Thursday, May 14, 2015
In 1918, Leo Vincey (John Richardson), upon discovering that he looks exactly like an ancestor named Killikrates, journeys with his friend Major Holly (Peter Cushing) and pretty Ustane (Rosenda Monteros), to the lost desert city of Kuma in the "Mountains of the Moon." There they encounter the cruel, immortal Ayesha or "She" (Ursula Andress), who wishes Leo to join her in the flame that will give them both life everlasting. Holly and Ustane, however, recognize that Leo has fallen under She's spell, and is not acting the way he should. Who will win the battle for Leo's love, Ayesha or Ustane? Despite the widescreen and color, She is inferior to the 1935 original, although it, too, has some colorful and interesting settings, such as the striking entrance to the city. Andress [Dr. No] gives the weakest performance, but her looks and manner get her by. Cushing, Christopher Lee as a High Priest, and Andre Morell as the leader of a tribe of slaves, are excellent as usual. Like Andress, Richardson [Torso] certainly looks good -- he's like a cross between Troy Donahue and Guy Madison with a little Kerwin Mathews thrown in -- and his acting isn't bad, although Leo is a rather weak hero in this. Rosenda Monteros [The White Orchid] is lovely and very effective as Ustane, as is Bernard Cribbins as Job. The biggest problem with this Hammer remake is its slow pace. In the original film the lost city was in icy terrain but here it's in the desert. The best scene may be the slaves thrown into the fire pit.
Verdict: Not as much fun as The Mole People. **.