Le temple de l’elephant blanc (1964)

aka Temple of the White Elephant, Sandok, il Maciste della giungla
Article 5053 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 1-17-2016
Directed by Umberto Lenzi
Featuring Sean Flynn, Marie Versini, Alessandro Panaro
Country: Italy / France
What it is: Historical action movie

When the daughter of a Viceroy is captured by a dangerous Indian sect that worships a white elephant, a lancer concocts a plan to infiltrate the cult’s temple and free the daughter.

Is that Maciste’s name I see in the Italian title? Yes, it is, but in this case, it’s a descriptive word; I’ve seen the title translated as SANDOK, GIANT OF THE JUNGLE. Furthermore, Sandok, though having a great deal the strength and wearing a loincloth, isn’t quite a sword-and-sandal hero; furthermore, he’s a secondary character in the action. The copy I found of this one was in French without English subtitles, but the plot description I found on IMDB gave me enough info to scope out the plot. There are a few fantastic touches here and there; one of the characters is under hypnosis, Sandok does demonstrate a certain amount of “super-strength” in one scene (he breaks some chains and bends the bars back), and the action makes me wonder whether the white elephant being worshipped might actually have greater than average powers, though that is fairly ambiguous since I couldn’t understand the dialogue. The movie itself seems to be pretty standard action fare; I didn’t see anything that really stood out or made it special.

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