Thursday, June 05, 2014


The Amazons rule a land in which all men are considered inferior and raised as slaves. The Black Queen—who is indeed black—is told by their blond glittery oracle that a strong man will soon arrive and threaten her land. Meanwhile, Princess Tamar and her little brother have set a trap to catch a marauding tiger but instead catch muscleman Thor. She tells him that her village was destroyed by the Amazons, who enslave the men and turn the captured women into "gladiatrices" to fight each other to the death in the arena. The Queen and her forces find Thor who is injured by a poisoned bolo and falls off a cliff, but is caught and saved by his black buddy Ubaratutu. They take Tamar off to train her for the arena. In a hidden cave, Ubaratutu nurses Thor back to health (which involves some mildly homoerotic leg massage and other physical contact) and the two head off to free Tamar. They arrive as the Queen’s former husband is about to be killed, and she decides to take Ubaratutu has her new mate, which he thinks is kinda cool for a few minutes. Ultimately, Tamar discovers that there is a conspiracy afoot against the Queen, and she and Thor are able to harness these folks to rebel. Thor gets his requisite torture scene, survives, and leads the battle to do away with the evil Queen.

This is pretty much bottom-of-the-barrel peplum. Of course, it doesn’t help that the print I saw was in lousy shape, not just panned-and-scanned, but jaggedly chopped up, sometimes by accident, but on occasion seemingly on purpose—most of the death scenes here are obviously truncated, probably for play on American TV. Joe Robinson, who was a wrestler and not a bodybuilder, makes for a disappointing Thor—who, BTW, seems not be at all related to the Norse god; in the original Italian, his name is Taur. Susy Andersen is a little too much of a 60s blond for her role as Tamar, though Janine Hendy is effective, despite her blue eye shadow, as the Queen (pictured at left), as is Harry Baird as Thor’s friend (pictured above with Robinson). There is a subplot about the gladiatorices getting 21 arm bracelets put on, and with each victory, they get one taken off, and some tension is set up when a main character (whom I believe is called Gabbleghor) is down to just two bracelets and fears that the royal-blooded Tamar will best her. But mostly this is MST3K fodder: the Amazon women chant something that sounds like, "Elf! Elf! Elf!" at various points to no particular purpose; Thor suggests that Amazon rule is unnatural because women were not intended to use physical force and be in command of people; it was apparently quite cold where they filmed  (Yugoslavia) as you can see the breath of the actors in several scenes, which is more distracting than you would think. If Robinson was hunkier, this would at least have some eye candy potential, but sad to say, I was ready to check out after half-an-hour. I stuck with it for the integrity of my blog. But unless you're a peplum completist, you don’t have to bother. [DVD]

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