bar. Sharon Stone plays a damsel in distress. Jerry Goldsmith wrote the score so the soundtrack's not as bad as the film & can be purchased as a CD if you'd like to hear it without suffering the stupendously dumb film.

One scene has Chamberlain & Stone plopped in a big cooking pot like in those old racist cartoons of bwanas & missionaries captured by bones-through-their-nose cannibals. It is hard to imagine a dumber film, but if someone can come up with one, Chamberlain would doubtless show up to audition.

It did remind me of one of an old racist joke overheard when I was a mere child. An airplane crashed in the jungle & there were several cases of 7-Up soda pop on board. The cannibals killed the pilot & co-pilot, cut off their "things" & boiled the rest of the mens' bodies in the 7-Up. The cannibal chief asked the cook, "Why'd you cut off their 'things' before you cooked them?" The tribal cook replied, "Cuz 'things' go better with Coke."

Allan QuatermainThe 1937 & the 1950 versions of King Solomon's Mines are either one vastly better films to see.

The sequel Allan Quatermain & the Lost City of Gold is loosely inspired by Haggard's 1887 lost race novel Allan Quatermain upon which the 1976 film King Solomon's Treasure was also founded.

The sequel again stars Sharon Stone, this time hoping to find her lost brother rather than her husband, & Richard Chamberlain once more as the faggiest Quatermain imaginable, finding a lost civilization ruled by Queen Nyleptha (Aileen Marson). This centuries-tyranized civilization could never work up the gumption to overthrow their nasty cult government, but the arrival of one sissy bwana is is all they needed to be led to freedom.

James Earl Jones should be embarrassed to have stepped on screen as a hulking dumb African. Cassandra Peterson (better known as Elvira, Mistress of Darkness) put in an appearance equally without value.

These films were intended to exploit the popularity of Indiana Jones & no one involved seems to given a shit about credibly presenting classic works by Haggard for film-goers. Critics raved "all camp with the added bonus of being boring" & "a major embarassment for all." Recycling footage from the 1985 film didn't help.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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