26 September 2019 | ma-cortes
Italian middling epic movie about the usual hero , the corpulent Hercules/Alan Steel , combating enemies and a nasty usurper
His is an average peplum dealing with Hercules attempting to keep peace and justice by combating an usurper Philip the Arab with a beautiful princess called Ulpia in the mix . This mythological movie is plenty of adventures , emotions , thrills , atmospheric settings and colorful scenarios well photographed . Don't expecting too much accuracy at the adventure/fantasy flick , as we get to watch a light and simple low-middle-budgeted Peplum or ¨swords and sandals¨ movie with the corpulent Alan Steel, or Sergio Ciani , accompanied by a multitude of Italian B-big name support cast such as : Mimmo Palmara , Livio Lorenzon , Daniele Vargas , Carlo Tamberlani , Wandisa Guida , Nello Pazzafini , Sal Borgese , among others . As the mighty Hercules (Alan Steel) to free the Roman Empire from an oppressive , evil ruler and surely all who stand in his way . As Hercules to keep wits and strength about him when he is deceived by astute traitors and imprisoned into dark undergrounds dungeons . In this rarely seen muscle epic , set in the reign of the gordians in which Hercules helped by Lucio Traiano (Mimmo Palmara) and friends , all of them take part in a battle royal against a heinous usurping king , as the latter killed an elderly Gordian to take the throne . This time the hero known as Hercules (renamed Samson for Americans) runs head-on into the forces of a cruel tyrant (Daniele Vargas ) who has thrown-out a King (Carlo Tamberlani) and ruled over the capital , a city called Ravena , along the way falling in love for a princess Ulpia (Wandisa Guisa) , to retrieve her throne . All the usual comes into play as the bad guys are eventually subdued . As Hercules survives long enough to battle a villainous in a final fighting .
This moving Peplum contains emotion , noisy action sequences incorporating breathtaking fights , spectacular battles with lots of sword-wielding warriors , court intrigue and many other things . There's a bit more intentional humor with tongue-firmly-in-cheek than usual in this Peplum opus . This is an ordinary spaghetti , myth-opera with noisy action , love , battles and luxurious landscapes . There was used sets left over from other films taking parts here and there of other Peplums , especially on the battle scenes in the end .The movie has not mythological accuracy neither expecting historical , as these events took place in Parthia border not in Ravenna , that's why the actual Philip the Arab murdered in reality Gordian III who was just a mere boy 14 years old back in 244 ad. It stars Sergio Ciani , a hunk man who made lots of roman epic films , also called ¨Musclemen movies¨. Sergio's luck changed when an Italian producer persuaded him to play Peplums similarly to Steve Reeves , who really paved the way for others actors to seek their fame and fortune in Italy playing bouncing adventurers . Other stars by the time on this type of movies are the followings : Mark Forest , Gordon Mitchell , Dan Vadis , Reg Park , Brad Harris , Samson Burke , Richard Harrison , Rock Stevens and Kirk Morris . Nobody, nevertheless , topped Steve Reeves in popularity , though Gordon Scott made him a important competence . Alan Steel started off his beefcake run off as a body double for Reeves in both the "Hercules" sequel ¨Hercules Unchained¨ (1959) and in ¨Giant of Marathon¨ (1959) , in which he also had bit roles . Within a couple of years Steel was posing front-and-center as Herk himself and entering in the star-system based on pumped-up heroes playing ¨Sansone or Samson¨ (1961) , opposite another physique-minded American import , Brad Harris in the title role . On numerous occasions Steel was asked to play the legendary Greek hero , as well as the equally well-built demigods Samson and Ursus, even though the film titles often fused (or confused) them in their titles . Steel starred as ¨Hercules in Ercole Contro Roma or Hercules Against Rome¨ (1964) , ¨Hercules Against the Moon Men¨ (1964) , ¨Sansone Contro Il Corsaro Nero or Hercules and the Black Pirate¨ (1964) , and ¨Hercules and the Treasure of the Incas¨ (1964) , the second movie mentioned being one of the only spectacles to actually incorporate science fiction into the genre. In contrast , his Hercules serves as a mere sidekick in the Zorro-like spectacle ¨Golia e Il Cavaliere Mascherato or Hercules and the Masked Rider¨ (1963) starring Ettore Manni . In addition , he performed Ursus , ¨Il Gladiatore Ribelle or Ursus , the Rebel Gladiator¨ (1962) opposite Dan Vadis . He also played the supporting role of Kaldos in ¨Rocha , son of Samson or The Fury of Hércules¨ (1962) when it was Brad Harris' turn to play the title role , and ¨Samson and his mighty challenge¨ (1964) . By mid-decade the Herculean phase had faded away and Steel went on, unlike others peplum stars, to other film styles such as dramas , thrillers , horror, oaters , even comedies and he eventually moved into Spaghetti Western and spies . In the late 1960s he and fellow movie musclemen Kirk Morris and Gordon Mitchell served up "spaghetti westerns" entitled ¨Sapevano Solo Uccidere¨ (1968) and ¨Fast hand¨ (1973). The film benefits itself from an acceptable secondary cast , full of familiar faces such as Carlo Tamberlani , Nello Pazzafini , Sal Borgese , Attilio Dotessio , Balsamo , Guarneri , and three gorgeous Eurotrash actresses as Wandisa Guisa and Dina De Santis. In spite of mediocre interpretations , the acting honors go to Daniele Vargas as Filippo Afro , the nasty usurper and Livio Lorenzo as his hoodlum Mansurio .
Colorful cinematography in Eastmancolor , TotalScope 16 mm by Augusto Tiezzi , shot on location in Lacio , Rome and Elios Studios . Atmospheric and evocative Original music by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino who composed lots of Peplums and Spaghettis . The film was regular but professionally directed by Piero Pierotti . Piero continued to realize films in the historical-spectacular style , at which he developed an acceptable skill and mastery . He was a professional filmmaker , a craftsman who directed all kind of genres , and especially adventure and Peplum movie . Pierotti wrote/directed : ¨Zorro¨, ¨Hércules against Rome¨ , "Giant of the Evil Island" , ¨Rome against Rome¨, ¨Sansone Contro Il Corsaro Nero¨, ¨Erik the conqueror¨, ¨Pedro El Cruel¨, ¨Golia e Il Cavaliere Mascherato¨ , ¨Marco Polo¨ and many others . Rating 4,5/10 , passable though mediocre .