Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Movie Poster Spotlight :: A Strange Adventure Indeed : Cy Endfield's Sands of the Kalahari (1965)

It's been documented that within a span of just a few short months a domesticated pig turned loose in the wild will basically devolve and take on the characteristics of it's more primitive ancestors: a coat of coarser hair, sharper hooves, a meaner disposition, and more pronounced tusks. Now, according to most movies, packs of Homo-Sapiens can pull this same feralization stunt in a matter of mere hours, shaking the skin of civilization like a snake to get in touch with their inner Cro-Magnons, usually with a side-order of malignant Alpha-Maleitus. So take that, you little porcine porkers. We win. Anyways ... One of the better examples of this Humans Gone Wild genre is Cy Edenfield's Sands of the Kalahari.

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Based on a novel by William Mulvihill, this anthropological tale concerns a small group of plane crash survivors stuck in the middle of the African desert. Despite the group's best efforts to adapt, with little food, water, and an even smaller prospect of rescue, compounded by the constant danger of a roving pack of (sadly, non-axe-wielding) Gibbons (*sigh*), one of the group (the great white hunter 'natch) stakes his claim on the lone female (who's so emotionally damaged she basically threw herself at him before the wreckage stopped burning) and does his best to stretch their meager rations by increasing his portion by picking off the rest of the group to ensure the survival of the stranded species. All of that topped off with one of the most fascinating endings ever committed to film when our retro-caveman is left to the whim of those troublesome monkeys.

Sands of the Kalahari is one of those oft championed offbeat films that has been maddeningly elusive for far too long. But now, my fellow gonzoidal movie lovers, our long wait is over as the film will finally be getting an official release this coming August on both DVD and BluRay thanks to the fine folks at Olive Films. Meaning: Woohoo! I can finally dump that A&E broadcast bootleg!

Sands of the Kalahari (1965) Joseph M. Schenck Productions-Pendennis Productions-Paramount / D: Cy Endfield / W: Cy Endfield / C: Erwin Hillier / E: John Jympson / M: John Dankworth / P: Joseph E. Levine, Cy Endfield, Stanley Baker / S: Stuart Whitman, Stanley Baker, Susannah York, Theodore Bikel, Nigel Davenport


Unknown said...

A brilliant review of what looks like a rare and crazy motion picture! I'm glad I discovered your blog!

W.B. Kelso said...

Thanks. And thanks for reading. Much more to come. That movie is a real trip -- especially that ending.

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