COLOSSUS OF THE ARENA (1962)
(a.k.a. DEATH IN THE ARENA)
Article #932 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-3-2003
Posting Date: 3-1-2004
Directed by Michele Lupo
Featuring Mark Forest, Scilla Gabel, Jon Chevron
Several gladiators are enlisted to aid in an attempt to overthrow a queen who protects the common people from the wrath of the nobles, but Maciste is on hand to prevent this.
Hey, it’s another sword and sandal with a plot I can follow, and it has a fairly good one this time. That’s not to say it doesn’t have its requisite share of problems; the dubbing is horrendous (if you’re going to dub a monkey, please use the voice of a monkey), and there’s no one by the name of Colossus to be found (though there is this guy named Maciste, though). It certainly doesn’t stint on the action, though; it’s hard to find a scene here that doesn’t involve a fight, some in quite interesting places (two men duke it out in the rapids of a river while other soldiers fight in a pen of sheep). It also seems to be at least partially a comedy; there’s an extended fight in a bar that is definitely played for laughs, though it is heavily marred by the fact that a) the scene involves the gladiators bullying and tormenting women, old men, weaklings, little kids and midgets, and b) the scene goes on way too long. Still, it’s not bad for this sort of thing, but you’ll really get annoyed with the old man whining about his beard. Unfortunately, the fantastic aspects are very weak here; though Maciste is strong, he doesn’t appear inhumanly so, and so this remains marginal only because of its sword-and-sandal origins.