Lost Empire

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Make that The 'Lust' Empire

Nov 26, 2000
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Nice costumes

Cons:Sexist trash that insults all of humanity

Well, here's a novelty: a movie that manages to be sexist in both directions at once. In this film, all the women are bimbos, and all the men are bozos. Three cheers and a tiger for fair play.

Following some nonsensical blurb about how the Lemurian empire fell, and the ultimate weapon known as the 'Eyes of Avatar' was lost, the movie begins (appropriately enough) by peering down the blouse of a very healthy young woman. She is looking for jewelry in a small Chinatown shop. The merchant is so focused on her cleavage that he runs her cash through the credit card imprinter. That's about as witty as this film gets.

She leaves, and the merchant is murdered by three ninja wannabes, who are looking for something (a way out of this movie, mayhap?). The cops arrive, and bloody havoc insues. One cop is left badly wounded, but clutching a strange object one of the bad guys dropped. The credits roll, and the reviewer takes the opportunity to toss in a few pertinent facts.

The Lost Empire did have some things going for it. The photography was good. The sets were impressive. The special effects, although somewhat subdued, were passable. And the women's costumes were just plain gorgeous, so much so that they stayed in them for almost half the movie.

The cast was good. Special guest stars included Kenneth Tobey (It Came From Beneath The Sea, The Thing From Another World, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms), Angelique Pettyjohn (original Star Trek The Gamesters of Triskelion), and Tom Rettig, a child star of the 50s (Jeff's Collie, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.). Tommy was also Marilyn Monroe's youngest date, escorting her to the premiere of Dr. T.

Hooray for the bad guys! The main villain is none other than Angus Scrimm, aka The Tall Man from the Phantasm series. His henchman is Bob Tessier, a classic B-movie heavy. Bob appeared in everything from The Longest Yard, and The Born Losers, to tv commercials. My favorite was an ad for a bathroom cleaner. To show how powerful the stuff is, Bob shoves his head through a wall. Knowing Bob's rep: 1) The wall was real; 2) he didn't care...or notice!

The three female leads Melanie Vincz, Angela Aames, Raven De La Croix all had a lot of tv and movie experience. Raven also designed the women's costume. More to the point, they were all adept at grinning and baring it.

You would think with all that, Empire would have been a pretty good movie. Sadly, it self-destructs due to an inane plot, and some of the most pathetic dialogue ever recorded. Credit this to writer/producer/director Jim (Bring on the nekkid wimmons!) Wynorski. He was also responsible (using the term loosely) for Chopping Mall, Deathstalker 2, and Dinosaur Island, all of which featured incomprehensible plots, and an avalanche of flesh. At least he was consistent.

The movie goes to pieces right after the credits. Capt. Hendry <Tobey) and Detective Prager (Blackie Dammett) are outside a school, where terrorists are holding school kids hostage. The terrorists are armed to the teeth (2 pistols and a knife). Enter the mysterious rider on the black mototrcycle. Mysterious rider crashes into the school building, and kills two of the three bad guys. Number three is sure all the mysterious rider's bullets have been fired, and goes in with the knife. He is shot. Mysterious rider removes her helmet to reveal Officer Angel Wolfe Vincz. She then says (so help me) "If you're going to come to school, punk, you'd better learn to count!"

Great. A female 'Dirty Harry'. Five minutes into the movie, and I'm getting a headache. On top of that, she then accidently hits her FBI boyfriend Rick Stanton (Paul Coufos) in the nose. He complains, and she asks "How would you like a bust in the mouth?"

I sense some of you getting ahead of me here. Let's try and stay on the same page, okay? And yes, he does get a bust in the mouth. Her's.

As they roll around on a fur rug, a call comes in. The cop from the opening scene is Angel's brother. She goes to visit him in the hospital, wearing a silver lame' pants suit that looks like it was spraypainted on. Rick sees the medallion, and in between wrestling matches with Angel spills some incredible yarn about Lee Chuck, who most send a soul to the devil every day, or go to hell himself. Chuck has a terrorist organization, and his own island, where teams of women take part in gladiator contests. Why is never discussed.

Since it takes three to tango, Angel recruits Whitestar (De La Croix), and Heather (Aames). Whitestar introduces herself with "You were expecting maybe Tonto?" To prove she's an 'Indian' she uses phrases like "Heap good warrior" and other insulting comments, guaranteed to have this part Cherokee reviewer want to take a tomahawk to the VCR.

I think my headache is becoming a migraine.

Heather is in jail, so we get the obligatory catfight. Her opponent is Whiplash (Pettyjohn). Angelique normally was a blonde who did nude scenes. Here she has black hair, and wears an outfit that should make the leather freaks sit up and bark. Note that the guard is our friend Bob, doing double duty. Also, we get a shower scene. Jim never missed a cliche, no matter now trite.

My hair hurts at this point.

The girls go to Lee Chuck's island, escorted by the evil Koro (Tessier). There they meet the evil Dr. Sin Do, aka Lee Chuck (Scrimm). Lot's of women get naked. Angel tells us she hates robot spiders (remember Yosemite Sam's "I hates rabbit dragons?"). Prager, having lost his cop job for incompetence, is now one of the guards (how did he beat the ladies to the island?), and rapes one of the other women, while screaming "I don't care about her looks; I only care about my pleasure!"

I'm starting to see double.

Whitestar gets to have dinner with Sin Do. Puff goes the smoke machine, and she is wearing only a feathered loincloth, writhing in ecstasy, as a snake crawls all over her body. Freudian Symbolism 101. Don't bother to take notes.

Rick shows up, accidently handing the Eyes of Avatar over to Sin Do, and getting his nose bloodied by Angel for the fifth or sixth time. Sin Do sets up his death machine, which looks suspiciously like the male genitalia. Also, it's UL listed.

Some one shoot me, please!

Angel, after saying "Is that a fact?" for the 100th time, is about to die, when Rick finally does something right, by chopping Sin Do's head off. The skull sez "I'll moidelize ya!" Even Popeye and Bluto get ripped off in this film. Koro dies, screaming "I'll be back!" Wonder where he got that line.

The good guys/gals win, the island blows up, Sin Do/Lee Chuck goes to hell in pursuit of the plot, the credits roll, and I'm wondering how an Alka Seltzer/whiskey highball would taste.

That's The Lost Empire folks. Trust me, better it should stay lost! I've been to wakes that were more entertaining than this film.

Incidentally, how did the Lemurian Empire fall if they had the Ultimate Weapon? Probably by showing movies like this. Better our civilization should end now...


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