Hello, this is a movie I remember from my childhood. I tried googling it but didn’t find it, despite remembering quite a lot of it.
This was clearly a sequel of some other movie because it made references to Titanic but didn’t continue where the James Cameron’s movie ended. It had two protagonists, Jack and a guy who was a captain but not the captain of Titanic. The captain had a name but I can’t remember it so I just call him Captain. He was some sort of marine treasure hunter from the modern days. Jack wasn’t played by DiCaprio, which made me confused about the relation of this movie to Titanic because I didn’t know of mockbusters as a kid.
Jack and Captain were on a trail of a disappeared soviet nuclear submarine carrying WMDs. The search somehow brought them to Africa where they got caught in a war of some insurgents against an african warlord. They sided with the insurgents and met a woman who was also a treasure hunter. Then they fought off a colossal attack of the warlord’s forces in some ruins of an ancient desert city. Jack got badly wounded but somehow walked that off.
After that, Jack and Captain with the woman followed a trail of radiation into an underground cavern system. After a long walk they started finding scattered ancient artifacts but some monster started chasing them. It was never shown on camera but it was giving out terrifying sounds and was strong enough to break off large stalactites. They ran away and found a way back to the surface.
On the surface they found a stripe of scattered ship and plane wrecks in the desert, one of them was the soviet submarine and another was Amelia Earhart’s plane. There was also a mysterious bright light far in the distance. The submarine was abandoned but the soviets left traps behind. Jack was able to stop the leak of radiation from the reactor but received a massive dose of radiation. He vomitted blood but somehow survived even without medical attention. Captain and the woman overcame the traps and found the soviet captain’s log, which was some red book full of coded messages.
After that, Captain and the woman wanted to go towards the mysterious light but Jack stopped them. Then they together fixed Amelia’s plane by attaching a main rotor from a broken helicopter to its nose, facing forward instead of upward. As they were about to take off, they noticed a horde of the warlord’s soldiers chasing them in desert buggies. They barely made it to air.
After the chase, the warlord with his whole army turned towards the light and found a mysterious tower that looked a bit like a chess piece, but no particular one. The tower was standing in a smooth glass dish and the dish reflected sunlight to the top, which produced the light. As they entered the dish, they started slipping to the center and the tower started producing light from within. It sounded like a bell that doesn’t ring but keeps sounding. Soldiers in the dish started turning into a fleshy soup that flowed into holes at the tower’s base. Soldiers outside the dish saw the fate of those inside but couldn’t resist marching forth to their doom. As the tower devoured all the molten flesh, a sound of the monster could be heard.
The protagonists saw this all from the air. The tower had a human skull face on the top, but it was only visible from the air. All the wrecks were in a circle around the tower. Jack remarked that it was “built by the ones who made the iceberg”. I saw the movie dubbed so the exact wording may be different but I am sure he was avoiding the word “men” because it clearly wasn’t made by humans. Then they suddenly flew into a storm and it looked like their hastily fixed plane would break into pieces. As sudden as it came, it went. They were above the ocean and it was night. They could see the lights of a city in the distance. They called the air control via the helicopter’s radio and contacted the airport in Norfolk, USA.
It actually IS Sahara. Kudos to Stonebroke for figuring out despite contradictory information.
I looked up Sahara and I’m pretty sure I remember some of the scenes. I just mixed it up with some other movie. It might have been Dune from the 70s because of the fat man dome from Giger that had the skull on top. The plot twist with the reactor might have been from the Star Trek II – Wrath of Khan where Spock fixes something on the reactor of Enterprise before dying of radiation. The place with the tower could have been from a book, I think it was “Eye of the Desert” and the wrecked ships were actually spaceships. It got mixed up because in Sahara was the solar decontamination tower. And finally Norfolk is from the Philadelphia experiment urban legend, where the ship was supposed to appear in Norfolk for a moment before teleporting back to Philadelphia.