by Peter Nielsen
“The Lure of gold could make a person do something! Anything!”
During the opening credit of this film, we see somebody being dug out of, what seems to be, a collapsed mine shaft. After he’s been dragged out, his rescuer buries a decide axe in his chest… It’s brutal… it’s sudden… and the rattling film hasn’t even began but!
From that we lower to an attractive aerial shot with the reckless pilot, Jean Dupre, flying across the mountains accompanied by his boss. Their dialog is just not an amicable one, and ends with Jean being fired! He doesn’t appear too heartbroken about it although… I feel what irks him probably the most is the truth that he received’t have a airplane available to him anymore. And he does want a airplane, as a result of he needs to go search for his pal, George, who’s been lacking for a month, or so. He disappeared someplace within the wilderness of British Colombia, the place he went in search of gold! Jean thinks George could have hit the jackpot, and desires in on it… formally although, he simply needs to seek out his pal, so he goes to his home to discover a map George had of the world the place the gold was supposedly positioned.
Jean can’t discover the map although, however nonetheless has a fairly good thought about the place George was headed. George’s girlfriend, Andrea, needs to hitch him, however has her doubts about how they’re imagined to get there, as soon as she sees the piece of shit float airplane Jean has purchased. She doesn’t say that out loud although… no less than not in these phrases, however that’s what she’s pondering!
Once they take off we’re, once more, handled to the breathtakingly stunning mountain surroundings of British Colombia, the place the film is shot! These aerial pictures actually are one thing to see… you get a way of how majestic this space is, but in addition how a lot you’re left to your personal units, if one thing goes improper. And, after all, one thing does! Go improper, I imply!
Deep into the wilderness, when Jean is touchdown on a lake… on account of a slight miscalculation… the airplane crashes! Quite spectacularly, I’d add! This accident was not within the script, the airplane was solely imagined to malfunction and strand our two adventurers in the midst of nowhere, however for the reason that crash was filmed, seemed good, and most significantly, nobody was damage… they determined to make use of the footage within the completed film.
Jean and Andrea strike up camp for the evening, however impulsively hear bagpipe music coming from someplace within the woods. They observe it and discover an outdated cabin, which at first look, seems to be deserted. It’s not although, and that is the place they meet a bizarre outdated prospector named Silas McGee.
His social expertise are a bit rusty, however he claims he’s been up there for nearly 30 years, in order that’s not all that stunning, if you consider it! He nonetheless makes them a cup of tea, and invitations them to observe him down into his mine… Actually it’s extra of an order than an invitation, and since Mr. McGee is type of creepy, and likewise barely menacing, Jean and Andrea reluctantly tag alongside. He takes them deep down into the darkish, damp tunnels to, partly exhibit, however largely to scare them, I’d think about, as a result of, as bizarre as he could seem, Silas is just not a silly man and he is aware of they’re there to search for gold! And you may be rattling certain he doesn’t need them snooping round his mine! So he tells them no, he hasn’t seen or heard another airplane than theirs… and no, he hasn’t actually discovered any gold up right here, solely silver… and no, he hasn’t heard any bagpipe music… they should have imagined it! So it might be finest if they simply left!
Unfortunately for them, Jean can’t appear to let go of the considered discovering gold, and doesn’t wish to depart! Greed is a hell of a factor, huh? And after he finds George’s airplane on the backside of the lake, he figures out that Silas has been mendacity to them and issues type of goes much more downhill from right here!
I can’t keep in mind if I really watched Mother Lode again within the day, as a result of this could have been proper up our alley, however as I mentioned, I’m unsure… I certain do keep in mind the VHS cowl although!
The film was directed by Charlton Heston, who additionally performs the a part of the outdated prospector, Silas McGee. I’m certain you’ll acknowledge Mr. Heston from films like Ben Hur, Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green, The Omega Man, and plenty of others, and he’s actually good on this one too. It seems like he loved the half, and I feel Mother Lode was the final film the place he was one of many major leads… after this one he solely did supportive roles. He’s really fairly scary in Mother Lode, since you by no means know what’ll set him off… there’s one thing simmering just below the floor of his dirty, bearded exterior.
Charlton Heston additionally did an excellent job with the film itself… it seems nice! The distinction between the attractive aerial pictures and the darkish, claustrophobic mine scenes is placing. Mother Lode is a father and son collaboration, as a result of Charlton Heston’s son, Fraser, wrote and produced the film!
Jean and Andrea, are performed by Nick Mancuso and Kim Basinger respectively. Mr. Mancuso’s been in Death Ship and Rapid Fire, and has additionally performed a lot of TV. Miss Basinger is, as at all times, very straightforward on the attention, and this one was really her second film, however she would go on to star in 9 ½ Weeks, Batman, Blind Date, Cool World and L.A. Confidential, to call a pair!
You may also acknowledge John Marley as Elijah, one of many locals that Jean and Andrea run into a few instances… He’s the type of actor with the acquainted face you immediately acknowledge, however can’t immediately place! He’s been in The Car, Cat Ballou, Hooper, and a crap ton of TV.
So… would I like to recommend this film? Yup, you wager! If you take pleasure in a superb thriller set within the wilderness, you’ll positively like Mother Lode. The scenes down in that rattling mine are well worth the worth of admission alone. It’s not sufficient that it’s darkish, cramped, and harmful… Silas can be lurking round someplace, and as I acknowledged earlier… he doesn’t need you snooping round his mine!
Greed is a hell of a factor! It’ll make a person do loopy issues!
Until subsequent time, my buddies…