Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Forgotten Fantasy: The Seven Magnificent Gladiators

And we are back with another helping of Forgotten Fantasy, the Sci-Fi Fantasy that has probably fallen into the five dollar bin in Best Buy or Wal-Mart. Course if you are shopping at Wal-Mart for entertainment, you may have serious issues already. Moving along we have a heaping dish based on the brilliant work of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. That was made into the 1960 John Sturges' The Magnificent Seven spawning two sequels, The Return of the Magnificent Seven in 1966 and The Magnificent Seven Ride!in 1972. Alas we are not going to being viewing and reviewing some bloodier Westerns but instead we will be taking yet another peak into the warped mind of writer/director Claudio Fargassio (Women's Prison Massacre, Rats: Night of Terror, Cop Game, Zombi 3, Strike Commando 2 and Shocking Dark) and director Bruno Mattei (Hell of the Living Dead, Rats: Night of Terror, Strike Commando, The Tomb and The Jail: The Women's Hell ).  Yeah you know how much I love these two asshats. This is The Seven Magnificent Gladiators.


So we open with symphony orchestral and clashing cymbals for tales of high adventure!! Also some weird title sequence with overexposure and stop motion with the stills and then a gal dressed in black with an elaborate head dress walking about the Parthenon, sorceress Anakora (Barbara Pesante of The Seven Magnificent Gladiators) and mother to the brute of the land, her son the Demigod Nicerote (Dan Vadis of Colossus of the Arena, Hercules the Invincible, Hercules vs the Giant Warriors, For a Few Extra Dollars, The Stranger Returns, The Scalphunters, High Plain Drifter and Bronco Billy) razzes the villagers after destroying their homes, slaughtering their men and taking of their women. He's a people person.

Now that is a brass band! 

With the village losing the lives of their teen boys was the las straw and Anakora reviews the mystical MaGuffin, a blade forged by the god Vulcan himself and once wielded by Achilles himself that may very well be the only weapon the defeat the mad half-god but first they must find a warrior worthy to carry it, dispatch their tyrant and give them their FreeEEEEDOOOOOoMMM!!! The maidens four must journey into Rome to find the worthy man by allowing them to grip the handle. Ole' Vulcan put in the safety feature of the unworthy get their hands scalded like they dropped their mitts directly into a boiling pot. I sense quite a few pissed off guys not going to be able to wank for a while.


Enter the games under the cover of night by torchlight! The reigning champion Han (Lou Ferrigno of The Incredible Hulk, Pumping Iron, Hercules, The Adventures of Hercules II, The Incredible Hulk Returns, Desert Warrior, Cage, Cage II, The Incredible Hulk 1996 Fox cartoon, The King of Queens and Soupernatural) charioteer, swordsmaster and all around grappler and defeater of men could be a good start in the maidens' quest but he is being eye banged by the Emperor's consort Lucilla (Mandy Rice-Davies of Iris, Bird of Prey, Black Venus, Nana, the True Key of Pleasure and Absolute Beginners) so he may already have his enormous hands full. The racing scene was no stabilizers so yeah that hurt my eyes. Han spares the life of Scipio (Brad Harris of Samson, The Fury of Hercules, King of Kong Island, Hercules and Falcon Crest) the other gladiator defying the Emperor as they ride away.

Yes they're real, you ass!

 The maidens encounter enough cripples, the deformed that they resemble leftovers from Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks threatening to take their valuables among other things when Han and Festo manage to show up in the nick of time and slap these poor damned souls from the pretty girls. Yes Lou just slapped about the hungry, crippled and the lame. Smooth Fargasso,smooth.

Julia (Sybil Danning of The Three Musketeers, The Four Musketeers: Milady's Revenge, Cat in the Cage, Battle Beyond the Stars, Hercules, Howling II: Striba Bitch, Reform School Girls and Warrior Queen) warrior maiden enters a drinking contest after losing a buttload of coin on the Han and Scipio charioteer fights,hears that the fellas have been captured but enough of that!   Oiled skimpy animal hide catfighting is the name of the game! I think a horny 12 year old Claudio wrote this film. Yes with camera angles so tight we can tell if the oils have seeped in anywhere.

I am the comic relief!

After seeing Han able to wield the Sword of Achilles, Scipio and Julia take him out to meet up with a few more friends of Scipio to round out our seven, Festo (Giovanni Cianfriglia of Banana Joe, Gunan, King of the Barbarians, Ironmaster, Escape from the Bronx, 2019: After the Fall of New York, Ladyhawke and The Barbarians) and Goliath (Emilo Messina of Triumph of the Ten Gladiators, Hercules and the Tyrants of Babylon, Badmen of the West, Web of Violence and Superargo contro Diaolikus), a strongman that Han harangued down the road and convinces him to join their quest to save this villagers from Nicerote.

With our seven warriors on the scene, one can only hope they can defeat the mad Demigod. One slight issue with Nicerote, is his outfit. While Connery wore his Zardoz outfit with more style and dignity, Nicerote is one hot mess. Black thigh high boots, a black leather pair of briefs, a bandoleer He-Man style and a flowing black cloak looking like Skeletor's gay cousin cruising and putting it out there a bit too much. Even Caligula would have told him to tone it down.

Maybe the subtitled version is superior but the dubbed version was quite painful. Dialogue had next to no inflection, emotion or even tone. With the exception of Goliath as he was voiced by the truly awesome baritone of Edward Mannix. Several of the extras fight sequences couldn't have done Dolemite prouder. A slight detour from the usual take on Kurosawa but over all with a few minor editing errors it wasn't bad and amazingly enough all the attractive women weren't strip bare for all to see. Even Sybil which is also shocking. 

I'm not nude. How strange.