Golden Temple Amazons

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Golden Temple Amazons (1986) is a quick, low budget, European film meant to ride the wave of popularity surrounding the sword and sandal and jungle adventure sub genre boom of the eighties. Pictures like Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981), Greystoke (1984), and Excalibur (1981) laid the ground work for a surge of similar films on the international B-Movie markets. In little time at all Jesús Franco was making his own version of these films. However Golden Temple Amazons is not Franco’s definitive statement on the jungle adventure genre. He was removed from the production with Alain Payet completing reshoots and seeing the film through post-production.

Golden Temple Amazons possesses none of the flair for stylization associated with the auteur’s most famous works. The film is dull and lazy in equal measure. Though Golden Temple Amazons draws upon the likes of She (1965), Sheena (1984), and Gwendoline (1984) the film lacks any of the innovative or subversive elements that make those films of interest beyond their superficial delights. Golden Temple Amazons doesn’t even gesture towards a more modern political sensibility; it’s locked in some post-colonial purgatory like some old movie serial that Ted Turner saw fit to colorize.

Golden Temple Amazons does have an effective, albeit very eighties, opening. As a synth loop rocks out at maximum volume a troop of topless Amazon warriors ride their steeds through the jungle. The momentum of this opening quickly dissipates and remains absent until Eva León shows up. In the role of Rena, master of the Amazon warriors, Eva León hams it up and throws caution to the wind with her operatically sadistic performance. She steals the show, effectively evoking the kind of cartoon terror of a comic book.

Aside from those two elements Golden Temple Amazons is practically unwatchable. Even a cameo by Lina Romay doesn’t sustain audience engagement. Franco, if he had completed the film himself, may have been able to salvage the film, but I doubt it. To me it seemed that the director’s heart just wasn’t in it. I’d recommend this film only to those making a study of Mr. Franco’s oeuvre.