A ragtag group of mercenary adventurers, led by the fearless J.T. Striker (Tony Anthony), are hired to steal powerful jeweled crowns from the evil Brother Jonas (Emiliano Redondo), the fate of the entire world hanging in the balance.
I think that sums up my initial reaction to director Ferdinando Baldi and star Tony Anthony’s Treasure of the Four Crowns, the pair’swhack-a-doodle 3-D follow-up to 1981’s Comin’ at Ya! They somehow managed to convince Cannon Films to finance their bizarre action-heavy spectacular, this comically ridiculous free-for-all such a thinly plotted Raiders of the Lost Ark rehash it’s almost astonishing George Lucas and Steven Spielberg never sued for plagiarism.
All kidding aside, I cannot in good conscience try to claim this categorically unclassifiable bit of lunacy is anything approaching a “good” movie. The script makes no sense. Most of the acting is so stiff oak 2x4s have more bend and variation to their personalities. The special effects look like they cost roughly $2.22 in 1980s currency for the entirety of the motion picture.
And yet, it’s all marvelous. For fans of Comin’ at Ya!, this one is even more eye-popping in its chaotic recklessness. Things get repeatedly thrust at the screen. Scenes are repeated from multiple angles so many times over it’s easy to lose count of how many times they’ve been edited together. Blood flows. Heads twist clean off. Swords and knives pop out of every corner of the frame. Giant fireballs roll across the floor and fly through the sky.
The plot? Who cares about the plot. It doesn’t make any sense, and I honestly don’t think anyone involved with the production intended it to. The whole thing is a cartoonishly violent mess full of sequences that barely fit together. It’s like an unhinged puzzle where every other piece is missing and an avalanche of duplicates have been inserted into the box in their place, and, in this instance at least, that’s just marvelous.
Treasure of the Four Crowns is presented on a two 50GB Blu-rays MPEG-4 AVC Video with 2.39:1 1080p transfers.
This Blu-ray features an English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. soundtracks and includes optional English SDH subtitles.
Extras here include:
Audio Commentary by film critic and historian Jason Pichonsky
Interview with star Tony Anthony
Original Theatrical Trailer
Treasure of the Four Crowns is certifiably insane. It’s also spectacularly entertaining, reveling in its inherent madness so thoroughly that it’s impossible not to be impressed by all of the inventively deranged absurdity. Kino’s two-disc presentation is outstanding, and for fans of irreverent oddball cult curiosities, adding this release to the personal library is borderline essential.