Sumuru, or Sax Rohmer's Sumuru, is a 2003 pulp science fiction film directed by Darrell Roodt and starring Alexandra Kamp and Michael Shanks. It is an update of the character Sumuru created by pulp novelist Sax Rohmer. It was the first adaptation of Sumuru in a sci-fi setting (the prior two adaptions were The Million Eyes of Sumuru (1967) and The Girl from Rio (1969)).
While the 2003 movie \"Sumuru\" is by no means an outstanding movie, it actually is a watchable movie, if nothing else.Granted, the storyline presented by writers Harry Alan Towers, Peter Jobin, Torsten Dewi and Sax Rohmer have elements of classic fantasy, laced with some light sci-fi elements. And of course it is topped off by a heap of scantily clad women and set in an Amazonian-like environment (Amazon as in the female warrior society, not the South American region, nor the online giant vendor). And while it does actually sound like it is a good combination for some geeky entertainment, the movie was actually not overly impressive.The storyline was rather mundane and actually boring, and I managed to endure an hour of the ordeal, then I was tender to the core, good and ready to find something else to watch. And I did; I turned off the movie at that point, because I just didn't have the will or interest to watch any more of this.Now, what did work in favor of \"Sumuru\" was the production value, for the most parts. I will say that the movie definitely had a good production and editing to it, and it felt like a wholehearted movie, where it could just as easily has come off as being a project made by young adults for young adults. I liked the costumes and the props, and the setting of the movie was actually good too.The acting in the movie was adequate. With the movie's premise in mind, you know you are not in for a grand Shakespearian performance here, nor will you witness any amazing performances worthy of top notch awards.While I searched this movie on IMDb, I saw that there were other - older - titles also bearing the name Sumuru in the title. I haven't seen those movie, so I have no idea what the connection is, or how the continuation of those movies is with this 2003 movie.All in all, \"Sumuru\" was not a movie that provided the needed entertainment value, and it just succumbed to becoming too much of a low budget B-movie. My rating of the 2003 movie \"Sumuru\" settles on a mere four out of ten stars. I had initially settled on three stars, but the movie's overall production managed to lift up the movie a notch.
Another go at the Sax Rohmer character of Sumuru by the producer Harry Alan Towers. 'The Million Eyes of Sumuru' came out in 1967 and is completely different from this film. This Sumuru is a long, long way from the Sax Rohmer character and is bizarrely set in the future. A couple of fertile men, the last apparently in the universe, land on Sumuru's planet where she queens over lots of scantily women and a few enslaved men. You could write the rest of the film in your sleep. It is not a good film. The acting by Alexandra Kamp as Sumuru is terrible and what can one say about Simona Williams as her rival Taxan It is a gloriously bad performance and thus one to treasure. It tops over the top. Michael Shanks and Terence Bridgett as the visitors have nice hairstyles (did they have a hairdresser on board) but are otherwise bland. There is an annoying child in it who learns how to pilot a 900 year old spacecraft surprisingly quickly and a gigantic badly rendered CGI snake which is poor by 2003 standards. Credit must go to Savanah who plays a dog called...dog and seems to be the only animal on the planet apart from the aforementioned snake. The dialogue is a hoot. Do amazonian queens on distant planets usually say, \"Gotta go!\"Apart from the ceaseless amusement that Simona Williams' acting gives it is a boring film.
TaxanTaxan (Simona Williams) is the high priestess of the evil snake cult of the space amazons from the 2003 sci-fi movie Sumuru. The Danish actress Simona Williams was known as Simona Levin in this production.
