Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Forgotten Fantasy: Iron Warrior

Day 3 of Forgotten Fantasy is upon us. It's time for an Ator flick! Who's Ator? Miles O' Keeffe as an American action hero/Sci-Fi Fantasy competition to Schwarzenegger's Conan films. Ator the Fighting Eagle and The Blade Master. The Blade Master is known by another title that stands out. Cave Dwellers. This time however it is not directed by exploitation of Sci-Fi, Horror, Post-Apocalyptic, soft core porn and creature features Joe D' Amato (The Erotic Adventures of Aladdin X, Creepers, Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals and Beyond the Darkness) but instead Sci-fi/Giallo/exploitation and mockbuster director Alfonso Brescia (Cry of Death, The Labyrinth of Sex, Nights and Loves of Don Juan, Battle of the Amazons, Super Stooges vs the Wonder Women, Blood and Bullets, War of the Planets, Battle of the Stars, War of the Robots, Big Mamma and Star Odyssey) continuing the saga of Ator. This is Iron Warrior a.k.a. Ator the Iron Warrior.

I miss my katanas...and Thong.

Ator (Miles O’Keefe of Tarzan the Ape Man, Ator the Fighting Eagle, Sword of the Valiant and The Lone Runner) once again back in the world, this time lacking his his mute Asian sidekick Thong (Kiro Wehara of The Blade Master and Interzone). Presumbably he moved on/died/faded into obscurity. Ator also didn't have anything to do with Mila of Cave Dwellers and this time is not filmed in Italy but in this time on the island of Malta, Gozo Island. Well for those that appreciated the camp that was the previous two films, this takes on a more serious tone. Gone are the days of giant spider puppets, evil John Saxon lookalikes and invisible warriors. Our opening title sequence sounds like a retooled version of composer Jerry Goldsmith's Star Trek: The Motion Picture theme or the Star Trek: The Next Generation theme if you will. For shame composer Charles Scott a.k.a. Carlo Maria Cordio (Aenigma, The Pool Hustlers, Pieces, Troll 2, Midnight Ride, Beyond Darkness, Quest for the Mighty Sword and Deep Blood)

You will bow down before me, Jor-El. And one day, your heirs!!!

We have Ator and his brother...wait what? What brother? Damn you retcon! So Ator and Trogar are playing in what looks like one of John Milus Conan the Barbarian sets when Trogar gets kidnapped by an evil witch Phoedra (Elisabeth Kaza of The Beast, Mr. Klein, And the Ship Sails On and Castle Freak) as they were playing catch with I am guessing is a dead tribble or a very furry ball. Maybe someone casturated a Yeti. Who knows. Off to the evil witch's trial apparently on Krypton as she is surrounded by the same spiral rings that General Zod, Ursa and Non were trapped in as the Council past sentence over them..except this council looks to be made up of Robert Palmer's backup musicians and vocalists. Lead witch/sorceress in charge, Deeva (Iris Peynado of Nothing Left to Do but Cry, Warriors of the Wasteland, Devil Fish, Baciami strega, Ancient Warriors and Elisa di Rivombrosa) claims to have created both Ator and his twin brother Trogar as her tools of justice.

Deeva will create a princess for the kingdom of Dragor and claims that Trogar would have been one of her champions but not before she banishes Phoedra to the Underland for 18 years, a Ghost Region if you will. Naturally we need some exposition so some narration to establish Phoedra has not given up her evil ways, raised Trogar into her Iron Warrior (Franco Daddi of Hercules vs the Giant Warriors, La bambola di Satana, The Barbarians, Iron Warrior and Il commissario), leader of her armies of Hell. He does this wearing dark robes a kicky red sash, dance belt and a helm worthy of Chromeskull.

Yes, that material is thinner than Kate Moss' waistline.

Love the christening of Janna's 18th birthday. Phoedra just appears with a large fan blowing her hair back, she looks nuttier than a fruitcake, floats up the dais and the royal dogs are losing their minds.

Doesn't help the camera angles feel so confined in this small chamber. Phoedra tells Janna she will marry the man that played with the dead I mean Yeti testicle.

Ator is off to the land of Dragor to offer protection and aid to Princess Janna (Savina Gersak of Cudo nevidjeno, Iron Warrior, Midnight Ride, Curse II: The Bite, Beyond the Door III and Soldier of Fortune) and why wouldn't she want this well-built, long maned, oiled up specimen of warrior? Gone are his highlights and free flowing locks as he has braided it into a tail and is now brunette. SALONS OF THE DARK AGES!!!   Can't help but notice his broadsword now replacing his two katanas looks an awful lot like Conan's.

The Iron Warrior seems almost a match for Ator leading him to wonder if he can truly defeat him, his armies of Hell and end Phoedra's evil once and for all.

Okay visually this looks amazing from a fisheye lens, to zooms, extended handheld, some tripod and even a few decent crane shots. With slow motion, far too many jump cuts for teleportation or materialization of weapons and items, it almost feels like a rock video rather than a film.

The region looks amazing and idle for a fantasy based film and while Ator has had a complete makeover, O' Keeffe still looks like a bad ass. This is the last of the Ator films starring Miles O' Keeffe. Joe D' Amato returns to tack on a fourth installment of Ator as it is the Quest of the Mighty Sword or Troll 3 or Ator: Quest for the Mighty Sword or possibly Highlander III: The Sorcerer's Dark Apprentice. The problem is the story is not very gripping, detracts from anything previously written and seems to contradict Ator's whole beginnings. Also I miss mute Thong. Dude rolled with a Falchion and those are difficult blades to master in my opinion. 

He's deadly and FABULOUUUUSSSS!!!!