Wednesday, February 08, 2023

The Bloody Pit #166 - Maciste Movies!

Mark Maddox returns to the show to talk about a pair of Italian Muscle Man epics! Both movies tell tales of one of the oldest reoccurring characters of cinema – Maciste! And if you think you’ve never heard of him you might know him under one of several aliases – in this case, Samson.

We start with a look at the first of the 1960’s film series, MACISTE IN THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS which was released in English speaking territories as SON OF SAMSON (1960). It stars Mark Forrest as the legendary strong man and Cuban dancer Chelo Alonso as the villainous Queen making things very difficult for the people of Egypt. We talk about the gorgeous location shooting and the film’s bigger than average scale for a small budget effort. The film has several spectacular sequences of action and some surprising violence. It’s a big colorful comic book of a movie!

The second film is an even more impressive adventure. Former Tarzan actor Gordon Scott steps into the hero role for MACISTE AT THE COURT OF THE GREAT KHAN which was retitled SAMSON AND THE SEVEN MIRACLES OF THE WORLD (1961). This one has Maciste pop up in 13th Century China to rescue a Chinese prince and princess from the Tartars and then lead the population in a revolt. There are many stand out scenes with the amazing bar fight being my favorite. Watching Scott use part of the building to bash opponents as the place crumbles around him is what I call entertainment! But the showstopper must be the action set piece involving a horse-drawn chariot and our hero’s stunning way of applying the brakes. Incredible!

Of course, there is the occasional side road in the discussion but we amble back into the proper arena before we get attacked by lions. Thank you for listening and please review the show on your pod-catcher of choice. If you love the peplum genre too is where you can send us a list of your favorites. See you next time!

No comments: