The Final Sacrifice

The Final Sacrifice

Infobox Film
name = The Final Sacrifice

image_size = 200px
caption = Promotional poster for the film
director = Tjardus Greidanus
producer =
writer = Tjardus Greidanus
Bruce J. Mitchell (uncredited)
Christian Malcolm (uncredited)
narrator =
starring = Bruce J. Mitchell
Christian Malcolm
music = Robert Skeet
cinematography = Jim Stacy
editing = Tjardus Greidanus
Glen Ludlow
distributor =
released = 1990
runtime = 78 minutes
country = flagicon|Canada Canada
language = English
budget = ca. US$1500
gross =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id =
imdb_id = 0131550

"The Final Sacrifice" (also known as "Quest for the Lost City") is a low-budget Canadian movie that was released in 1990. It was directed by Tjardus Greidanus, and starred Bruce J. Mitchell as Zap Rowsdower and Christian Malcolm as Troy McGreggor.

Plot synopsis

In the first scene of the film, we see hooded men chasing a lone man through a snowy forest. A shot rings out and the opening credits roll. The story begins when the protagonist, Troy McGreggor, finds a map belonging to his father, who was the man that was shot in the first scene which took place seven years earlier. Troy’s father, Thomas, met his untimely death after becoming involved in a plot with a mysterious cult led by a strange man named Satoris. The orphaned Troy grew up under the protection of his aunt. Troy decides to follow the map to learn about his father and the circumstances of his death. The cultists somehow learn about Troy and his father's map and begin chasing him in a black Ford Torino, but Troy escapes by outrunning them on his 10-speed bicycle. The cultists refuse to give up, however, and in a final attempt to escape the pursuing cultists, Troy jumps into the back of battered pickup truck heading into the Alberta countryside. The truck belongs to a drifter with the unlikely name of Zap Rowsdower. At first Rowsdower considers turning Troy over to the police, but after Troy helps him to fix his broken-down truck and Rowsdower helps Troy escape from the cult leaders again, he decides to let Troy stay with him. At a campfire that night Troy asks Rowsdower lots of questions, which irritates the grumpy Rowsdower, who drinks lots of beer and rubs his tatooed left arm as if he's in pain.

The map leads Troy, and eventually Rowsdower, all over Alberta, through some unlikely caves, and finally to the unkempt house of a hairy, grizzled fugitive by the name of Mike Pipper. Pipper was a partner of Troy’s father; he has been hiding in the woods from Satoris for seven years. Pipper reveals that the cultists are the last descendants of an ancient race, called the Ziox, whose civilization was destroyed by their god after they turned away from it and worshiped an evil idol instead. According to Pipper the Ziox built a great city that was more advanced than "anything the ancient Egyptians or Romans ever knew", but their god sank the city in a yearlong rainstorm. He believes that Satoris is hoping to raise the buried Ziox city, which Satoris believes will restore their power and allow him to conquer/rule the entire world. Pipper also casually mentions that Rowsdower once belonged to the evil cult and may have killed Troy’s father; Rowsdower has the cult’s insignia branded on his arm, like the other cultists. Satoris seems to be able to torment Rowsdower through the mark, as we see Rowsdower writhing in agony while asleep, presumably having a Satoris-induced nightmare.

Eventually, Troy is captured by Satoris and his cult. Satoris means to make Troy the titular final sacrifice, which will give him an army of invincible zombie warriors. It’s up to Rowsdower to save Troy and put an end to the cult’s activities. Pipper gives him his horse and an old rifle, and tells him where he can find the ancient Ziox sacrifice site. Rowsdower stumbles upon the site of the idol and begins to duel with Satoris, who reveals that when the moment came, Rowsdower couldn’t bring himself to kill Troy’s father and Satoris had to do it himself. This, along with the revelation that Rowsdower is only part Ziox (instead of a direct, full-blooded descendant like the other clan members), led Satoris to banish Rowsdower from the cult and torment him through his dreams constantly. Satoris is about to kill Rowsdower when Troy manages to intervene, shooting the cult leader in the back with Rowsdower’s rifle, possibly causing Satoris’s spontaneous combustion, though it's most likely to have been caused by Rowsdower forcing Satoris's torch into his back near the end of his fight with Rowsdower. Satoris’s death causes the destruction of the idol and the re-emergence of the lost city of Ziox. However, instead of bringing about evil, the city (as Pipper had foretold) is actually a force for good, and Satoris's cult breaks up and its members are freed from his evil influence. Troy and Rowsdower observe the rise of the lost city from the ground, and the two heroes drive off together.

Production notes

"The Final Sacrifice" arose as the project of a film student named Tjardus Greidanus, who was enrolled in the aspiring filmmaker program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. The film was completed with a budget of approximately $1500, and using cameras borrowed from the school. The actors signed on to the project with the understanding that they would be paid if the movie succeeded. Regrettably, though the movie was eventually sold, the actors did not receive payment for their work. Christian Malcolm, who starred as Troy, was a fellow student of Greidanus and co-wrote the screenplay.

Bruce Mitchell (who played Rowsdower) later commented, “I don’t have any regrets making the movie because I find, as an actor, anything you do is a learning experience.”

Mitchell and Malcolm were accidentally credited in each other's roles in the end credits. By the time the mistake was realized, it was too late to fix.

"Mystery Science Theater 3000"

In 1998, the movie was featured on "Mystery Science Theater 3000", as experiment #910. The "MST3K" episode has never been officially released on VHS or DVD. It was one of fewer than ten movies made in the 1990s that went on to appear on "MST3K", which ran from 1988 to 1999. At the end of the movie they also jokingly propose The Final Sacrifice: The Series, in which Troy and Rowsdower fight evil forces in Canada, Chicago, Alabama, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Mike hates the idea and heckles Crow about it the remainder of the credits.


The Final Sacrifice has been released under the title of "Quest for the Lost City" on home video in VHS format, although it is difficult to find. The video box features images of two handsome young men (rather than Troy and Zap) presumably searching for the lost city, as well as a man who vaguely resembles Satoris. A sword is prominent in the poster, though the movie contains no swordplay. While these factors suggest that the image may be from another film, a brand the same as the one that Zap bears on his arm for most of the movie is visible on the arm of one of the men. []

External links

* [ "MST3K" Episode Guide: "The Final Sacrifice"]
* [ Christian Malcolm’s actor profile at the North American Actors’ Association]
* [ The Final Sacrifice on the MST3K Wiki]

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