Treasure Hunt (2003)

DVD Cover (New Concorde Home Entertainment)
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Overall Rating 38%
Overall Rating
Ranked #10,430
...out of 14,101 movies
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For a new reality T.V. show called "Treasure Hunt," ten sexy contestants are sent to a tropical island to compete for $10,000,000 in hidden cash. They have plenty of fun in the sun until they begin to turn up dead one by one, and it becomes evident that there is a killer loose on the island. The trouble is, the more dead bodies there are, the higher the ratings climb! --DVD
Review by Chad
Added: November 07, 2007
When you watch one of Quentin Tarantino's films, you know that you're going to get at least a couple of lengthy dialogue sequences that really have no relevance in the grand scheme of the film. That's just Tarantino's style, and there's nothing wrong with that: he makes it work. Likewise, when you watch one of M. Night Shyamalan's movies, you know that it's going to end with some sort of bizarre twist, and you know that you're going to see lots of explosions and CGI effects when you watch the latest Michael Bay release. Some filmmakers have that one thing that they're known for, and Jim Wynorski is no exception: when viewers pick up his latest DTV offering, they should be prepared to see lots of big-bosomed ladies, lots of bare flesh, and a cheesy storyline to tie it all together. With that in mind, I give you my review of the forgotten classic known as Treasure Hunt.

We begin with an introduction to Miranda (Melissa Brasselle) and Dan (Richard Gabai), two television producers who have come up with the most original and ingenious plot device ever: they plan to put ten people on a deserted island where they will compete for ten million dollars, and this crafty couple will simply place cameras all over the island, record the daily events, and broadcast it to the world. A cast is gathered and dumped on this island (five men and five women, naturally), the cameras are rolling, and it turns out to be everything that one would expect from the latest reality show: they bicker with one another, form secret alliances, and above all else, each of them try to make sure that they're the one walking away with the money. It's pretty routine stuff, until a masked murderer shows up and starts knocking the contestants off one by one. The ratings go up for each murder, but will anyone survive? More importantly, how much T&A can they cram into this thing? Glori-Anne Gilbert, Samantha Phillips, Gail Harris, Mary Ann Schmidt, and Shea Smith star, director Jim Wynorski tries his hand at acting in a minor role, and Julie Strain makes a brief cameo appearance.

Let's just cut to the chase here: Mr. Wynorski favors intricate plots and highly-developed characters about as much as our president values his "Better Grammar for a Better Life" book, which is to say that ol' Jim really doesn't give a shit about either of those aspects of his releases. His goal usually seems to be to simply show off as much skin as possible, and a large rack is much more important than acting skills when casting for his movies. Anyone who knows a thing or two about the man's filmography knows this, and hell, even if you've never heard his name before, you can simply look at the DVD covers and figure it out for yourself. Therefore, it wouldn't be entirely fair for me to judge this one based on the lackluster story and the horrific acting, so I'm going to skip right on over that and concentrate on the "meat" of the movie.

With that said, there's no way that I could rightfully recommend Treasure Hunt even to those of you who enjoy softcore offerings. You see, the film is rated R, and it seems to me that they cut out the vast majority of the nudity in order to achieve this rating. Sure, they didn't cut out all of it as we do get a brief scene in which the ladies dance around a fire topless and a couple of other brief glimpses of "the goods", but this takes up a very small percentage of the running time; in fact, I think that there was only about three or four five-second scenes, tops. The rest of the film is a giant tease: one of the women will stand next to a waterfall, reach around to take her top off, and... cut away to the next scene. A guy and a girl will pair up for a little softcore action, they'll kiss for a few seconds, and we then cut ahead to the guy saying "Damn, that was great!"

Now, keep in mind that I can't say anything with any amount of certainty about these cuts, why they happened, or if there were even any cuts made to begin with - hey, maybe Wynorski wanted to make a tame film for a change of pace - but I can say that the lack of T&A completely killed this one for me. There's lots of women running around in skimpy bikinis and there's a lot of teasing, but let's be real here: you don't watch a porno for the storylines, you don't watch an Arnold Schwarzenegger classic for the intense character studies, and you don't watch a Wynorski flick for anything other than the gratuitous nudity.

Skip it. It's not completely terrible, as watching the cast members goof off and adlib their lines made for a couple of entertaining moments, and of course, there's plenty of big-busted women running around in skimpy bikinis, but it's certainly not something that I'd recommend even as a two-for-one night rental either. 3/10.
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