Friday, November 6, 2009

Goliath and the Barbarians (1959)

Peplum-time! And isn't it a good return to this wonderful genre with a Steve Reeves-movie? Goliath and the Barbarians is not his best movie, not even one of the best peplums I've seen, but a decent little time waster. What the heck, he's not even Goliath - it's a just an invention in the dubbing!

Reeves plays Emiliano, a simple and humble mega-strong and über-muscular lumberjack who lives with his peaceful people in a small town somewhere in Europe. A bad thing for them is that an army of evil and horny barbarians is roaming the countryside, raping and plundering every man, woman, child and animal then can see. Emiliano has to do something about this and invents his own early secret crime-fighter, Goliath! Dressed in fur and an animal head he attacks and kills evil barbarians in the forest. But of course he falls in love with the daughter of the barbarian leader... 

Okey, it's an early peplum from the years when some of the best ones where produced, but this is not so exciting I'm afraid. I love Steve Reeves, great hero and not much of an actor, but capable of carrying whole movies with his charisma and well-trimmed beard. Here he have a lot to do, but the direction lacks energy and the camera work can be very static during the dialogue-scenes and melodrama. Bruce Cabot, an old favorite, shows up as the king of the barbarians and is quite okey, but everyone seem a bit bored. 

According to IMDB the production ran out of money and AIP came to the rescue with money, which can explain the lack of 100 % entertainment. The script is also way to boring and it take at least an hour for the action to set in. But then it get's quite good. There's a two battles, both violent and brutal, and a wonderful montage when the barbarians is torturing and killing innocent villagers with kinds of tools and equipment. The best thing with the whole movie.

Goliath and the Vampires is on the same dvd and I will rewatch it someday. It's a much better movie, so I guess this one is only of peplum-fantatics like me.

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