Samson and the Slave Queen (1963)

Article 1958 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-25-2006
Posting Date: 12-22-2006
Directed by Umberto Lenzi
Featuring Pierre Brice, Sergio Ciani, Moira Orfei

When a Spanish King dies, he leaves behind two daughters, one of which will become queen. Both daughters want to see the King’s will; the good daughter wants to know whether she will be queen, but the evil daughter wants to suppress it and make sure that she gets the crown. Each one sends a hero to get the will for her; the good daughter sends Zorro, the bad daughter sends Samson, who isn’t aware of that daughter’s evil ways.

Do you want to like Sword-and-Sandal films, but always find yourself disappointed by the lack of caped-and-masked expert swordsmen and fencers battling evil? Do you want to enjoy Zorro movies, but find yourself frustrated by the lack of bare-chested musclemen throwing big rocks? If so, this movie is the answer to your prayers, the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of sword-and-sandal/masked swordsman movies. The only problem is – how do you get one of these musclemen from ancient history and a swordsman from Spain from a time period almost two millenia later together in the same movie? The answer – get Maciste! We’ve already established that he can travel in time, and even if he’s called Samson in this movie, that won’t fool you. And so another one of those improbable out-of-time sword-and-sandal epics are upon us, and the fantastic content is once again Maciste’s great strength. At least this one has a bit of a sense of humor; there’s something genuinely amusing at the antics Zorro and Maciste take in procuring the dead king’s will from each other. I don’t know who the “Slave Queen” of the title is, but after all the effort the movie-makers took to get Maciste and Zorro together in the same movie, I don’t think it’s really fair to ask them to come up with a title that makes sense as well.



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