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The Treasure of the Four Crowns

February 25th, 2010 by unkle lancifer · 24 Comments

Hold on now here, howza come, as long as I’ve lived I’ve never stumbled across THE TREASURE OF THE FOUR CROWNS? More importantly why has nobody ever mentioned it to me? Is it because it’s a terrible film? Have we met dear readers? What do I care from terrible, it’s just boring stuff I can’t stand. THE TREASURE OF THE FOUR CROWNS is never boring, well, maybe a little but it’s mostly not boring and it’s got the greatest ending ever…scratch that TWO of the greatest endings ever. Here’s one of them…(Careful, this isn’t so much a “spoiler” as the climax of the film…)

Did you see that guy’s head spin?!? Did you hear that ENNIO MORRICONE score?!? You don’t know how much I’d enjoy flamethrowers for arms! If God truly loved me he’d give me at least one flamethrower arm!

I must have seen the video box for this at some point, why did I pass it up? I guess it must have just looked like just another lame Indiana Jones rip-off to me; which it is, but honestly, pound for pound I think I enjoyed it better than the last two Indy flicks. It’s fun, it’s crazy, stupid, dumb fun and it makes zero sense and did I mention it was in 3-D? Well, originally it was. By the way, are there any lucky people out there who got to see this in the theater way back in ‘83? I want to shake your hand. (provided flames aren’t pouring out of it.)

Maybe the reason this one flew past my radar Riley was because it was hatched by the same mind as COMIN’ AT YA! (Spaghetti western star TONY ANTHONY). That film, which is regarded as the kickoff to the eighties 3-D revival, I did see in the theater as a kid and I have to say I was not too crazy about it. (Was I supposed to be stunned by 3-D beans being poured on my head?) I guess it’s possible that I may have avoided this one for that association alone, but CROWNS is soooo much better than COMIN’ AT YA!

The opening of the movie is pretty spectacular too, check this out (and get ready to duck!)…

Stop lying and admit that you want to own that Jacket. I don’t blame you, I love it too. You can’t imagine how bad the dubbing is in this, I adore bad dubbing.

A friend of mine (it could happen) has a large collection of 3-D movies and I recently got to see T.T.O.T.F.C. with the red/blue anaglyph glasses. That was cool, and I’m glad I did, but considering that this was originally presented with the same 3-D technology as FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH PART 3, I’m thinking it must have been really damn incredible to view in the theater. Man, if only there was some way to properly recreate such things at home…

Let me ruin everything for you by revealing that TREASURE has an epilogue that is completely insane that involves a monster coming out of a swamp for no reason whatsoever. Do you have red/blue 3-D glasses too? Go grab them, I’ll wait,… check this out… if I had my way every film for the rest of time would end this exact same way….

How awesome is that? Did you fall out of your chair? People can yack as much as they want about technology stifling artistry. As far as I’m concerned they can yack ‘till the cows come home as long as the cows come home in 3-D!

I’m so happy 3-D is making a comeback because I personally never voted for it to scram. Sure every once in a while you get burned by a METALSTORM: THE DESTRUCTION OF JARED-SYN but it it’s worth it for every SPACEHUNTER: ADVENTURES IN THE FORBIDDEN ZONE. As long as we’re on the subject, how’s about that floating severed arm in JAWS 3-D? Oh, if only life were in 3-D….oh, wait…it is.

Tags: General Horror · Repeat Offenders

24 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Professor Von WhiskersenNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    I saw this at the theater and I’ve been wondering what the name of it was for years!  Now I know.  I also now know that my mother is a woman of infinite patience to have taken me to see that and sat through it herself because I was too young to see a movie by myself.

    I don’t remember it being in 3D, however. 

    Thanks for solving a 27 year old mystery.  I leave you now so that I might scour the seedy underbelly of the internet in search of a DVD bootleg.

  • 2 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Yay Prof!

    Even though you didn’t see this in 3-D I still want to shake your hand! It’s sad to me that you really can’t see this type of B-Grade movie in theaters anymore, You can still see crappy movies just the mainstream Hollywood approved type now. Even though this movie fails on so many levels you can tell they were at least sincere (in their efforts to rip off another film). Maybe that’s what sets apart the watchable crap from the unwatchable crap. Anyway, I enjoyed this particular crap a great deal. By the way, Tony Anthony was all set to do a 3-D sci-Fi adventure next but the craze died before he could. What might have been!

  • 3 DavidFullamNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I remember this one when it came out and regret never seeing it in 3D. Do not envy the actor having to do the big scene with live flame throwers up his arms. A braver man than I. Critics of course dumped on the film, but could they not see that everyone involved was in on the joke? It’s so obvious that no one is taking any of it seriously. I mean the flick ends on a pointless throwaway 3D shock that has nothing to do with anything. I pine for the good old days of Italian exploitation.

  • 4 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2010 at 12:45 pm


    I did find one critic who enjoyed Treasure for what it was…can you believe Roger Ebert?
    Speaking of, has everyone seen the Esquire article on the heroic Ebert?

