2013 / Director. Roger Christian.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
Due to no fault of their own some films just get lost in the fold. Whether it’s a lack of star power or complications with distribution (and various other factors) sometimes perfectly good movies just miss the mark and fall into obscurity. PRISINORS OF THE SUN is one example.
To the average moviegoer this film has the appearance of typical low-rent DTV title with the deceptive key-art of a MUMMY knock-off; however, to a genre geek it has a higher pedigree than meets the eye. It was written by Peter Atkins (Hellraiser 2-4, Wishmaster) and Anthony Hickox (Waxwork, Hellraiser 3, Warlock: Armageddon) and was directed by Roger Christian (Battlefield Earth, Masterminds, Nostradamus). And the fact that Uwe Boll produced it probably doesn't bode well in its favour either.
Set in Egypt, the story takes place at an archaeological dig where a multinational expedition is underway to unearth a mythological lost city beneath the sand. The legends tell of an alien race having resided over Egypt 5000 years ago and their attempts to overthrow the planet were thwarted by a powerful and aggressive Egyptian army. Locked within the depths of a pyramid temple the aliens lay hidden from the world until the moment when their planet aligns with Earth once more, upon which they will ascend. We follow the carefully selected team as they race against time to find the hidden pyramid and keep the alien foes at bay. Of course not all is as it seems and personal agendas are exposed.
PRISONERS OF THE SUN is a surprisingly polished film with wonderful set designs, fantastic digital FX and a taut script that avoids loads of obvious clichés. It plays out like an INDIANA JONES story with a strong science fiction crux and a moderate amount of horror. The violence is modest but, at times, confronting and elevates the movie from a family-friendly affair to an adult-oriented treasure hunt adventure.
The film was made in 2007 but never received a release of any kind until 2013 when it earned a very limited theatrical run before a discreet nudge into the home entertainment market. With a generous budget floating around $20,000,000 and an under whelming lead cast it’s fair to assume that most of that money went into the SFX. John Rhys Davis and Joss Ackland are hardly draw-card names and had the film boasted a stronger talent, it may have performed very well.