30 December 2012 | melvelvit-1
A tackily atmospheric peplum fantastique
When Dalmatia's tribute to Rome is hijacked and the legion guarding it massacred, the Senate sends a centurion (Ettore Manni) to find out what happened. Upon arriving in the distant province, he's immediately thrust into a hotbed of political intrigue involving the corrupt praetor, his evil wife (who, of course, has sexual designs on the centurion), and the wicked wizard Aderbal (played by a wild-eyed John Drew Barrymore) who worships a one-eyed goddess and raises the slaughtered Roman legion from the dead (by drinking their blood) to march on his enemies (hence "Rome against Rome")...
Despite its low budget, this peplum fantastique actually rises to "tackily atmospheric" thanks to Mario Bava's obvious influence on the director and it's helped along by John Barrymore Jr. as a whirling dervish who speaks in soliloquies as he shamelessly exploits his illustrious family's acting legacy. He does sport an impressive profile, however. Ida Galli (Evelyn Stewart to giallo fans) plays the obligatory love interest.