NATAS: THE REFLECTION (1986)
Article 5148 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Jack Dunlap
Featuring Randy Mulkey, Pat Bolt, Craig Hensley
What it is: One of the more questionable Ancient Indian legends
A reporter researching an ancient Indian legend is tasked with the quest of defeating the guardian of the gates of Hell and releasing the souls held prisoner within.
There are lots of bad movies out there, but I think what makes some of the most famous ones as interesting as they are is that they seem to have their own demented voice that keeps them from seeming to be mere imitations of other movies. I’d have to put this one in that group; once our hero arrives at a ghost town full of stereotypical western characters who all happen to be rotting zombies as well, I knew that it had found its own voice. Oh, it’s dumb, all right; what kind of ancient Indian legend references Satan (“Natas” reflected) and reveals its secrets in couplets that rhyme in English? The dialogue is rife with cliches, the acting is often very bad, and the special effects are not what you would call convincing. Still, there’s something engagingly silly about this nonsense, though it will require a bit of patience to get through it all. The credits claim that the woman playing Smohalla was 109 years old when this movie was made, but she probably never got to see the film; she died the year after it was made, and the movie sat on the shelf for three years before it was released.