Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Conqueror of Atlantis

  Continuing my renewed interest in the Sword & Sandal movie genre, I watched Kirk Morris in The Conqueror of Atlantis yesterday. This one came out in 1965, and was one of the last entries in the Peplum genre. As a result it's more of a fantasy film than many of the earlier ones, with almost Flash Gordon-ish elements.
  Hercules (Morris) washes up on a beach after a shipwreck and is rescued by an Arabian caravan belonging to the desert princess Virna, played by the very sexy Italian babe Luciana Gilli. Virna nurses Hercules back to health, and there is obvious attraction between the two, but Virna tells him that he would be better off without her because of her father, who is a big shot desert prince and apparently pretty ruthless. Virna and the caravan ride off and Hercules eventually follows. He becomes involved in a struggle between Virna's father and another desert prince, Karr, each who thinks that the others men are raiding his caravans and camps. Turns out they have a mutual enemy in strange golden skin 'phantoms.'
   A truce is struck, but the phantoms attack again and Virna is carried off in the night. Hercules and Karr track her to a hidden city, a last outpost of Atlantis where they run afoul of the evil Queen Ming and her even more evil sorcerer Ramir. Ramir has found a way to turn corpses into almost unstoppable flesh-robots and even the mighty Hercules can't outfight a mob of them. There are also Amazon warriors, ray guns, death traps, and all sorts of pseudo-SF trappings. Ramir's laboratory is a technicolor nightmare.
   This is the sort of movie that I'd have gone ape over at age ten or so and I enjoyed it quite a bit even now. A great Saturday afternoon sort of movie with plenty of action and wild occurrences. I picked up a widescreen version from Video-Trash who have a store at Ebay. Very good quality video at a cheap price. You definitely want the wide screen as the old 'pan and scan' can't capture the over the top color and spectacle of this one. I picked up a couple of other sword & sandal films from them as well, but more about that later. For now here's a (German) trailer of Conqueror of Atlantis.

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