Beware of False Idols – Sabaka (1954)

There is nothing exceptional about Sabaka or even all that good, though to be fair, there is nothing all that bad either. Everything is simply all right, down the middle and okay and the only reason you or anybody would even want to watch this is for the fact that Boris Karloff stars in it, albeit a supporting role. In fact, his role is so small, that he only has a few scenes and while he does a great job with that little bit of material; it is sabaka-28almost not worth mentioning at all.

The story focuses upon Gunga Ram who loves hanging out with his tiger and his elephant and being in the employ of the Maharajah. Life is good, but then it soon turns sour as Gunga Ram’s pregnant sister is burned alive by the followers of Sabaka, a fire god whose reputation is worse than his bite. That soon sets young Gunga Ram upon a quest to catch the killers and eventually he sets upon the truth of it all while doing so.

The only really good thing about this film is the fact that it is not a complete waste of time and it is to writer and director Frank Ferrin’s credit that it never lags or feels as if it is boring in any way. It is also not very exciting either, at least sabaka-22until the final five minutes of the film or so when Nino Marcel’s character Gunga Ram saves the day by exposing Sabaka as the false god that he is. The acting was middle of the road, neither good nor bad and while there is not very much in an overall sense to ultimately recommend a person to watch the film, neither is there any reason not to except for the fact that there are better movies out there.

If you happen to be a Boris Karloff completest, this movie is for you or at the very least, the curious movie-goer. It is also something the casual viewer would more than likely not tend to watch in this day and age which also makes it something of a curiosity, especially if in an adventurous mood. Decent is the best way to describe Sabaka – decent and nothing more.

2.5 out of 5

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