A new tripartite co-production shot in South Africa is set to take on the international market.During my stroll through one of the 'spaceship' sets at Nu World Studios just outside Johannesburg, I'm acutely aware of the fact that just alongside is the sanctum of the Snake Goddess, in which lurk two very large pythons. Luckily, no-one asks me to look at that set. Spaceships, Snake Goddess... you guessed it, I'm in the realm of science fiction. But there I stand to correction, as everyone on set tells me that the new international feature film Sumuru is not science fiction, but science fantasy.\"It's a space opera in the same way Star Wars is,\" says South African director Darrell Roodt (Cry, The Beloved Country/Sarafina). Fair enough. Consider the plotline: two hunky astronauts from a futuristic earth are forced to land on an unknown planet, inhabited by beautiful (if Amazonian) women and ruled by their Queen, Sumuru. The men on the planet have been banished to labour in the depths below ...This is the third Sumuru film to be made by British producer Harry Alan Towers, but the first to be adapted to the science fantasy genre. The other two Sumuru films (based on Sax Rohmer's novels about a secret society of powerful women) were made in the 1960s. Johannesburg-based DO Productions is co-producing this version. Sumuru qualifies as an official South Africa/Canada/UK co-production, with additional financial involvement from Germany.\"Fifty percent of the budget was raised in South Africa. German company Daswerk (Playground Effects) is a producing partner in post production and CGI. The director's cut and the final mix are being done in South Africa at The Video Lab and Chris Fellows Sound, while the finish and all CGI will take place in Germany,\" explains producer Brigid Olen.International sales agent Tandem has sold the film to German national broadcaster, RTL and Nu Image will pick up worldwide distribution. The producers are hoping the film will spawn a television series.Brave new universeWhen Roodt was originally sent the Sumuru script, he knew by page three that he really wanted to do the film. \"This is a genre I love, especially films like the original Star Wars trilogy, Alien and The Matrix.\"\"In Sumuru we have the chance to create our own universe from the ground up, which is very exciting. I've just come off a gritty urban drama (Pavement) so it's fun to mix genres. If you don't, you end up becoming an old hack.\"I ask whether Roodt did much work on the script. \"No, on these types of screenplays you can't be too literary. Sometimes the actors overanalyse the script, but I believe that you have to accept that there is an element of cheesiness in it.\"As per the Sumuru co-production/funding deal, Canadian and German leads were mandatory. Says Roodt: \"I didn't have any say in casting the three leads but I was very pleased to get Canadian Michael Shanks as I knew his work on Stargate. German actress Alexandra Kamp and Simona Levin from Denmark were unknown to me, but I'm delighted with how they have worked out.\"Roodt literally rehearsed his actors on set. \"It's much more fun rehearsing that way, especially on this type of script because you sort of need the hardware behind you. The script is not particularly deep, so it presents a serious challenge to make it work on screen.\" Is there a feminist angle to the script \"On a very basic level there is sexual politicking if you consider there is this planet of powerful babes and two macho guys arrive and challenge the status quo.\"Heroes and heroinesI ask lead actor Michael Shanks, the handsome Canadian star of the cult television series, Stargate SG-1, whether there is much room in the script for characterisation.\"My character, Adam Wade, one of the two astronauts from Earth, is the voice of the audience. People watching the film should realise that the film is not serious. They must appreciate that the world the astronauts land up in is topsy-turvy.\"As I've been given free rein by the director in the interpretation of my character I'm not playing the role too earnestly. Adam Wade is bemused by the strange situations and beings that he encounters along the way. There is a harsh dynamic between the men and women on the planet, as men are treated as subservient sub-beings.\"How has Shanks found working in South Africa \"There is a joie de vivre about this South African crew. They're very talented and I sense a genuine happiness in the fact that they're working in film. We've become a little spoilt in North America so our expectations are less. It really opens up your eyes working in South Africa and reminds me of my own enthusiasm when I started in the business.\"The Sumuru set has a relaxed feel, which everyone attributes to the director.\"Darrell is a hoot to work with - he keeps the set light and everyone's opinions in context. He's an extremely positive influence on set. This whole project has turned out to be much more fun than I anticipated,\" comments Shanks.Simona Levin, who plays one of the two female leads, adds: \"Darrell is fantastic, energetic and professional. He provides great positive energy from morning to midnight.\"Levin plays the role of Taxan, the Snake Goddess. She describes Taxan as \"very evil. She is extremely jealous, mean and power-engulfing. It's a well-rounded part and I love Taxan's dialogue. I've changed my voice for the role.\"As Taxan is involved in some action and fight scenes, Levin prepared for her role by training with a kick-boxing champion.The part of Sumuru is played by top German actress and model, Alexandra Kamp. Several South Africans appear in the cast including Isidingo star, Terence Bridgett, who plays Shanks' astronaut sidekick. Child actor David Lazarus also has a pivotal role.Sets and locationsProduction designer Johnny Breedt says that he has consciously tried not to use other films as a visual reference as he and Roodt wanted to create thei