Category Archives: Swashbuckler

The Mystery of Thug Island (1964)

Mystery of Thug Island PosterNo one dares go to Snakes Island! No one that is but an evil Kali-worshipping Thuggee cult. And the British military guy who is seeking vengeance for the kidnapping of his daughter. And the squadron of soldiers and artillery pieces he brings with him. And also the band of snake hunters looking for easy pickings. But other than those hundred or so guys, absolutely no one dares to go to Snakes Island! Continue reading

The Corsican Brothers (1941)

The Corsican Brothers PosterIf you have any education at all, you know that this movie is based on a novel about twins written back in 1845 by Alexandre Dumas. Since this is one of those hundred-plus year old books and is French, it is a classic. This means that you were assigned to read the thing in school, but didn’t, content to rely on the smart kid with atrocious breath to fill you in on the details. Continue reading

The Master of Ballantrae (1953)

MasterOfBallantraePosterDid you know that Errol Flynn had a seedier, puffier, older brother also named Errol? Me neither, but he tried to follow in his more glamorous and roguish brother’s footsteps by starring in a movie about Scottish dudes getting worn out by the British Empire and turning tail and becoming pirates in beautiful Tortuga Bay. Oh wait – that was Errol Flynn in this movie! Continue reading

Zorikan the Barbarian (1964)

ZorikanPosterThough Zorikan sounds like some sort of rodenticide, he’s actually the best thing in an otherwise dreary heap of curdled Italian cheese.

Veteran sword and sandal pro Don Vadis (Spartacus and the Ten Gladiators, The Seven Magnificent Gladiators) scowls, sneers, chortles and tortures his way through a story involving a stolen religious relic which unwisely focuses on people walking, riding horses, sitting in tents, and talking about either stealing or recovering said relic. All that being said, Zorikan did have a really nice tent. Very spacious, well decorated and equipped with a bed. He may have been a low down heathen Saracen, but when he went invading, dude did it in style! Continue reading

The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952)

Story of Robin Hood PosterThis particular version of the Robin Hood story is a rather lacking one. I’m not one to go around blaming one particular person when it involves such a collaborative craft as filmmaking, but it’s clear that this is all star Richard Todd’s fault. Todd’s problem as Robin Hood is mainly that he doesn’t look or act like a convincing rogue, but like a guy playing dress up in the school play. Continue reading

Robin Hood (1973)

RobinHoodPosterCountry music legend Roger Miller provides the voice (or “pipes” as we say in the Nashville music biz) for the narrator, Alan-A-Dale, the wandering minstrel who torments everyone with really obnoxious hit songs like “Oo-de-lally” when he isn’t giving us the “on the other side of Hazzard County” interludes that explain absolutely nothing. Continue reading

Giant of the Evil Island (1965)

GiantOfTheEvilIslandPosterGiant of the Evil Island promises us so much. Like a giant. And an evil island. And director Piero Pierotti (Hercules Against Rome) delivers exactly all of it! Now you may need to be a bit flexible on your definition of what a giant is since the pirate Malek appears to be of normal size, though admittedly stocky enough that a little kid might think he was giant. But there’s no doubting the presence of an evil island since Piero has the good sense to actually name Malek’s island hideout as Evil Island! Continue reading

Treasure Island (1950)

Treasure Island PosterThis being a Walt Disney movie, I was let down a tad by this one. I mean, there wasn’t an asinine song and dance number to be had, not one crappy comic relief sidekick, and no bloodless, goofy violence to give the kids in the crowd the idea that pirates were lovable scamps who talked funny and needed a bath. That’s not to say that Long John Silver wasn’t someone to be admired for the way he played both ends against the middle and eventually won the respect of the kid whose throat he periodically threatened to slit. Continue reading

Knights of the Round Table (1953)

KnightsOfTheRoundTablePosterI think it was all those speeches that Robert Taylor as Sir Lancelot delivered in his stentorian monotone that did it. When it finally came time for Arthur to banish Lance from the realm, he may have said it was because Lance couldn’t quite seem to avoid hanging on to Guinevere’s green ribbon with an almost fetish-like fervor, but honestly, he was just tired of hearing all of Lance’s chivalry babble. Continue reading

The Sea Pirate (1966)

The Sea Pirate PosterOther than Long John Silver, Johnny Depp, and Willie Stargell, Robert Surcouf is one of our greatest and favorite pirates who ever sailed the seven seas or played left field. As befitting a man of such stature that I hadn’t heard of him until this movie, The Sea Pirate is not exactly the high profile vehicle these other pirates enjoyed (Treasure Island, Pirates of the Caribbean, the 1979 World Series), but that doesn’t mean his story isn’t worthy of an obscure mid 1960s Italian swashbuckler! It means that he’s deserving of two such films! But it also means that the second film, Il grande colpo di Surcouf has no known English release. Continue reading