Colossus Of Rhodes (1961)Ugh. I woke up this morning and tackled this one bright and early, but I wish I'd taken Patrick's recommendation and watched Conan the Destroyer again. Crom couldn't help me with this one. Colossus of Rhodes is Sergio Leone's first full directing credit, and I've been wanting to see it for a while. The Colossus of Rhodes is my favorite of the Seven Wonders of the World: a nearly 100 foot tall statue build on the Greek island of Rhodes in the 200s BC that overlooked the harbor. When the ships neared the island, they could see the colossus for miles before they actually arrived. What a way to make a first impression. It was destroyed in an earthquake, and all traces of what it originally looked like are now gone. Somehow Leone manages to take that image and make an incredibly boring movie around it. What's worse, that boring movie is well over two hours long. The original Italian cut of the film is 2 hours and 20 minutes, and most of that running time is spent on political intrigue and boring, never ending dialog. For a better movie with a cool statue (that actually comes to life), watch Jason and the Argonauts instead. The more I delve into Leone, the more I think that Corbucci was actually his superior.
^^^ Is that a polite way of saying Leone was Corbucci's bitch? ;-)
Hercules Returns (1993)The Goonies Derivation strikes again. This movie was a popular rental for me when it first came out, and after watching it now for the first time in 20 years....I have got no fucking idea what I saw in it. A guy buys an small old cinema and for its gala opening they screen Hercules. However, the evil owner of the megaplex sabotages the screening by replacing their english language version with an Italian version. The cast then proceed to overdub the movie as it plays with...."hilarious(?)" results.Example of bad 90s Australian comedy. I got some chuckles out of it, but I think they were more due to nostalgia than anything else. Heres hoping tomorrow is better to finish Junesploitation on a high.Fingerscrossedploitation
Conan The Destroyer (1984)Within the first 10 minutes of this one Conan punches out a horse and a camel, so that pretty much lets you know what you're in for. Silliness abounds as the steroidal barbarian goes PG (though it's still pretty crazy violent for a PG). It's dopey but enjoyable, and the tone is all over the place. As Grace Jonesploitation goes I'd probably rather watch this than View To A Kill, so there's that. It's certainly less dour than the first Conan, but it plays much more like everyone involved is just cashing a check.
In college I was in a band called "Steroidal Barbarian."
You mean besides 'Cat Muskie and Pee'? How many college bands were you on? :-P
Hercules (1957)Hercules is tasked with training the King’s son so he’s not such a douchebag when the time comes for him to rule. But the son is killed and Hercules is blamed and must go on a mission with Jason (of the Argonauts fame) to return the Golden Fleece. They have many adventures. Once I got past the terrible sound quality, the movie wasn’t too bad. But I think I preferred the parts where Hercules is training the soldiers and romancing the King’s daughter better than the actual adventure part of the movie, which just started grabbing anything from mythology and slapping it into the movie.
WIZARDS OF THE DEMON SWORD. It’s finally happened. I’ve hit the bottom of the movie barrel. I assumed famed schlockmeister Fred Olen Ray would provide a few cheap thrills, but all I got was the “cheap” half. This zero-budget sword-swinger is as dull as they come. The actors look bored, Ray’s direction feels bored, even Vasquez Rocks somehow looks bored. The great Michael Berryman shows up in one short scene, so of course Troma puts his face all over the DVD cover. (Berrymansploitation!)
Hercules vs the Hydra (1960)Hercules must get revenge for the murder of his beloved he will-hey there's another hot chick eh megara who? Never been a big fan of the sword and sandals film and man this one has Batman Adam West show level action. Their is plenty for men and ladies to look at but man this movie is slow as molasses. It was nice to see some practical sets and props but this films pace as well as seeming a out of focus for most of the film made this one dullsville. That being said plenty of short skirtsploitation! 1 day left!
The Lion of Thebes (1964)The movie takes place immediately following the sack of Troy, with Helen and her faithful guard Arion making their way to Thebes following a shipwreck. Film is most enjoyable when it centers on palace intrigue, as the small scale allows the viewer to focus on the characters. Helen gets a nice scene where she laments all the death and destruction that has been wrought in her name. The last act is way too focused on a meaningless battle between 2 warring pharaohs, so we get tons of extras biting the dust (just try to figure out who is on who’s side). All we really care about is if those 2 crazy kids Helen and Arion will find happiness. Mark Forest (and his pecs of steel) is just fine as Arion, and Pierre Cressoy is a smarmy delight as the party-hearty pharaoh Ramses. Unfortunately, this widescreen film has been cropped severely to the Academy ratio on Netflix.
The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982)Albert Pyun's first movie is similar to a lot of other movies from the Golden Age of fantasy movies. It's not very good, but it's watchable with a few decent "holy shit" moments. Richard Moll, buried under makeup as a demonic sorcerer, needs to be in the movie more; as does Richard Lynch (RIP) as the main villain. It's a movie I'm glad to have finally seen, though I don't see myself going back to it.
The Giant of Marathon (1959)Back when winning the Olympics really meant something, Steve Reeves (not playing Hercules) becomes important to traitors for his influence over the army. They throw a high-class hooker at him but he's already in love with a girl who just happens to be in arranged engagement with the Head Traitor. Head Traitor offers to let Reeves have her, lets him think she's in on it and Reeves goes, "Screw this. I'm going home to farm". Someone comes and tells him the Persian armies are coming so he goes back to help. High-class hooker overhears Head Traitor's plans, is shot in the back but manages to get to Reeves in time to tell him what she heard and then croak. Reeves drowns his horse on his way to tell the army the plans so he has to run the rest of the way (hence, marathon). Now knowing the enemy's plan, a lot of buff guys in diapers meet the invading fleet with poles planted under the water that punch holes in the boat bottoms. Buff guys in diapers then get a lot of graphic arrow wounds. The fight moves to the beach and then it's over. Reeves sticks a sword into the ground and he and the girl walk toward the sunrise. Nice video but they don't bother to dub all the dialog and characters talk through lots of silence too often. Stick with The Film Crew's version to get any entertainment from this.
CONAN THE DESTROYER (1984) on DVD for the first time.CROMSPLOITATION! A proud member of the class of '84 films (along with "Gremlins" and "Temple of Doom") too violent for PG that ushered in the PG-13 rating, "Conan the Destroyer" is still a watered-down fantasy rehash of "Conan the Barbarian" right down to Basil Poledouris ripping-off his own memorable score with an inferior one. Directed with impersonal professionalism by Richard Fleischer (except for the bouncing cement blocks that also float on water... really?) "CTD" at least doesn't take itself so seriously that it doesn't have fun repeating/coasting on the beats of the first movie (punching animals, drunk behavior, Mako being Mako, etc.) and Schwarzenegger's physique, which the low-budget "Terminator" used to better effect the same year. Tracey Walter stinks up the movie with his unfunny comic relief schtick but Olivia d'Abo (Nicole Wallace on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent") is fascinatingly miscast as a virgin girl that seems imported wholesale from "the Valley."