Saturday, September 08, 2007
Sword & Sandal Theater
When I was twelve or so, one of the local channels (I think it was channel 17) used to show a lot of what were called 'Sword & Sandal' films on Sunday afternoons. My cousin Rick and I would watch them because they were just about the closest thing on TV to a Conan movie. Most of them were made in Italy and starred various body builders like Steve Reeves or Reg Park. There were usually a lot of guys in togas and a lot horses and a lot of hot Italian babes doing their best Sophia Loren pouts. And there was action. Lots and lots of action. I wasn't a huge fan of the genre but I have fond memories of watching them.
So anyway last night, while I was perusing author Steven Saylor's website, I noticed that he recommended a collection of 50 of these movies called simply Warriors. I had actually noticed the boxed set at Borders a couple of times but never paid it much mind. However, after reading Saylor's review (and after noting that the set was only $19.95) I thought 'What the Hey.'
I picked it up this morning and tonight I watched 'The Lion of Thebes' with Mark Forest. Mark plays a bodyguard to Helen of Troy (played by hot Italian babe Yvonne Furneaux). Seems that Helen while escaping the sack of Troy, gets shipwrecked on the coast of Egypt. She and her bodyguard get picked up by the Egyptians and The Pharaoh takes one look at Helen and goes ga-ga for her. There's a bunch of political intrigue, some nice costumes, a second hot Italian babe, a lot of chariots, and a lot of fighting. I actually had a good time with it. The dubbing was pretty good and the production values were higher on this one than on a lot of others I remember. Nice sets and what have you.
So anyway, now that I have 49 more of the things to watch I'm going to introduce another feature here at Singular Points to join the Department of Lost Barbarians called Sword & Sandal Theater. I'll review the various films, though probably not all of them, and let you know if I find them good, bad, or just laughable. Think I'll use a sliding scale of 1 to 5 Sandals. Tonight's entry makes a strong beginning with 4 out of 5 Sandals.