It has come to my attention after checking out the Blu-ray release of Invaders of the Lost Gold that most websites will say whatever they can to get their name on the cover of a release. For example, the Severin Films Blu-ray of Invaders has quotes that say lurid sex & gore, gratuitous nudity and violence and so on. I’m not entirely sure if they saw a super-secret version of the film because the one I saw is in no way the “descent into jungle madness” it is said to be.
Sure, it’s a fucking crazy film, with a plot that is so goddamn nonsensical you’ll be scratching your head and wondering if what you saw happened. Nevertheless, I’ve seen other films that rightfully deserve the platitudes listed above (Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals comes to mind) and Invaders of the Lost Gold isn’t one of those films.
Anyway, let us see if we can break down what the movie is about, or well, what the movie tries to be about. Invaders of the Lost Gold has a basic premise: Japanese soldiers in WWII hid some gold in the Philippines and swear they will all come back to get it years later. However, an American, Rex Larson (Edmund Purdom of Pieces fame), finds out about it and wants to get his grubby hands on the gold himself, so he seeks out the map from those same Japanese men and gets a bunch of people together and they head into the jungles of the Philippines. However, not before spending almost 50 minutes(!) on some absolute unnecessary “character development.” We get a drunk Stuart Whitman slurring his way through lines (which is impressive considering he might have been dubbed), boat rides, more boat rides, and random scenes of two men (one being Oddjob himself, Harold Sakata) fighting one minute, laughing the next, and trying to kill each other after that. I would suggest the film needed some trimming, but a 20-minute long movie probably wouldn’t do that great. However, if there was trimming, don’t you dare touch that Laura Gemser skinny dipping scene!
Full uncompressed screenshots from this Blu-ray release.
Severin Films releases the film on Blu-ray, and the results are about what you would expect for this kind of film. The new 2K scan does still have some damage here and there and things aren’t always so amazing looking. The opening scenes are rough, and video quality increases a few minutes in, but it doesn’t take long for some damage to appear again. Still, the film is probably the best it’s ever going to look (unless it comes out on 4K and then 8K and then 12K ad nauseam). Audio fares about the same with most of Whitman’s lines having this annoying background noise present whenever he speaks. Almost like they recorded his lines at a different time than everyone else.
Extra features include an interview with director Alan Birkinshaw, who reminisces about how troubled this film was to get made, with tales of stolen wardrobe trucks and guns being pulled on people. Crazy stuff. There is also some outtake interviews from a different documentary titled Machete Maidens Unleashed! That’s it, that’s all.
NEW 2K scan for the first time ever
NEW Rumble In The Jungle – Interview with Director Alan Birkinshaw (HD; 16:33)
Outtakes from Machete Maidens Unleashed! (HD; 22:25)
Invaders of the Lost Gold promised invading of lost gold, but instead, we get an hour-long boat ride and an incredibly long setup. Still, there is some fun to be had with the film (skinny dipping), especially if you pull out some drinks before popping it in. And of course, what you’ll want to be popping in is the Severin Films Blu-ray disc.
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