Director: Jeremy Summers
Script: Peter Welbeck (aka Harry Alan Towers)
Cast: Robert Walker, Fred Clark, Herbert Lom, Christopher Lee, Celeste Yarnall, Rosenda Monteros, Maria Rohm, Ricardo Diaz
Running time: 92 minutes
The film opens with a rather unconvincing plane crash into the jungles of the Amazon. The body of the pilot, Shaun Moore, is taken by natives, who probably think his meat looks tasty! Moore’s business partner, Mike Yates (Walker), goes looking for his Shaun and also encounters the not so friendly tribesmen, who attack him. Out of the tree canopy drops his saviour, a nubile young blonde woman called Eve (Yanall) who scares the tribesmen off. Strangely familiar with the English language, the wild girl takes Mike to where his partner’s body lies on a pyre. Unfortunately an important map showing where some Inca treasure is buried isn’t on his friend’s body or in the plane wreck, much to the frustration of adventurer Mr Yates.
Meanwhile crippled Colonel Stewart (Christopher Lee) is having a birthday party at his villa, but he’s a far from happy man after losing his daughter in a plane crash some years before, once again in the Amazon Basin. Luckily his grand-daughter survived and was returned to him some years later by the somewhat shady Diego (Herbert Lom). When Stewart confesses to Diego that all of his money has gone and that he’s now in debt, his grand-daughter Eve admits that she isn’t really his lost relative, but rather a fake planted with him, ready for any inheritance that’s due upon his fairly imminent demise.
However, Stewart needs a more physically capable partner to help him come good and find the lost treasure of the Incas using an ancient map he has. But fake Eve steals the map, causing the Colonel to become very unwell, but he’s later helped by Jake, who appears on the scene telling tales of a mysterious blonde beauty who rescued him back in the jungle. Could this be the real Eve, grand-daughter of the sickly Colonel? Will our hero partner up with the Colonel to find Eve and the hidden treasure? Do we really care?
Playing out like a Z-grade Indiana Jones movie, The Face of Eve is something of a disappointment all round, but we shouldn’t really be overly surprised at this, since this is a Harry Alan Towers scripted/produced film! Responsible for some of the finest sixties cinematic dreck around, Towers seems largely unable to script anything original or particularly engaging, for that matter. In this case it’s a real shame as the film has all the ingredients to be a lot of fun – a great cast (Lom, Lee, and Robert Walker, of Easy Rider fame); a decent idea of a lost girl in the jungle, now grown into a female Tarzan-like figure; and an adventure involving hidden treasure. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, primarily Towers’ weak script, replete with some daft dialogue delivered by a generally bored-looking or rather amateur cast. And this, being a Towers’ film, its ambitions far outstrip its meagre budget, which means that we have to suffer through lots of poorly integrated stock footage of crocodiles and other jungle-dwelling fauna scuttling through the jungle terrain, tiresome day-for-night photography, inconsistences in the plot, some badly conceived action and fight scenes, and, worst of all, we have to sit through too much cabaret footage to boot!
Plus, it’s a real shame about Eve. I’m not sure if it was a blessing that she’s in the film so little (due to the lovely Celeste’s limited acting abilities), but you’d kind of expect the title character of a film to get more than ten minutes of overall screen time!
On a positive note much of the film was actually shot on quite impressive locations, in both Spain and Brazil; it was good to see Christopher Lee actually playing a good-ish guy for a change; and Herbert Lom is always good value in these kinds of small change productions. I got the impression that it was a fun shoot; it’s just a shame that it’s a bit of a chore to watch…
Network Distributing is distributing The Face of Eve on DVD. The only extra on the disc was an image gallery featuring approximately 30 stills from the film and also five or six posters, including a couple with some of the movie’s alternative titles of Hula, Hula and Diana.