HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Thelma
Stratton
February
Taking of Beverly Hills, The
Marjorie Prime
Hotel Salvation
Mangler, The
Shiraz
Mercy, The
Kickboxer: Retaliation
Molly Maguires, The
Party, The
Dante's Peak
Housemaid, The
Vendetta
Brimstone
Boys in the Trees
Once Were Warriors
Red Planet Mars
Blade Runner 2049
Devil's Express
Belko Experiment, The
Flashback
War of the Arrows
One-Trick Pony
Cloverfield Paradox, The
Beach Rats
In Between
Flesh Feast
Gerald's Game
   
 
Newest Articles
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
   
 
  Kings of the Sun Culture ClashBuy this film here.
Year: 1963
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Yul Brynner, George Chakiris, Shirley Anne Field, Richard Basehart, Brad Dexter, Barry Morse, Armando Silvestre, Leo Gordon, Victoria Vetri, Rudy Solari, Ford Rainey, James Coburn
Genre: Historical, Adventure
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: It was the time of the Mayans in Central America and they were among the most advanced civilisations of their era - in some ways, yet in others they were truly barbaric. Their most heinous crime against humanity was their practice of human sacrifice, which they believed to be greatly beneficial to their lives and a blessing to those who were killed in such a fashion, but for one new King, Balam (George Chakiris), it did not sit well with him. However, he had bigger problems to worry about as a warrior monarch had been laying waste to the surrounding settlements - and his city was next.

Kings of the Sun was one of those historical epics which proliferated during the fifties and sixties and treated the general public to an eyeful of movie spectacle, the equivalent of the special effects extravaganzas we have today. Scripted by Elliott Arnold and James R. Webb, the story actually took the Mayans we were introduced to at the beginning, courtesy of an uncredited James Coburn's narration, and transplanted them to a different location as they fled their homes so as not to be killed off.

Not that there were many authentic Mayans in the cast, so Chakiris had to be slathered in makeup, as was his love interest Shirley Anne Field, though they didn't think to cover her baby blue eyes with contact lenses, making her a highly unlikely-looking member of the Central American race even with that long, black wig. Anyway, off these supposedly advanced examples of civilsation go across what would one day be called The Gulf of Mexico and end up somewhere in Texas, where they set about building a town for themselves to live.

So far so good, but there are natives there who are taking an interest in these "intruders", and they are an Indian tribe led by Chief Black Eagle, rather splendidly played by Yul Brynner. If the rest of the cast tend to look a little self-conscious as their characters, he takes to his role like a duck to water, bare chested throughout to underline his overpowering masculinity, just the thing to make Field's Ixchel swoon. The Chief is captured while on reconnaissance and ends up jailed in a very dark hut for far too much of the film, as indeed the rest of the story is taken up with not a great deal occuring, something you can't help but notice if you were hoping for an action-packed thrill ride.

Of course, if you were looking for that then perhaps Mel Gibson's Apocalypto would provide a more pulse-pounding version of the Mayans, yet where they are the villains in that, here we have to be sympathetic towards both the natives and their visitors because Black Eagle forces them to question the whole human sacrifice thing and Balam comes around to his way of thinking, creating peace between the two sides. Wait a minute, were we not promised some battles? They were in the trailer! Yes we were, and to make up for that the bad guys we saw at the start turn up again, leading to some very impressive scenes of countless extras hammering away at each other as if they were swarms of soldier ants. Trouble is, it's too late and the weighty tone has dragged the potential excitement down to dutiful and patient expectation that something more interesting will happen along in a while. Worth seeing for Yul, though, as he was in his element. Music by Elmer Bernstein.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2330 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

J. Lee Thompson  (1914 - 2002)

Veteran British director frequently in Hollywood, usually with stories featuring an adventure or thriller slant. Among his many films, including a number of Charles Bronson movies, are Yield to the Night, Ice Cold in Alex, North West Frontier, the original Cape Fear, Tiger Bay, The Guns of Navarone, What a Way To Go!, Eye of the Devil, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Battle for the Planet of the Apes and Happy Birthday to Me.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Jason Cook
  Andrew Irvine
Ian Phillips
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: