Saturday, November 7, 2009

Samson and the Seven Miracles of the World (1961)

As I suspected, this lovely little movie was written around existing sets from big budget (compared to other italian movies) movie Marco Polo, and even used a lot of asian extras that was still hanging around. Actually they even kept the female lead, Yoko Tani! This is true exploitation and a very fun adventure movie with an orginal setting.

Maciste (Samson in the american version) is running around in the chinese forests in this movie! Why? I have no idea, but that's cool with me. An evil man from the royal court, Khan, want's to kill the royal family and be the new ruler of China. He kidnaps the son of the emperor with the help of the mongols and feeds him to a tiger! But what they don't know is that Maciste saved him in the last moment! Now Maciste joins the resistance and want's to save the princess to. They hide out in a buddisth-temple inside a mountain, all under the protection of the monks. 

But of course the evil Khan and the mongols are close and soon they must fight for their life!

Great little peplum which looks fantastic with the huge chinese sets. There's something that looks like the Forbidden City to, and they eve have a chariot-torture-race in there! There's a lot of asians in the background, and the emperors sun is and daughter is played by Chu Lai Chit and Yoko Tani. But the rest is very obvious (and hairy) italians with very crude asian make-up! Don't we all love that? I mean, just put a couple of evil-looking eyebrows and a black wig and they look chinese! ;)

Riccardo Freda handles the directing duties very well as the legend he was. Action runs smooth and the melodrama inbetween is cartoonish and silly, but very entertaining. Gordon Scott is great as Maciste and is a very good fighter to. Fast reactions and cool stunts, many he seem to do himself. The finale is fantastic. The baddies have buried Maciste under the forbidden city, and when he breaks free he creates an earthquake that destroys the city. Most of it is implied, but there's a couple of really cool effect shots for us disaster-fans to drool over.

Very nice peplum that would have been even better on a good dvd.

P.S. And I have no idea what became of the seven miracles of the world. Not in this movie anyway!


arli said...

I love this movie and would like to have this.
good memory for me. My dad played as Prince Tai Sung. I watched it in Bangkok since I was young and hard to find the film here

Ninja Dixon said...

arli: Are you kidding? :) Your father played the prince? Really? That's awesome!

I can get you a copy the movie for you and send, if you want to see it again. Mail me at or ad me at Facebook: