ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS (1961)
aka MACISTE NELLA TERRA DEI CICLOPI
Article 2108 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 12-23-2006
Posting Date: 5-21-2007
Directed by Antonio Leonviola
Featuring Gordon Mitchell, Chelo Alonso, Vira Silenti
Maciste seeks to protect the baby son of Agisander from the wiles of an evil queen who plans to sacrifice him to a cyclops.
The basic premise of this one is pretty good – the descendants of Circe and Polyphemus have sworn revenge on the line of Ulysses for the indignities they suffered from him in “The Odyssey”. When it comes right down to it, though, it translates into the usual sword-and-sandal setup – an evil queen, scheming courtiers, village massacres, lion wrestling, bar-bending, rock rolling and the usual feats of super-strength. Atlas is called Maciste, or course, but that’s also par for the course. He’s played by Gordon Mitchell here, who’s at his best when playing dumb or grimacing. At least Maciste appears in a time period here where his loincloth isn’t out of place, and he does get to battle a real monster at the end of the film. All in all, this is an acceptable and amusing sword-and-sandal movie. The most annoying thing here is the baby, who appears to be a ventriloquist; every time he cries, it sounds like it’s coming from a different room than the one he’s in.
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