The Ghost and the Darkness - Underrated 90s movie

I watched the movie The Ghost and The Darkness from 1996 starring Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas, a movie based on a true story about two lions that killed a huge amount of people working on building a railroad bridge in 1898 Africa.

And wow, this is a real hidden gem of a movie, despite some kinda stilted acting from Val Kilmer (who to be fair had just got done with the disastrous shoot of The Island of Dr Moreau and was exhausted) this is a great movie, with some wonderfully tense and exciting sequences.

What's crazy is the lions acted in incredibly bizarre ways for animals and the movie heavily implies that there could have been something supernatural about them, there's a really cool and mysterious element where they go into the lions lair and not only do they find an insane amount of bones, including of people, there are cave paintings of the lions on the wall, which I assume is a fictional addition (however the discovery of their cave and the large of numbers of bones in it is true), but what an intriguing detail, I wonder what that was trying to imply?

But whether it was anything supernatural or not, I miss these kind of movies like this where it's "hey, here's this crazy true story" and it's not about beating you over the head with a political message, it's especially more incredible today because the movie is about African colonialism and while the guy who is in charge of the operation is depicted as a real asshole, Val Kilmer's character is not, despite technically being a colonizer himself who is said to also have worked in India, is never depicted in a bad light and his mission of building this bridge is depicted as a worthy and noble cause, the movie is overall mostly neutral and matter of fact about the subject of colonialism and does not lay it on thick with a heavy handed message like a movie would today.

So yeah, if you're in the mood for a great movie, check it out, I also really wonder if there was something supernatural about those lions, the whole story is very freaky.
 

cypocraphy

Deader than the parents on "Party Of Five"
True & Honest Fan
I know about the real life event it's based on (it's very creepy) but surprisingly I've never seen the whole movie.
 
Love this movie, it gets a rewatch every couples of years when I'm reminded of it, so thanks it's going on the schedule now.

Had it in vhs as a kid and I think me and my brothers wore it out along with last of the mohicans.
I forgot to mention that I actually watched it on VHS as a kid as well, but I had forgotten almost everything, that's why this was a movie I had heard of in the first place though.
 

Very Honest Content

(Formerly a) Niggo(?)
Saw it in theaters and have always regarded it as a guilty pleasure, good/bad movie. I'm generally biased towards Kilmer as performer though too so I may be off in that estimation.
 
If you're ever in Chicago, you can see the lions he killed at the Field museum. He initially turned them into rugs, but they've been reformed and put on display. The nation they were killed in wants them back for a tourist attraction and they've been trying to cut deals for it for years, so might be worth checking it out before something comes up and the Field is forced to turn them over.
 

Wilhelm Bittrich

Stupid fucking ape cunt!
Sadly the movie didn't do well at the box office but I like it and have it on DvD.

I always confused this with "The Heart of Darkness"

The movie certainly isn't a bad one and it's always interesting to watch stuff about the chaotic parts of Africa.
The Heart Of Darkness is also a good movie. I would recommend both of them.
 
One thing I forgot to mention is how gorgeous this movie looks, I miss that 90s era of shot on film cinematography, there are shots in this movie that are just jaw-droppingly beautiful.

There are some dated digital effects however.


Saw it in theaters and have always regarded it as a guilty pleasure, good/bad movie. I'm generally biased towards Kilmer as performer though too so I may be off in that estimation.
Good/bad? The biggest criticisms I can think of is some stilted acting and like I said a few dated digital effects, other than that it's a great movie.

If you're ever in Chicago, you can see the lions he killed at the Field museum. He initially turned them into rugs, but they've been reformed and put on display. The nation they were killed in wants them back for a tourist attraction and they've been trying to cut deals for it for years, so might be worth checking it out before something comes up and the Field is forced to turn them over.
This is mentioned at the end of the movie in fact, however in real life the lions though they were male are a type to not have manes, the lions in the movie however have manes because that simply looks cooler I guess.

I know what I’m torrenting next.
Hope you enjoy!
 

Autumnal Equinox

Let's rock!
I watched the movie The Ghost and The Darkness from 1996 starring Val Kilmer and Michael Douglas, a movie based on a true story about two lions that killed a huge amount of people working on building a railroad bridge in 1898 Africa.

And wow, this is a real hidden gem of a movie, despite some kinda stilted acting from Val Kilmer (who to be fair had just got done with the disastrous shoot of The Island of Dr Moreau and was exhausted) this is a great movie, with some wonderfully tense and exciting sequences.

What's crazy is the lions acted in incredibly bizarre ways for animals and the movie heavily implies that there could have been something supernatural about them, there's a really cool and mysterious element where they go into the lions lair and not only do they find an insane amount of bones, including of people, there are cave paintings of the lions on the wall, which I assume is a fictional addition (however the discovery of their cave and the large of numbers of bones in it is true), but what an intriguing detail, I wonder what that was trying to imply?

But whether it was anything supernatural or not, I miss these kind of movies like this where it's "hey, here's this crazy true story" and it's not about beating you over the head with a political message, it's especially more incredible today because the movie is about African colonialism and while the guy who is in charge of the operation is depicted as a real asshole, Val Kilmer's character is not, despite technically being a colonizer himself who is said to also have worked in India, is never depicted in a bad light and his mission of building this bridge is depicted as a worthy and noble cause, the movie is overall mostly neutral and matter of fact about the subject of colonialism and does not lay it on thick with a heavy handed message like a movie would today.

So yeah, if you're in the mood for a great movie, check it out, I also really wonder if there was something supernatural about those lions, the whole story is very freaky.
I love this movie and think it’s a shame it doesn’t get more attention. Saw it as a kid when my dad rented it one night. Thought I would find it boring but ended up really engrossed in it. Gets a rewatch from me every year or so. Michael Douglas really steals the show as Remington
 
This is mentioned at the end of the movie in fact, however in real life the lions though they were male are a type to not have manes, the lions in the movie however have manes because that simply looks cooler I guess.
The specimens on display look small too, but it's because they took a lot of skin off when they were turned into rugs.


I read about more attacks by man eating lions in Tsavo recently too, it would appear that the maneless lions there are even more vicious and dangerous than the lions we're used to seeing.
 

Very Honest Content

(Formerly a) Niggo(?)
Good/bad? The biggest criticisms I can think of is some stilted acting and like I said a few dated digital effects, other than that it's a great movie.

The cgi is ok for 25 years ago at the time of release so I don't deduct for it from my opinion of the film, and the sequences of lion attacks do some good stuff mixing pratical and effect work to build tension. I enjoy the scope of the film as it feels expansive even if most of the budget went to casting the leads. As for the hokey parts, you allude to one in your op in the climactic den reveal and there's some borderline laughable parts in the hunting blind sequence with some questionable choices in using slow motion to build tension. I like the themes the movie explores as they're classic master plots of man versus nature and man versus man but the chief and professor characters the leads play are not extremely well defined so they don't end up being as memorable like some of the actors other more famous roles. The main characters clash, but only one really learns and changes. Thus good/bad, everything the movie does well or right, it also fumbles something else equally important around to detract from it.

But like I said, I'm biased towards Kilmer as a performer, so I do get why people who don't like this movie raise the points I often see them do, despite being able to generally enjoy stuff as widely panned as Island of Dr. Moreau due to in part that fact.
 

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