The Final Sacrifice

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The Final Sacrifice
Promotional poster for the film
Directed byTjardus Greidanus
Written byTjardus Greidanus
Christian Malcolm (uncredited)
Bruce J. Mitchell (uncredited)
StarringChristian Malcolm
Bruce J. Mitchell
Music byRobert Skeet
CinematographyJim Stacy
Edited byTjardus Greidanus (as The Flying Dutchman)
Glen Ludlow
Release date
  • 1990 (1990)
Running time
78 minutes

The Final Sacrifice (also known as Quest for the Lost City) is an independent Canadian adventure film released in 1990. It was directed by Tjardus Greidanus, a freshman at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, and stars Christian Malcolm as Troy McGreggor and Bruce J. Mitchell as Zap Rowsdower.


A teenage boy named Troy McGreggor finds a map belonging to his late father, who was murdered seven years earlier. Troy’s father, Thomas, was an archaeologist who met his untimely death after becoming involved with a mysterious cult led by a sinister man with supernatural powers known only as Satoris (Shane Marceau). The orphaned Troy decides to study the map to learn about the circumstances of his father's death.

Sensing the map has been uncovered, the same cultists that killed his father track down Troy. After a failed home invasion, they begin chasing him in a black Ford Torino as Troy has no choice but ride his bicycle as fast as possible. Eventually, Troy escapes by jumping into the back of a battered pickup truck heading into the Alberta countryside. Soon afterwards, the truck breaks down and Troy meets its owner: an alcoholic drifter named Zap Rowsdower. The two are able to get the truck to run again and Zap eventually warms up to Troy as they head to a nearby town. Upon arriving at a gas station to refuel, Zap phones the police to report finding Troy. As he does this, the cultists slowly approach them and begin to pursue them by vehicle into the countryside, where Zap and Troy are able to lose them.

Later that night, Zap reveals to Troy the origins of the Ziox civilization as well as details about his life before becoming a vagabond. The next morning, the truck stalls and the two are left with no other option than to walk the rest of the way back to civilization, unbeknownst to them that the cultists are still in pursuit.

The two wander through the countryside and through a hidden cave. They find themselves pursued by the cult again as this leads them to the lodge of a shotgun wielding hermit by the name of Mike Pipper (Ron Anderson). A tear in Rowsdower's jacket reveals that he was a member of the same cult that has been after them. Before opening fire on them, Rowsdower calls Troy by his last name to do say something to save them. Pipper, recognizing the name, reveals that he was a close friend as well as an expedition partner of Troy’s father and has been hiding in the woods from Satoris for the past seven years. He later explains how the cultists are the last descendants of an ancient and advanced race called the Ziox, who had inhabited the area long before the Indians, and whose civilization was destroyed by their god in a month-long rainstorm after they turned to worshiping unholy idols. According to Pipper, the Ziox built a great city that was more advanced than "anything the ancient Egyptians or Romans ever knew." He believes that Satoris wants to raise the buried city in hopes that it will restore power to the Ziox and allow him to conquer/rule the entire world. After Zap leaves the two, Pipper confides to Troy that Rowsdower was with the cult the night Troy’s father was killed and that Zap may have possibly been the one that killed him. In a dream sequence, Rowsdower relives the night the cult’s insignia was 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, who use the map to locate their ancient idol. Satoris means to make Troy the titular final sacrifice. Pipper gives him his horse and a rifle, directing him to the ancient Ziox sacrifice site that he was able to decipher from Troy's map. Rowsdower discovers the site of the idol and duels with Satoris. During the fight, Satoris mocks Rowsdower with the fact that he could not bring himself to kill Troy’s father, implying Satoris had to do it himself. Satoris is about to kill Rowsdower when Troy manages to intervene, shooting the cult leader in the back with Pipper's rifle. Satoris’ death causes the destruction of the idol and the reemergence of the lost city of Ziox, indicating that Satoris was the true final sacrifice. Instead of bringing about evil, the risen city (as Pipper had foretold) is actually a force for good, and Satoris' cult breaks up as its members are freed from his evil influence. Troy and Rowsdower observe the rise of the lost city from the ground, then the two drive off together.


The Final Sacrifice arose as the project of a film student named Tjardus Greidanus, who was enrolled in the filmmaker program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. The film was completed with a budget of approximately $1,500 using cameras borrowed from the school. Christian Malcolm, who starred as Troy, was a fellow student of Greidanus and co-wrote the screenplay.

Since making the film, Greidanus has gained success as a director of making-of documentaries, including several for the films of Michael Mann.[1] Malcolm has continued working on stage and screen, and Mitchell continued to work as a stage actor and musician until his death in April 2018.[2]

Home media release[edit]

The Final Sacrifice was released under the title of Quest for the Lost City on VHS and Laserdisc, although it is currently out of print.

Filming locations[edit]

The film was shot in Water Valley, Alberta and Cremona, Alberta.

Mystery Science Theater 3000[edit]

In 1998, the film was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, as experiment #910. The Final Sacrifice was one of fewer than ten movies made in the 1990s that went on to appear on MST3K, which ran from 1988 to 1999, and subsequently became a cult favorite among fans of the TV series.

The episode featuring the film was released on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 - XVII DVD collection by Shout! Factory on March 16, 2010.[3] It includes an interview with star Bruce J. Mitchell discussing the film and the MST3K treatment.

The episode finished fourth in a poll of MST3K Season 11 Kickstarter backers,[4] which qualified it to be one of six episodes chosen to appear on the MST3K 2016 Turkey Day Marathon. Writer Jim Vorel chose the episode as the series' best in his rankings of the first 11 seasons (191 episodes) of MST3K.[5]


  1. ^ The Final Sacrifice on IMDb
  2. ^ "MITCHELL, Bruce Jawn Michael". McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  3. ^ Lacey, Gord (2009-11-26). "Mystery Science Theater 3000 - Episode Titles/Dates for Vol XVII". Archived from the original on 30 December 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2010.
  4. ^ Bring Back Mystery Science Theater 3000 Update #41. Kickstarter. Retrieved on 2017-10-24
  5. ^ Ranking Every MST3K Episode, From Worst to Best. Vorel, Jim. Paste Magazine. April 13, 2017. Retrieved on 2017-10-24

External links[edit]