Friday, June 14, 2013

SAHARA (1983)

Watching this now because no movie featuring John Rhys Davies will go unwatched.

Its kind of sad that this was directed by the same guy (Andrew C. McLaglen) who did THE WILD GEESE (Roger Moore & Richard Burton & Richard Harris), THE SEA WOLVES (Roger Moore, Gregory Peck & David Niven), FFOLKES (Roger Moore, Anthony Perkins & James Mason), MITCHELL (Joe Don Baker, Martin Balsalm & John Saxon) and, well, yes, also BANJO HACKETT: ROAMIN' FREE (Don Meredith, L.Q. Jones & Dan O'Herlihy). SAHARA came out in 1983 but it plays like it was made in the could only have been directed by an old-geezer-who-had-been-directing-(mostly television)-for-decades-by-this-point-and-who-was-probably-losing-his-grip-on-reality-because-he-was-63-years-old-when-he-made-this.

Brooke Shields is predictably bad (she even pulls a YENTL by dressing up as a man, complete with mustache), but that has its charms, its just a matter of whether you will ask yourself, on your deathbed, as you leave this mortal coil, be it slowly, quickly, peacefully, or violently: "Did I really spend precious time of my life watching SAHARA with Brooke Shields?!?"

John Rhys D. is in full-on Connery/THE WIND AND THE LION mode, complete with turban. He is attacking Brooke right now, mounting her, ripping her clothes, Brooke's screams are bad-actress-feeble but I do think John Rhys D. really did cup Brooke's breasts right there, he is downright mauling her. Oh, now she got away in a not entirely convincing fashion (blame the director).

The score by Ennio Morricone is uncharacteristically terrible. I was expecting some lush theme(s) that, I dont know, highlighted the beauty of the desert or something, but no, his heart isnt in this project, his action cues sound like what you would hear accompanying desert action scenes in ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET THE MUMMY, faux Egyptian-y type things. Here's the love/sex scene between Brooke and her Saharan prince but Morricone just aint bringing it. Maybe Morricone wasnt inspired because Brooke's love/sex scene is so bad-actress-awkward-bad.

Maybe Morricone wasnt inspired because the cinematography is so...nothing. I was expecting at least beautiful vistas but, no, this may as well have been filmed on a studio set, its so flat. The cinematographer was some guy I never heard of (with the unfortunate name of David Gurfinkel) but, oh, look, it turns out he seems to have been the house cinematographer for Cannon Films: he shot RETURN OF THE NINJA, DELTA FORCE, THE APPLE, AMERICA 3000 and, yes, even RAPPIN'.

Did I mention that SAHARA is a Golan/Globus production? You knew that already, I didnt need to tell you.  I dont think Cannon has made a worse film than this.

I dont think Brooke has made a worse film than this (and this is a person whose filmography includes BRENDA STARR).

(random insert of a Brooke poster)

Did I really spend precious time of my life watching SAHARA with Brooke Shields?!?

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