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Creaky yet rather charming Hammer film that is less a horror than an old fashioned adventure with supernatural elements. Peter Cushing, Bernard Cribbins and John Richardson are a trio of soldiers in the Middle East who venture to a lost civilisation after learning that Leo (Richardson) bears an uncanny resemblance to an ancient king. On their arrival they encounter Ursula Andress’ 2000-year-old empress Ayesha who proves a seductive threat, demanding Leo’s hand in marriage and undying love, or their imminent deaths. Christopher Lee crops up as Ayesha’s manipulative high priestess, while Rosenda Monteros plays the young beauty who lures the men to their fate. It’s all good fun, if a little rough around the edges, but was clearly a huge influence on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, with numerous elements – most notably the sacrificial pit of fire – lifted wholesale for Spielberg’s 80s blockbuster.

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