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Diamonds Of Kilimandjaro - Diamonds Of Kilimandjaro(Blu Ray) [MVD Classics - 2018]

Diamonds Of  Kilimandjaro is one rarer early 1980ís films from Jess Franco. And it finds the king of Euro exploitation giving a decidedly haphazard & often wonky stab at the jungle-based action-adventure genre, which had been made popular by the likes Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Here on MVD classics is a region free Blu Ray of the film, and I believe this is the first time it has been released in a digital form.

Diamonds Of  Kilimandjaro  aka The Treasure of the White Goddess  was directed in 1983 by Franco(under the name of C. Plaut). And really like a lot of his films of this period,  itís a prime example of a director on autopilot- really lacking many of his more considered shots, surreal asides, and flowing structure. What the film does have in spades is a feeling of wonkiness, un-balancement, and confusion- to start with the dubbing is all over the place, and at times we have dialogue when the actorís mouths arenít moving. Next, we have the addition of badly cut stock footage- this opens up the film, with the highly unbelievable airplane crash, and appears throughout the film with nature footage, a badly stage crocodile attack, etc.  Added to this thereís the often schizophrenic/ jarring placement of music cues- one minute you íll get eerier tribal-tinged avant jazz wonderings, the next campy & buoyant easy listening, the next weird synth noodling, the next twee euro folk-pop. And lastly and most importantly is the locations- a big part of the film is meant to be set in the jungles of Kilimandjaro, but clearly, itís mostly filmed in a local park, or large garden- with vaguely tropical plants added into the foreground.

The plot, as it is, sees a rather sleazed take on the Tarzan story- swapping out the male ape-man, for a barely legal, teethy smiling & constant topless young ape women. Added into this we get the local tribe who worship her, the girlís tartan hat  wearing white uncle, and a group of slimy treasure hunters, who are after the diamonds which turn out to be rock crystals. We get a fair amount of nudity and a few instances of off-screen gore. For the most part, itís just bad filmmaking with a bonkers charm, though there are a few flourishes of genuine unsettlement/ atmosphere, for example when one of the treasure hunters getting decapitated by a savage pare breasted native & her skull wearing followers.

This Blu Ray is very barebones, and all you get is original trailer along with a selection of other trailers from the MVD classic line. The scan, is I guess, as you could expect from this type of film- through the new scan I think does enhance unbalanced stock footage elements- but I guess this canít be helped

Diamonds Of  Kilimandjaro is far from a coherent, balanced, or anyway conventionally good example of the action-adventure genre- so if youíre here for a thrilling, daring stunt lined, action-packed film itís best you look elsewhere. But if your looking for puzzling so-bad-itís-good cinema from the 1980ís, then I think youíll enjoy what we have here.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
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