In an ominous sign, TREASURE opens with a voice over in the very first shot as Don Calfa says, “Okay, so here’s the picture…” We then see a treasure hunter (co-writer Eric Weston) running across a muddy field while being attacked by some natives. After some fisticuffs and the guy getting blown away in a hotel room, we get bad sign number two as we cut to “real time” as Harold Grand (Calfa), Hollywood agent to the non-stars, is explaining to his bikini clad secretary all about his adventures down in Central America with his top client, Lu De Belle (Quigley). Harold is apparently a really bad agent because as we jump back to the story proper he has Lu singing in a Central American dive where pigs and chickens are roaming freely. Man, I can’t wait until Jon Taffer gets to this place. To make matters worse, Harold is beaten up by some henchmen of Mr. Diaz (Danny Addis). Seems Diaz wants Harold to deliver Lu to a place called Cantana with the vague instructions of “you must get her there.”
Harold: “Hey, look at that lizard.”
Lu: “That’s an alligator, Harold!”
Naturally, this dialogue is laid over some random shot of an alligator (more on that later) We also get hijinxs like Calfa riding in a bus with a cow and being bitten on on the ass by a tarantula (more on that later too). Our mysterious plot is finally unveiled when our group reaches a tribe and finds Mr. Diaz impersonating the leader. His reason for desiring Lu is the age old W.T.W.W.A. (“Where the white women at?”) conundrum. Seems Lu is the spitting image of the Moon Goddess and Diaz wants her to impersonate the deity in order to claim some treasure. Sam and crew out Diaz to the tribe, but they say that to prove themselves they must enter the Temple of Imak in the Cave of the Moon and bring back some treasure after a series of challenges. Wait, isn’t that the basis of the kids' game show LEGENDS OF THE HIDDEN TEMPLE? Finally, at the 70 minute mark we start getting our Indiana Jones on.
buyers are DREAMS OF GOLD, described as a $ 5,000,000 action-drama with Gerald Green producing, Eric Weston directing and Asher Brauner starring.”) By the time production began in November 1984 (meaning Calfa and Quigley pretty much went from ROTLD straight to this) in Central America locations, Weston was listed as a co-director alongside Joseph Louis Agraz. Something strange then happened as the film shutdown and then resumed production two years later in November 1986 in the Philippines. Those cut aways to Calfa and the narration are suddenly starting to make sense. I’d theorize Agraz shot the Mexican footage and Weston directed the later narration footage, but that would appear to be wrong as Weston was on the film before Agraz. But something happened on this film as displayed by its choppy nature and moments of dubbing. Need more evidence? As Tom told me, watch how often Don Calfa’s hairstyle changes throughout the film. At one point his hair is even blonde (it is black throughout most of the film).
That wasn’t the case when it had an unceremonious debut on video via Vidmark Entertainment a few months later in February 1988. That is when we got the cover that lured me in. My muse is still waiting for that badass “hanging by a rope, attacked by alligator” scene as depicted in the poster.