A LOST CITY FILLED WITH FORTUNE.
AN ANCIENT CIVILIZATION RULED BY EVIL.
Michael Shanks and Shannen Doherty are the headline actors in Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon, but, perhaps appropriately, on the DVD cover art they're represented by itty bitty shadowed figures. Towering over them and the film's title is a CG-animated terror with glowing red eyes and a full moon behind it. That creature, Quetzalcoatl, is the true star of the film. For you see, as the blurb on the back of the cover art states, Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon is a "top-rated Sci Fi Original Movie from the producer of Sands of Oblivion and The Fallen Ones." Yep, Anchor Bay has seen fit to release yet another Sci Fi atrocity onto home video after it's already graced that cable channel's seemingly endless barrage of low budget creature feature mayhem.
And, like 90% of the movie programming Sci Fi airs, Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon is a stinker. There's a market, however, for these movies - and I'll admit that sometimes I get in the mood for a B-level monster flick. However, even cult fans of Sci Fi Channel's cinematic output may be put off by this title. I know I was - partly because the first half of the movie lags considerably and partly because it's just too silly and fantastical for its own good.
The teaser intro to Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon follows a group of men led by a Dr. Jordan traipsing about in an Aztec temple. Aztecs spear a couple of them, but all of a sudden lightning flashes all around and the cheesily-animated Quetzalcoatl shows up to do some killing. Dr. Jordan has a picture of Shannen Doherty . . . er, his daughter Susan . . . and the intro fades with him staring at the photo as blood begins to spatter.
We then transition to the film proper. Susan is really worried about her father as he fails to arrive at the dig she's working at. Gathering up a bunch of serpent god fodder . . . er, people at the site . . . she semi-leads a rescue party for her father. Included in this party are some annoying characters who are clearly telegraphed as people who are going to get it later in the movie. Through a series of uninteresting misadventures that include quicksand and unscrupulous guides, the intrepid bunch makes their way to the Grand Canyon, where an ancient Aztec civilization still exists, making blood sacrifices to Quetzalcoatl.
The movie degenerates even further from that point.
This one was really bad.
The acting is kind of humdrum. The CG visuals are fairly unconvincing. Of course, these things are par for the course in Sci Fi Channel land. However, Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon could have been - should have been - fun as a low budget runaround in the vein of the recent Mummy trilogy. But it's not. The humor in Clay Carmouche's script is forced when it's there at all. Plus, it takes half the movie to get to some cheesy CG monster action, and by that point, the movie has already become a chore to watch.
Even fans of Sci Fi Channel movie fare can skip this effort. If you're interested at all in this film, just wait for a rerun on Sci Fi.
Anchor Bay gives Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon an anamorphic widescreen presentation in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. It's a fairly clear and strong image - which to be honest only highlights the artificiality of CG-sequences and backgrounds.
The lone audio track is a serviceable English language Dolby Digital 5.1 affair. The mix isn't earth-shattering, but dialogue is always clear. Optional subtitles are made available in English only.
Trailers for Cyclops, Sands of Oblivion, and Chrysalis precede the main menu - but are not accessible through the menu system.
The only other extra is a featurette titled Behind the Scenes of Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon (11:30). It's a full screen presentation of the actors talking about the film's production spliced together with scenes from the movie itself. It's not much, but given the film's caliber, it's a bit of a surprise to have anything extra at all.
Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon is yet another Sci Fi Channel movie that has gotten a second life on home video. This turn-of-the-century action fantasy horror mashup is tedious even by that cable channel's standards. If you're at all interested in it, catch a rerun on Sci Fi. Skip it on home video.