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YMMV / King Solomon's Mines

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King Solomon's Mines provides examples of:

  • Audience-Coloring Adaptation: The first film adaptation gives a Gender Flip to include a female lead, and most others have followed suit.
  • Complete Monster:
    • King Twala One-Eye is the ruler of the Kakuana people. A brutal tyrant, Twala rose to power by murdering his brother and sentencing his sister-in-law and her baby to the desert to die. Twala accuses others of treason to have them killed, using Gagool's witch hunts as pretext to execute them, with one hundred victims executed as a demonstration. Twala also has Human Sacrifice practiced, gleefully murdering as he will, and has killed so many that the blood is said to flow like rivers in spring.
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    • Gagool helped Twala's brutal takeover and keeps him in power by having countless innocents executing, claiming them as "witches" or treasonous to see them murdered on trumped up charges to maintain her own power base. Gagool also practices Human Sacrifice on young maidens, and when Twala falls, she seeks to kill the adventuring party by trapping them in the mines, even trying to murder the brave young woman Foulata when she tries to save them.
  • Fair for Its Day:
    • Early in King Solomon's Mines, Quartermain explains that he doesn't use the N-word because he's met more gentlemen in Africa than England, and more people deserving of the N-word in England than Africa.
    • On the other hand, the book also features an interracial romance between Captain Good and a native woman, which was quite cutting edge for its day. However the black woman dies in a heroic sacrifice. Afterwards Quatermain reflects this was for the best because Good couldn't spend the rest of his life in Africa, and the relationship would cause a scandal in England. Okay, he has a point — the romance is doomed. But that doesn't mean her death is the best solution.
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  • First Installment Wins: The first book is best known, and has received more adaptations. Many don't even know there are sequels.
  • Narm: Elizabeth's Important Haircut in the 1950 film. She's a Victorian Proper Lady and decides to cut it short because of the humidity, and manages to create a perfectly curled and coiffed 1950s style 'do all on her own. Never mind a woman of her time period would be scandalized at cutting her hair that short, managing to do all that herself...test audiences even laughed their heads off at the ridiculousness of it. It gives the impression the producers were terrified audiences would walk out if the female lead wasn't wearing her hair in the contemporary fashions (even when she's in a period piece!).
  • Values Dissonance: Quartermain doesn't use the N-word to refer to native Africans, explicitly saying that he disapproves of it, but he's quite happy to use the K-word, which today is treated as hate speech of a similar order.

Haggard's sequels and prequels provide examples of:

  • Moment of Awesome: Very many, but one of the best comes in Allan Quatermain when Umslopagaas the mighty Zulu, holds a stair against over a score of enemies in a Heroic Sacrifice, killing nearly every single one of them with his great axe Inkozi-kas 'the Woodpecker' before dying in defense of a young woman he'd only just recently met. The kicker? Umslopogaas was in his sixties.

  • Complete Monster: In a sharp contrast to the rest of the 1985 film, and even his partner Bockner, Dogati stands out as a deadly serious madman. Introduced kidnapping Professor Huston by murdering one of his partners, Dogati later subjects the man to brutal torture, before threatening the same to Huston's daughter Jesse. Running a slave trade where men, women, and children are sold and abused for various purposes, Dogati later tracks his Arch-Enemy Allan Quartermain to a small village, whose inhabitants he promptly massacres to pave the way for his journey to the treasure-filled Mines of King Solomon. While trekking to the Mines, Dogati and his soldiers stumble across a marsh, and Dogati proceeds to cross by slaughtering his own dozens of men, then using their bodies as stepping stones, an act that causes Bockner to turn on Dogati. In the end, Dogati forces Bockner to swallow several diamonds, proclaiming he will rip them out of the man's stomach later, and ultimately attempts to drag Quartermain down with him as the Mines crumble in on themselves.

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