I DIAVOLI DI SPARTIVENTO (1963)
aka The Devils of Spartivento, Weapons of Vengeance
Article 2599 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-17-2008
Posting Date: 9-24-2008
Directed by Leopoldo Savano
Featuring John Drew Barrymore, Scilla Gabel, Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
Rebels battle evil tyrants, or true Prince against pretender to the throne; I’m not sure which.
The vague plot description above is just my way of saying that I’m watching this one in unsubtitled Italian, and the precise plot details are lost to me. Nonetheless, it does involve a group of rebels with a charismatic leader doing battle with the forces of an evil lord. It’s basically a period swashbuckler piece, and the fantastic content is that the rebels enter an ostensibly haunted forest and encounter a follower of Da Vinci, who is trying to bring his scientific ideas to life, so in the course of the movie we have a series of anachronistic inventions (including a device that can launch multiple arrows, a fire-spitting tank of sorts, a poison gas, and several flying machines). When these items show up, the movie is a lot more fun to fans of fantastic cinema and the fact that the plot details are unknown doesn’t matter so much. It’s quite similar to THE CRIMSON PIRATE, even to the point of having a Nick Cravat-like sidekick (doesn’t talk, uses sign language) appear. It’s entertaining enough in a sword-and-sandal style, though it doesn’t really belong to that genre.