Thursday, July 16, 2009
Sword & Sandals
I've been totally obsessed with sword & sandal-movies since I was a kid (starting with more serious ones like Ben-Hur and Quo Vadis), but to be honest: It's just gotten worse the older I am! ;)
It's fantasy-peplums, biblical-peplums, historical-peplums, new Hollywood-blockbusters, miniseries and everything else inbetween. Have no idea why. When I was a kid it was maybe the thrill of seeing tenthousands of people on screen at the same time, but nowdays I just don't care. I'm happy if there's a couple of blokes in a sandpit with some wooden swords and plastic helmets.
I'm not even a fan of traditional fantasy! I don't even own the Lord of the rings-trilogi... I saw the two first ones in cinema, but then I grow tired. I really think Oliver Stones Alexander and Ridley Scotts Kingdom of heaven is masterpieces - yeah, really. But I say the same thing about Carlo Campogallianis Son Of Samson and Robert Aldrichs Sodom and Gomorrah! Yeah, throw in Goliath and the sins of Babylon, Edgar G. Ulmers fantastic Hannibal and Medusa Against the Son of Hercules and I will be in happiness forever!
Don't even mention more serious shit like The War Lord, Helen Of Troy, The Fall of the Roman Empire and The Sins Of Rome... and I'll be all over it. Yeah, sue me.
But the italians (I mean, they worked on most of these movies - even the expensive ones) where the best. Churning out these movies like ratshit in a cheesefactory, and almost everyone of them with the same storyline:
* Evil Queen OR evil henchman that want to kill his king.
* Muscleman (Hercules, Goliath, Maciste, Ursus and so on) helping the rebels
* Some belly dancing
* A gladiator scene
* Some chariot-racing (if the budget was good)
* A happy ending
Some of these movies had monsters, and some really fucking good (The Medusa in Medusa Against the Son of Hercules for example, or the dragon in Goliath and the dragon) and a very few had some graphic violence (Hannibal, Son of Samson... and that's more or less it).
But it's pure escapism. It's nothing for the brain. No thinking. Just silliness. But often with a heart and some fun actors chewing the scenery. One of the best in the more "serious" genre is Sodom and Gomorrah, with some great scenes of destruction, torture, battles and a happy gang of Sodomites that really are more interesting, intelligent, fun and loving than the hebrews trying to crush them :)
So, anyone else into this drug? ;)