The Giant of Metropolis (1961)

The Giant of Metropolis features Gordon Mitchell and if he looks a little rough around the edges, it might be because he began making this movie a mere two days after he wrapped Maciste In The Land Of The Cyclops. But it probably has something more to do with the fact that he was thirty-eight years old!

Is there anything that makes you squirm more than having to see some guy’s dad running around sucking his gigantic chest in and flashing his old man guns at you every five seconds? All of this may explain why there are some scenes where he has to walk around on rocky ground and looks like he’s stumbling and about ready to fall over.

Mitch plays a middle-aged behemoth named Obro who is wandering around the mountains with his old man (That makes his dad, what? About seven hundred?) and some of dad’s loyal subjects in search of Metropolis. Dad suddenly realizes he’s really old and croaks, but not before he gives a dying declaration about how important it is that Obro go on to Metropolis and take care of business.

The guy who runs Metropolis, a crazy cooter named Yotar, sees on his TV that Obro and his posse are headed his way, so he unleashes the first of several bad special effects on them. At first I thought it was some sort of sandstorm or fog, but it turned out to be some type of force field that killed everyone, except Obro.

Yotar also reveals his long-running and terminally dull scheme to implant the brain cells of his dad into his son, thus making his son his dad and turning his grandfather into his grandson or some such nonsense. It goes without saying that this is all in an effort to cheat Death. Do you ever notice that in these types of movies, there’s a lot of folks out there getting cheated, but Death usually isn’t one of them?

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As fans of these types of movies more than likely anticipated, Obro gets himself captured and brought before Yotar. The hero and/or his girlfriend and/or his male companion/life-partner are always getting themselves trussed up and strapped down in these movies. This one is different only in that Obro spends most of the film captured and when he finally does bust lose he promptly gets not only himself, but his brand new girlfriend captured as well.

Obro takes the opportunity of his capturing to tell Yotar that he must quit farting around with the laws of nature and spews forth all the expected anti Dr. Moreau-style rhetoric you have memorized if you’re a hero caught in this situation. Yotar indicates that he’ll take all of Obro’s concerns under advisement and by that I mean he has Obro dragged away to a dungeon.

Instead of just killing off Obro, Yotar decides to put Obro in a series of speciality matches to test him. First up, Obro must battle the monster who dwells underground. He is the most fearsome thing in Metropolis and as I heard this thing talked up, I was thinking that maybe Yotar should have saved this particular match for last because it was sounding like our boy Obro didn’t have any hope of surviving this encounter. The monster then appeared and I looked on in awe as I saw a really tall, fat, hairy guy with a giant club that looked like a big bone made out of really tough foam.

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For Obro’s second match Yotar unleashed an even more diabolical foe for our valiant and super jacked-up hero. I don’t think that Yotar actually said this when he started the match, but he was probably thinking something along these lines when he rang the bell: Cry havoc and let slip the pygmies of war!

Do I have to even report that Yotar Fieldhouse was positively rocking when the pygmies came out to fight Obro? And not just regular, crappy pygmies, but flesh eating pygmies! There was something like six of them and they were jumping on Obro’s back and legs and biting him! Obro would periodically throw these guys around like paper airplanes, but as anyone who’s ever met a six pack of pygmies in the parking lot of the local honkytonk on a Friday night can attest, the numbers soon overwhelmed Obro.

Yotar also periodically receives warnings from his underlings that the earth is rebelling against Metropolis and its use of natural resources for unnatural purposes and that there’s a volcanic situation unseen since the days of Peter Brady’s science experiment which is threatening their very existence!

Yotar shows us that he has all the qualifications to be mayor of Krypton by refusing to heed the warnings even as some Italian stagehands turn on the dry ice machines and flood the crappy sets with smoke, I mean volcanic vapors.

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Did I mention that during all of this, Obro gets some help escaping, decides to accept a position as a terrorist and periodically shows up in Metropolis from his secret hideout to beat up soldiers? He does this when he isn’t trying to turn his new girlfriend, the princess Mesede, onto his real passion in life which happens to be monotheism!

As poorly constructed as the sets in this movie, The Giant Of Metropolis, shows us that “different” is worse when it comes to messing with the formula of these peplum movies and that a tired out strongman who gets beat up by midgets can be just as boring as the usual Hercules, Samson, and Maciste movie.

There’s not enough good action here and there’s lots of scenes of people in ridiculous costumes standing around Spartan and vaguely sci-fi sets babbling about stuff that didn’t make any sense. (Why would you want the brain of your dad inside of your son, especially when your dad is against it and doesn’t share your views? Wouldn’t he rebel against you, once he had a brand new, younger body?)

An usually weird, but ultimately routinely awful entry in the sword and sandal genre that more than provides the dance scenes, man bondage, lame monsters, and silly names you pumped up proponents of peplum flicks crave!

© 2014 MonsterHunter

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