Sandokan: Pirate of Malaysia / I pirati della Malesia (1964)

2.0 out of 5

Aside from the delightful use of locations the highlight of this Umberto Lenzi helmed anti-colonialist actioner has be the sight of Steve Reeves riding in a mining cart while indulging in a Django-like Gatling-gun massacre. Sadly, however, the film is a little repetitive and features maybe a few capture and rescues too many resulting in segments between the bursts of hyperactivity becoming somewhat tedious and making the whole thing feel a little on the long side. At it's best the film is great but maybe could have been trimmed by maybe a half hour and could have made for a much tighter action experience. It all looks nice and colourful though and looks nice and colourful all the time.

Despite the title this is more of a costume jungle adventure than boat based pirate movie although the use of an old paddle steamer as a location is interesting enough and provides nautical porno for those who prefer their pirate film to be more oceanic in orientation.

There is some hilarity to be had at the expense of some poorly applied blackface amongst the extras and goofs include a machine gun that, magically, repeatedly fires the same single bullet.

Sujata and Asoka who provide the exotic dancing made a bit of a career doing that kind of thing including in Salome.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics