A group of ten strangers are lured to an African Safari by a Mr. Owen. U.K. Owen… yeah unknown. Their first night in camp a record is played as per his instructions and each of them is accused of getting away with murder. Though escaping the hangman’s noose is going to be corrected as one by one they are killed. After each death a centerpiece from the dining table has one less Indian on it as they are busted off. The murders also sort of match the various lines from the corresponding nursery rhyme. Though some are a stretch. Eventually there are just two of them left so they know that one of them is the killer pretending to be another victim lured here to pay for their crimes. Or are they? Spoiler there is a neat twist that is intact from the original play/novel that is always fun.
First thing I wanted to mention is that I had no idea until I popped this one on that it was a Cannon production. Though that explains some of the casting as they tended to pull from the same pool of “B” actors again and again. With that out of the way I guess the next question is “Did this need another version?”. Short answer is probably not. Other than changing some dialogue around the movie follows the same basic premise of both previous versions that I’ve seen. With nothing new to see here if you have already watched them the mystery is a hard sell. This is further complicated by a plot that meanders a bit in the middle slowing the proceedings down when it should have been picking up steam.
I do like this story so any version of it already has a leg up with me. I also enjoyed the performances and I’ll pretty much watch anything with Donald Pleasence in it, so there is that. I suppose I can recommend this movie if this cast is to your liking or if Safaris are your thing. That said the original film is still the best. Though that might change since I just found out that there was another version of the movie shot in the seventies. Oh yeah I’m tracking that down!
© Copyright 2022 John Shatzer