  • 5 jaakkoNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Woo-hoo, I have seen this in a theater and  in 3-D! Around ten years ago on a 3-d movie festival, with Flesh for Frankenstein, some 3-d Hong Kong kung fu -flick and some 3-d Star Wars -esque animation film. Good times, good times! Those are my only 3-d experiences, and probably remain that way, as these days I avoid movie theaters.

  • 6 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2010 at 1:44 pm


    I am green with jealousy (my natural hue) My 3-D experiences (in the theater) are as follows:
    Comin at ya!
    Friday 3-D (revival)
    also Freddy’s dead but I’m not even sure that counts because it’s anaglyph and not the superior stereovision
    I think my favorite 3-D movie experience of all time though has to be the recent My Bloody Valentine. Seeing Tom Atkin’s chin fly into the audience in 3-D was more than I could have ever hoped for.

  • 7 Brother BillNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    With 2010 being declared “the year of 3-D TV” I’m guessing every 3-D movie ever made will get dug up for release on 3D BluRay at some point.

    Jaakko–the 3-D animated Star Wars rip off you saw had to be “Starchaser: The Legend of Orin”, which I did see in theaters in its original run (along with the 3-D Nightmare on Elm Street entry, Jaws 3-D, and the rerelease of the original House of Wax). And don’t forget the spillover to TV (crappy red/blue anaglyph broadcasts of Gorilla At Large and The Mask…)

  • 8 Professor Von WhiskersenNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I remember when I was a kid, one of the local channels would show old horror movies on the weekends.  My fondest memory of that was when they showed “Creature From The Black Lagoon” IN 3D!!!  You had to go by one of the places giving away the glasses (like gas stations, McDonalds, etc.) and then adjust your TV’s tint and contrast knobs (remember those?) and the effect never did work well.  But it was awesome and we loved it.  I can’t remember what else they showed in 3D like that.  Maybe a 3 Stooges episode. 

  • 9 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm


    I remember that too. I remember getting so excited for Creature from the black lagoon in 3-D on TV and then just being so disappointed. I think I even had to lie and be like “yea, I see it ,cool!” and really it didn’t look like much.

  • 10 NiNiNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Good lord, that clip looks like Judd Nelson stole Michael Jackson’s old jacket, got a bad haircut and went adventurin’! The groans made me think that someone has a bad case of Montezuma’s Revenge, and the entire scene is greatly enhanced by adding in noises of severe flatulence. (Because bathroom humor never stops being funny, we just pretend it does…) This movie might be too amazingly bad even for me! I take that as a challenge.
    A friend of mine posted the Esquire article a while back and I was just stunned by it. Amazing piece.

  • 11 jaakkoNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Brother Bill,
    yeah, it was Starchaser. “Never dig up, always dig down,” that’s pretty much all I remember of the plot.

  • 12 stexeNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    I saw this first-run at the theater in 3D as well (I was 13).  There was no shortage of 3D movies to choose from; I saw “Amityville 3D” and “Parasite” that same summer (the latter film contains a face-burster scene which would have caused serious kindertrauma, had I been any younger).
    But man, what an ending. They took the “Raiders of the Lost Ark” finale and amped it up exponentially. I love how they seemingly made a huge ball of newspaper, attached it to a rope, set it on fire, then swung it towards a crowd of extras, who are clearly running for their lives. Exciting stuff.
    Lancifer, at 13 I wasn’t the 3D connoisseur that I am now, so I don’t remember, but they say the 3D effects for this movie were really terribly shot.

  • 13 PenhNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Oh yes, I’ll never forgot this one. I saw it in the same theater where I saw Jaws 3 & Amityville 3 in 3-D. The details are kind of foggy, though.  There was this floating key with incredibly obvious strings tied to it, and every five minutes someone would shove something into the camera. My favorite technique was when someone would hand something to another character, shoving it right in your face, and then they’d cut to the reverse angle of the other character shoving his hand in your face to grab it, so you got double the 3-D!  What a bargain!  Oh, and I distinctly remember a blue Hulk.  What the hell was that all about?
    My favorite part, though, was the enormous black guy who kept up a very loud, non-stop commentary throughout the entire movie, and his little entourage of giggly pals.  I wanted to be pisssed at him on general principles, but he was pretty funny, and the movie was pretty wretched, so it worked out all right.

  • 14 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Stexe &Penh,

    So the effects were not so great? But in my imagination they were amazing. Well, the anaglyph version i saw was pretty impressive but I have to say that I thought seeing the strings attached to the key and balls of fire were an added bonus for me. Penh, there WAS a blue hulk creature but the color was so off on the version I saw that you could barely tell he was blue. Stexe, I also thought that the poor extras were running for fear of their lives! I hope with the 3-D revival we get a remastered version of this with a commentary by Tony Anthony. Can you believe he was 46 when he starred in this?

  • 15 RATSAWGODNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Ah, this was my first 3D movie at the tender age of 13. Awesomeage.

  • 16 kiddofunkNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Yes!  I actually saw this at the Martin Twin Theatre in High Point, NC in 1983 when it came out.  I was twelve years old at the time.  My dad took me to see it.  I remember not really liking the movie at all, but I was enthralled with the 3D aspect of it.

    I was also fortunate enough to see “Friday the 13th part 3” in 3D at the theatre when it came out also.  I also remember seeing “Comin At Ya!” on it’s original theatrical run and I saw a re-release of “House of Wax” in 3D in the 80s.  Cool stuff!

  • 17 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Feb 25, 2010 at 10:29 pm


    I missed Friday the 13th 3D in the theater during it’s original run. (The 4th was the first one I was old enough to see in the theater.) Then, I guess it was about 15 years ago or so now, I got a chance to see it in a theater in NJ (I think Exhumed films sponsored this?) and it was just amazing. Since then I’ve seen it a couple more times in 3-D. Once it was at a bar here in Philly (North third?) and it was in the real 3-D AND you could drink beer…perfect.

  • 18 thunderknightNo Gravatar // Feb 26, 2010 at 5:40 am

    Hi Professor….The Revenge of the Creature with the 3D glasses at a certain convenience store and every commercial break stared like this…”Just zip to Zippy Mart…just zip to Zippy Mart and zip right out…those were the days. My parents are long since deceased, but we all watched this movie and it was one of my favorite childhood memories…next to the colorized version of Night of the Living Dead, still one of my all time favs!

  • 19 thunderknightNo Gravatar // Feb 26, 2010 at 5:43 am

    Also, HBO showed the Treasure movie many times on Sunday afternoons…coming home from church, i remember that ending shown and I must have caught the same ending at the same spot at least 4 or 5 times…great post!

  • 20 PenhNo Gravatar // Feb 27, 2010 at 3:47 am

    Actually, I was pretty impressed with the 3D effects, but keep in mind that I was like 12 or so and easily impressed.  The only problem was that were so friggin’ many of them!  It wasn’t always as relentless as the second clip with arrows and spears every 5 seconds, but damn did they get their money’s worth from those 3D cameras.  The non-3D effects were horrible, of course, although I do believe the strings on the key were somewhat less visible in 3D than when I later caught it on TV.

  • 21 mrcanacornNo Gravatar // Feb 27, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Hey Unk,
    Much like PVW, I was also lucky enough to have a mother with infinite patience. I’ve always remembered this awesome 3-D film but have never met anyone else that has ever seen it….or even heard of it!
    I remember being super excited that the cast of TotFC was primarily made up of stunt men and women! Thanks to my obsession with all things Evel Knievel, Burt Reynolds/Hal Needham, The Fall Guy, and being 11, there wasn’t anything cooler than stunts…and (if I remember correctly) TotFC totally delivered.
    I don’t recall the (awesomely) horrible dubbing, but I do remember thinking the 3-D was the best I’d ever seen. There was one scene where a dog seemed to jump onto the screen from the back of the theater!
    Thanks for bringing this gem back to the old frontal lobes, Unk…and I’m happy to say I’ve finally found some other people that love TotFC as much as I do!

  • 22 mrcanacornNo Gravatar // Feb 27, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Hmmmmm, revisiting those clips has me second guessing my memory about the cast all being stuntmen and women…and that Tony Anthony sure doesn’t seem like Hooper!

  • 23 mamamiasweetpeachesNo Gravatar // Feb 27, 2010 at 10:54 am

    I missed this somehow! Must have been sick thge two days it played in theaters! ZING!

    Oh how I remember METALSTORM though. What a piece of crap and yet EVERY kid in my class aw it. Every Monday morning someone would come in and say “I saw METALSTORM. It sucked…but it was in 3D!” and you’d think people would heed the “it sucked ” part , but nope, the lure of “3D” was too much for us and so we all went to see it just so we could have shit pop out at us for two hours!

    I also saw JAWS 3D, another sucky film. But you know what? I actually love the memories of going to see those two crappy movies in the theater nJUST so I could watch 3D. It makes for a funny nostalgia for me. I paid my $4 for a ticket and am STILL telling stories about it 28 years later so thats $4 well spent in my book!

    Other 3D movies Ive seen in theater:
    THE POLAR EXPRESS and CORALINE which were pretty damn good (especially CORALINE).

  • 24 Blue SevenNo Gravatar // Mar 1, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I LOVED this movie back in the day. I’ll never forget the scene where chunks of the bad guy’s face are lasered apart and go floating into your eyeballs via the magic of 3-D. I saw that movie 2 times at the Festival Cinemas (R.I.P.) in Stockton, CA and would have gone at least another time or 2 if I didn’t spend so much money on little plastic coffins with crunchy candy body parts inside and Fun Dips. What a great movie for a 12 year old. I’m still pissed at my dad for taking my older brother to see Friday 3-D and lying to me about it, though. Jerks.

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