Tuesday, June 23, 2009

LOST TREASURE OF THE GRAND CANYON

Shannen Doherty (CHARMED) stars in LOST TREASURE OF THE GRAND CANYON (2009), an unfortunately tedious adventure tale directed by Farhard Mann. It wants to be an epic pulp adventure in the style of KING SOLOMON’S MINES (with an added CGI monster and graphic gore added to appease the SciFi Channel crowd), but it’s so lethargically paced that it takes a real effort to get through it.

When a scientific expedition led by an elderly archaeologist disappears in the Grand Canyon while searching for Aztec treasure, his daughter (Doherty) leads a poorly-equipped, unqualified bunch of annoying characters into the canyon to search for them. Sure enough, they find her father (despite not actually having any idea where the original party went) and a lost Aztec(!) civilization guarded by a cartoon gargoyle.

The CGI monster is really rather laughable, both in design and animation (man, I really miss guys in rubber suits and stop-motion animation), the gore effects are gratuitous, and the human-sacrificing Aztecs appear to mostly be white guys with insta-tan make-up. Really, is this the best stuff the SciFi Channel can get?

Anchor Bay’s DVD is a solid effort, with a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and 5.1 Dolby Surround sound. The only extra is a brief behind-the-scenes featurette and trailers for other Anchor Bay releases.

Maybe on TV with frequent commercial breaks to liven it up, this might be passable fluff, but otherwise, it’s not recommended.

BUY: The Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon