Category Archives: Sword & Sandal

Colossus and the Headhunters (1963)

ColossusCoverKirk Morris would play Maciste no less than six times in a brawny film career that included The Witch’s Curse and Atlas Against the Czar. If his clean-shaven pouty look makes you think you’re going to get a brooding muscle god more intent on lamenting his own awesome strength instead of using it, Colossus and the Headhunters leaves no doubt that this Maciste is all about pushing, pulling, heaving, straining, and most importantly of all, killing Headhunters! Continue reading

The Giants of Thessaly (1960)

GiantsOfThessalyCoverThis Italian version of Jason And The Argonauts and Jason’s hunt for the golden fleece listed as badly as Jason’s boat did the during the first half hour of the film as he and I had to endure the whining of his traitorous crew. Just because there’s no food, the water is running out, and it’s becoming painfully obvious that Jason has led you on a wild goose chase, is no reason to behave like you’re from Crete. Continue reading

Goliath and the Vampires (1961)

Goliath and the Vampires PosterObligatory full disclosure: there isn’t anyone in this movie named Goliath. There is Gordon Scott (Hercules Vs. The Moloch, Samson And The 7 Miracles Of The World) cinching up the leather girdle as some dude named Maciste. Not to worry though because Maciste is pretty much the same in the muscle movie biz as Hercules, having nearly as many crazy adventures under nearly as many aliases as the daring demi-god himself! Continue reading

Hercules in the Haunted World (1961)

Hercules in the Haunted World PosterA fun and colorful film, Hercules in the Haunted World gloriously features Reg Park, one of our beefiest Hercules (his pecs are the size of a mere mortal’s head) and whose acting consists of standing around talking in a dubbed monotone, while periodically swinging giant papier-mâché stones over his head. British horror legend Christopher Lee also shows up as the evil King Lico. Obviously he lost some kind of bet. Continue reading

Hercules vs. the Hydra (1960)

Hercules Vs the Hydra2In a move that defies any logic (ancient or otherwise) all of the muscle-headed adventure begins because some moron thought it would be a good idea to invade Hercules’ kingdom while he’s out of town and kill his wife. I wasn’t ever too sure what Licos was trying to do by killing Mrs. Hercules, but once he did it, he then doublecrossed his own king and killed him,too!

The thinking here was that Hercules (Mickey Hargitay from Bloody Pit Of Horror) would believe that the king killed his wife, but since the king was dead, there would be no vengeance to take. The people back home would just be told that the king fell honorably in battle and then Licos would be in charge. Well, except for Deianira the daughter of the king, who just became queen and is already betrothed to another guy!

Licos is nonplussed by all this and hatches another diabolically dumb scheme wherein he’ll frame Hercules for the murder of the new queen’s fiancee and then move in on the queen himself. The problem I see with this is that Hercules isn’t the kind of guy who’s going to sit still for some murder trial. Continue reading

Hercules vs. the Moloch (1963)

HerculesVsTheMolochPosterOkay, it turns out that this Hercules vs. the Moloch movie (aka Conquest of Mycene) isn’t about a guy named Hercules. It also isn’t a movie about a guy named Goliath, Maciste, Samson, Atlas, or even Ursus. It’s all about this guy named Glauco, who perhaps realizing a movie called Glauco vs. the Moloch wouldn’t have quite the same impact, decided that he should spend a good portion of this film undercover as a guy named Hercules. Continue reading

The Adventures of Hercules II (1985)

AdventuresOfHerculesPosterThis is pretty much the same movie as the first Cannon Films Hercules movie with Lou Ferrigno. Except that it’s worse. Which means it is better. Such are the paradoxes of an ancient world inhabited by petty gods, improbably pumped up muscle studs, and increasingly awful special effects.

It is also a world that honors its past. And by that I mean that the first seven minutes of this movie were merely clips from the first movie inserted between the various opening credits. But we’re here for sweat-drenched man deeds of glory so it’s all good, right? Continue reading

Hercules (1983)

Hercules 1983 PosterChild of the most unholy union of them all, its father being Chuck Norris 1980s action studio Cannon Films, its mother being Italian director Luigi Cozzi, and its costume designer being previously employed on 2019: After The Fall Of New York, Hercules stands as a monument to Italian-American cinema cooperation and proves the old adage that what Cannon Films and Italian trash directors can do horribly on their own, they can do even worse together! 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

79 A.D. (1962)

79 A.D. PosterA lot of folks ask me why they should care about ancient history in general and old Italian gladiator movies about ancient history in particular. Who cares whether some guy named Feces Maximus fought a guy named Flatulence the Elder over a beautiful girl named Chlamydia? What does that have to do with my life here in the futuristic present where people have normal names like Barack and Kanye? Continue reading