||Colossus and the Amazon Queen
1960 - Not Rated - 87 Mins.
|Director: Vittorio Sala|
|Written By: Ennio De Concini, Fulvio Fo|
|Starring: Rod Taylor, Ed Fury, Dorian Gray, Gianna Maria Canale, Alberto Farnese, Ignazio Leone |
|Review by: James O'Ehley
This cheesy 1960s “Spaghetti sandal flick” is so camp and kitsch that if it isn’t a cult favourite with the gay community, then it should be!
Should be a gay cult classic if it isn't one already . . .
Two ancient Greek warriors are tricked and sold into slavery to an island of women warriors. Sounds like fun with all the sex and so forth? Not really. The men are quickly forced into being domestic house servants (the scenes which supplies the most deliciously funny camping) or miners at a mine – the plot is a bit vague on the precise details to be honest.
Incidentally, the mine is guarded by bears, probably so that so that our beefcake hero (Rod Taylor) can wrestle with what surprisingly looks like a real bear and not a fake one like the one Arnold Schwarzenegger fought in his movie debut, HERCULES IN NEW YORK.
Anyway, our two heroes (one of whom claims to have thought up the idea of the Trojan horse!) soon becomes embroiled in the intrigues and plotting revolving around the rivalry between two Amazon women to become their new queen. Why they would want to be queen is a bit unclear too since the current Amazon queen is bound by a vow of chastity and has resorted to alcoholism in response to this rather arbitrary piece of Amazonian legislation. Still, getting tipsy with the chambermaid all the time doesn’t look like it’s all that bad though . . .
Later, our heroes have to set free the enslaved men so that they can help the Amazons defend themselves against an attack by marauding pirates. In one of the movie’s goofier moments the pirates use palm trees as slingshots to propel themselves over the Amazon castle walls – in real life they probably would have broken more than the occasional ankle. (You can insert your own “It’s Raining Men” punch lines at this point of the movie.)
Why the former slaves would run to the defense of their slave masters is a bit of a mystery too when one thinks about it.
Anyway, all is in good fun as COLOSSUS AND THE AMAZON QUEEN is more Asterix than it is SPARTACUS. Or at least, think Asterix without the humor and clever wordplay so that all you’re left with is the juvenilia. COLOSSUS AND THE AMAZON QUEEN is unintentionally funny, yes – especially with the bad tin-sounding dubbing into English over the original Italian soundtrack. Sure, it’s intended as a comedy, but you’ll find the producers’ notions of what is funny funnier than anything else in the movie.
If your heterosexuality is offended by all this camp, then you can always just drool over the Amazon women like I did. Movie actresses back then were a lot more curvaceous than they are today – I guess that Twiggy has a lot to answer for!
Anyway, if you decide that COLOSSUS AND THE AMAZON QUEEN might just be the thing for your next booze party, you can go for two options. You can either buy the VHS tape at Amazon.com or you can buy the Sci-Fi Classics 50 Movies DVD Collection – a collection of 50 movies on 12 double-sided discs. Sure, they are mostly bad movies and not necessarily sci-fi (some of them like WILD WOMEN OF WONGO and QUEEN OF THE AMAZONS are reviewed on this site), but that isn’t bad thing, right? Especially when considering this set’s price: it goes for a measly $US 30 . . .