Manoa, the City of Gold (1999)

  |  Adventure, Western


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19 June 2017 | ma-cortes
| A team of adventurers are tangled up in the South American jungle , as they search for valuable Inca treasure
Below average adventure with a lot of FX , all of them being recreated by means of traditional effects . This one deals with two friends Webber (Andrés Alexis) and Fernando (Juan Carlos Gabarda) who meet a moribund Indian called Sinoqui (Francisco Pardo) who tells about an Inca treasure , he gives them a map and a ¨Quipu¨ as tracks to find it . Later on , they set out in chase by submarine , looking for a fabulous treasure , while wandering throughout various countries and suffering a lot of dangers and risks , such as : floods , falls , bat attacks , tortuous caves , dense jungles and inhospitable locations . They team up with a mestizo called Manuel (Juan Carlos Lee) and a veteran adventurer , Morgan (the only known actor : Frank Braña , a famous support player from Spaghetti/Paella Western) . The group aboard a submarine crossing the Pacific Ocean to the Amazons , South America . Being pursued by a dangerous band led Carnot (John Legget) who kidnap Marcella (Cristina Cavallaro) , Webber's girlfriend . And the end takes place the moving confrontation between the likable adventurers and the nasty hoodlums .

This is a humdrum adaptation based on Emilio Salgari novel from a screenplay by the filmmaker himself . Atmospheric as well as ridiculous adventure movie in ¨Indiana Jones¨ style contains action , shootouts, bemusing scenes and being made in low-budget . The picture belongs to a trilogy written/produced/directed by Juan Piquer formed by 1999 El Escarabajo De Oro or The gold beetle , 1994 La Isla del Diablo or Devil Island and Manoa, La Ciudad De Oro or the city of gold (1999) . It has some lousily made scenes , including primitive special effects , adding floods , explosions , phosphorescent fish and a submarine scale model , toy-alike , taken from ¨The Rift¨ film . Using "older technique" FX that seem little bit cheesy , such as transparency , matte paintings, rubber-suited enemies , reverse-footage to create certain images , Golden Maquettes posing as the city of gold ; all of them were made by the craftsman director himself , Juan Piquer . You will watch it and think it is either awful , hilarious , a masterpiece, or all three . It's a slight fun with embarrassing images , naive special effects , horrible musical score , campy set decoration and ridiculous art direction . Although critics do not appreciate much this picture ; however has a kind of loopy , Ed Wood quality that must be endured to be totally considered . The fable is sometimes silly and laughable , though a few naif effects and action are regularly made . Some illogical parts in the plot are more than compensated for the excitement provided by the adventure rush and the light enthusiasm provided by Juán Piquer .

The motion picture was lousily directed by Juán Piquer and considered to be one of his worst yarns . He was born in Valencia , location where he often shot his films , in fact ¨Manoa¨ was shot in Algar De Palancia , Buñol , Cortes De Pallás, Júcar , La Vall d'Uixó , Montanejos , Yátova, Millares , Comunidad Valenciana . Juan , who goes by "J.P. Simon" on foreign releases , began in films as a writer and assistant director and continued his career by making short films and documentaries . Juan has produced and directed "exploitation" pictures for two decades running , while not hits during original run , his films became limited successes as bad-good flicks . He was one of the main directors of the Spanish horror boom in the 70s and 80s specially for his quartet of horror films as ¨Escalofrio¨, ¨Slugs¨ , ¨Cthulhu Mansion¨ and his greatest success and immensely popular ¨Pieces¨ . Juan owns his own studio and created and/or designed many of the simple and primitive special effects sequences you see in any of his many imaginative undertakings . Piquer , who recently passed away , was a good craftsman who realized a lot of amusing as well as entertaining films . Juan Piquer who was director of the Mostra of Valencia (Spain) , displayed a professional career and specialized on all kind of genres as Terror , Sci-fi as The rift , The new Extraterrestres, and Supersonic man deemed to be one of the worst films of cinema history . And made some adaptations about Jules Verne novels : "Fabulous Journey to the Center of the Earth" , "Mystery on Monster Island" . While his films have been universally panned by the prestigious reviewers, they have a kind of quality that must be endured to be utterly appreciated .

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