12 October 2005 | dinky-4
A routine "sword and sandal"
It takes Mickey Hargitay nearly twenty minutes to make his first appearance in this movie and when he arrives on the scene, he adds little to the proceedings. Best known as Jayne Mansfield's one-time husband, Hargitay excelled in bodybuilding but he's an indifferent actor with little charisma -- especially when he's asked to be "noble" and "heroic" -- and he's flatly dubbed in English with the voice of an oily radio announcer. As for the plot, it's the usual mishmash of corrupt rulers, dastardly villains, damsels in distress, and muscular heroes leading a revolt. As often occurs in these peplums, (pepla?), the brawny leading man winds up in torturous bondage, and while Hargitay looks good with his shirt off, his body lacks the spectacular quality of Steve Reeves or Gordon Scott. The torture to which he's first subjected is also quite disappointing. It consists of having him tied to a pole where he's denied water and occasionally given a half-hearted lash with a whip. Ooooh! The agony! Later we see Hargitay tied to a high cross with his arms stretched out and pulled around the crossbeam. This is apparently meant to give the plot a religious touch but it merely results in a chance to see Hargitay stripped to a loincloth and looking mildly uncomfortable. (Curiously, his crucifiers allow Hargitay to retain his footwear.)