Category Archives: Swashbuckler

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

The Erotic Adventures of Zorro (1972)

EroticAdventuresPosterWho was that masked man with the hairy lower back? That would be Don Diego de Vega, otherwise known as Zorro and I think that after seeing this movie, if Zorro was a real person, he would never reveal his secret identity more out of sheer embarrassment than out of any need to protect himself.

Producer David F. Friedman has previously tormented us with his yucky sex comedies in such varied vehicles of vulgarity as The Head Mistress, The Notorious Daughter Of Fanny Hill, and Trader Hornee.

In all of the films, low production values and lame humor share the stage with actors who seem almost relieved when it comes time for them to lose their clothes, roll around with one of their ugly co-stars and stop having to remember their lines. The Erotic Adventures Of Zorro, at 102 minutes, takes advantage of this format to its fullest and manages to showcase several lethargic bumping and grinding scenes to no good effect. Continue reading

Gentlemen of the Night (1964)

Gentlemen of the Night Italian Poster 2Pino Mercanti’s Gentlemen of the Night takes all that you love about the Renaissance-era talkathons (guys in hose, chicks in low cut dresses) and livens it up with dudes in masks and hoods who have secret society meetings to discuss setting up another secret society.

In their defense, the bad guys are doing all this discussing and planning to counter the threat posed by bored nobles who are discussing and planning a revolution to free the Republic of Venice from the goofy-looking, sour-faced simp in charge! Continue reading

The Masked Man Against the Pirates (1964)

Masked Man Against the Pirates Poster 2Who was that masked man? Supposedly, he was the scourge of the pirates who were attacking Spanish galleons, stealing their gold, killing their men, and selling their sexy broads into slavery back in the 17th Century.

We know he’s totally feared because the slaver trying to buy some women comments about all the stories of Masked Man and his good guy antics. This, despite all the evidence to this point in The Masked Man Against the Pirates having been completely to the contrary. That is unless you consider a dude whacking a guy in the back of the head with a log and stealing a kiss from a captured princess a one man Spanish Armada. Continue reading

The Black Archer (1959)

Black Archer Poster 2Who was that masked man? Well, it sure as hell wasn’t the Black Archer! Because apparently that dude doesn’t even exist! At no time in Piero Pierotti’s The Black Archer did a costumed vigilante who swiped William Tell’s gimmick ever make an appearance!

Not to worry though because Pierotti didn’t go on to direct such memorably forgotten Italian adventure films as Giant of the Evil Island by hosing its audience out of what was promised in the title despite that there wasn’t any giant in Giant of the Evil Island. So it is that instead of The Black Archer, we get… The Avenging Arrow! Continue reading

Sandokan Against the Leopard of Sarawak (1964)

Sandokan Against Leopard Sarwark PosterSandokan needs no introduction. The 18th Century pirate was the subject of a number of novels, several films (including a series of four in 1963-64), a TV miniseries, and even two different animated series!

With his faithful (and decidedly white) sidekick Yanez, the Tiger of Malaya as Sandy was known, has proven, like Robin Hood, Tarzan, and Starbuck from the original Battlestar Galactica to be one of the great enduring characters beloved the world over. At least that’s what the Internet tells me. I’ve never heard of the guy. I thought he was Yanez’s sidekick! Continue reading

Charge of the Black Lancers (1962)

Black Lancers French PosterIt’s the Polish versus the Tartars! Obviously, I had no idea who to root for before the movie started. The Polish are best known for their delicious sausage, but the Tartars have that secret sauce that makes fish tolerable!

A toss up in the culinary department to be sure, so I would have wait and actually watch the movie, though that wasn’t much help since the good guy was a simpering blonde Polish dude played by Mel Ferrer named Andre while the barbarians (specifically identified as the Kyrgyz) are ruled by an evil queen who somehow is so unpleasant she makes Andre’s scuzzy traitor brother Sergei seem not so bad. Continue reading

Robin Hood and the Pirates (1960)

Robin Hood and the Pirates Poster ResizeWhat could possibly be better than Robin Hood battling some filthy, scurvy-ridden pirates? Teaming up with some filthy, scurvy-ridden pirates to fight the evil douche who killed his dad and stole the Earldom of Sherwood!

And while no one can deny that trading Little John for a eye-patch wearing pirate called One Eye who actually has two good eyes is a monster upgrade, the movie would have been merely been solidly entertaining if it had stuck solely to its “pirates standing in for the Merry Men” angle.

But it in a stroke of either genius or complete tastelessness, this Italian version of Robin Hood (with German film legend and former Tarzan Lex Barker) adds a bit of sauce to the mix by giving us Sweet Pea, a sassy full-figured black woman, prone to singing spirituals and alternately beating on One Eye and declaring her love for him! Continue reading

Sword in the Shadows (1961)

Sword in the Shadow Poster ResizeI didn’t need any of the gypsy queen’s gift of prophecy to know that when her clan swiped a bunch of horses that belonged to the evil della Rocca family that there would be a level of hell to pay that not even the evil eye of the bosomy she-tiger gypsy hussy who may or may not be a traitor could counter!

That these della Rocca roaches were also the same family that cold-bloodedly wiped out the ruling Altavila family fifteen years before and that the dude who actually did the horse thieving was Fabrizio, the only surviving member of the Altavilla family, but who doesn’t know his true identity, only served to amp up the tension at the castle were so many people suffered from unrequited love when they weren’t out relieving that tension by burning down gypsy encampments!

I guess I was supposed to be sympathetic to the gypsies and Fabrizio. After all, they weren’t out murdering families, including little kids, but they did stupidly stir up a hornet’s nest when they went and stole those horses. Continue reading