Friday, June 10, 2011

Sword & Sandal Theater:The Minotaur

I mentioned the Peplum blog, a site devoted to sword & sandal movies, a few posts back. Now the fine fellow who runs that site has started a Peplum TV channel where he runs Peplum movies live. I stopped by last night and watched The Minotaur, a sword & sandal movie I'd been wanting to see, especially since my recent interest in the Minoan civilization. Turned out to be one of my favorites from this genre so far. I really enjoyed it, and also had a great time chatting with other S&S fans in the chatroom bar that runs right beside the movie. Kind of like a text version of MST3K. Great fun, and I learned a lot about the actors in the movie. These guys know their stuff.
Anyway, this one is based loosely on the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, and it's one of the most action packed sword & sandals I've seen. In some ways it's almost a sword & sorcery film because there are a lot of sword fights and there's even some sorcery. If someone had made a Conan movie in 1960, it might have looked much like this. Plus there are man-eating hyenas, hand to hand combat, gods and goddesses, a huge battle scene, the obligatory dance sequence, and of course the Minotaur itself. I can tell you, had I seen this one on a Sunday afternoon when I was 12 (where I saw most peplum movies) I'd have been one happy camper.
Bob Mathias is Theseus. Italian babe Rossana Schiafinno plays twin sisters, one good and one evil. The evil one is the hotter of the two. As I was watching I couldn't help but think of Robert E. Howard's Conan yarn, A Witch Shall be Born, which also features twin royal sisters.
The production values on The Minotaur were very high, with nice sets and costumes and decent cinematography. All and all, an impressive entry in the sword & sandal genre. I'm giving this one four out of five Sandals.
I'm including a link to the peplum TV channel. Movies usually start at 9:00 pm Eastern and there's a schedule up at the peplum blog. Check it out.


PEPLUM cinema said...

Thanks Charles for the review! The Minotaur is cool. It's a fan dub I did of a gorgeous print.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

It's a great Peplum film for sure. Your blog is the best sword & sandal resource I know of, so glad to review things and send folks your way.