Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sword and Sandal Theater: Goliath and the Vampires

  1961's Goliath and the Vampires is one of those sword and sandal movies that also qualifies as sword & sorcery. In fact the villain, a blood drinking, deformed practitioner of the dark arts named Kobrak, reminds me a lot of Thugra Khotan (aka Natohk), the evil sorcerer from Robert E. Howard's Conan story, Black Colossus. Like Khotan, Kobrak can project images of himself across great distances to terrify people. And his face, like Khotan's is a horrible ruin, once revealed. I doubt the Italian writer of the film had ever read REH, but you never know.
   Anyway, this one stars former Tarzan actor Gordon Scott as Goliath (originally this was a Maciste movie) who does all the usual muscle-man stunts, pulling down ceiling supports, uprooting trees, bending cell bars, etc. Scott was tailor made for these roles as he really looked like he could pull your arms out of socket if you messed with him. He was known for doing most of his own stunts, though I did notice several times when a not terribly convincing stunt man was used. Scott's build, with his enormous shoulders and tiny waist, was hard to double.
   As I mentioned earlier, Goliath and the Vampires has a lot of sorcery. It also has monsters, zombies, giant insects, a race of blue skinned men, and the requisite blonde good babe and evil brunette babe. As far as sword and sandal epics go, this is one of my favorites so far, earning four out of five sandals.

1 comment:

Paul R. McNamee said...

Sounds more Howardian than many attempts!