Modest yet at the same time ambitious, the film was ruggedly directed by Charlton Heston, who also starred in dual roles(!), and was written and produced by his son, Fraser Clarke Heston. The film stars Nick Mancuso and Kim Basinger as a treasure-hunting couple who crash land their sea-plane and then come into contact with a crazy hermit who claims to be sitting on a silver mine.
Basinger is also looking for her husband who went missing in the same area, with results that will shock and surprise! Richard Leiterman’s unobtrusive camerawork takes in the mountain geography with clear-eyed spatial awareness, while focusing on the underground terrain in a more intimate fashion, with harsh light used in numerous spots that amplifies the intensity of the unfolding action. There’s definitely a Treasure of the Sierra Madre vibe firmly in place during Mother Lode, which didn’t receive a large theatrical release 35 years ago, but is available on various DVD releases, and via various streaming providers. I bet Kino-Lorber picks this one up for the Blu-ray treatment.
Review by Nick Clement