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Ator l'Invincibile

Ator the Fighting Eagle
Ator - Herr des Feuers / Ator the Invincible

Italy 1982
produced by
directed by David Hills (= Joe D'Amato = Aristide Massaccesi)
starring Miles O'Keeffe, Sabrina Siani, Ritza Brown, Edmund Purdom, Laura Gemser, Dakkar
written by David Hills (= Joe D'Amato = Aristide Massaccesi), music by Mario Cordio


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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According to a prophecy, after the 1.000-year reign of the evil Spider, the saviour Ator is born. The highpriest of the Spider (Dakkar) orders the kid killed though, & it  is only thanks to the mysterious Gribu (Edmund Purdom) that he is saved from the Spider''s slaughtering soldiers & brought to a peaceful village, where he is brought up by caring foster parents, & once he has reached adulthood (& is now played by Miles O'Keefe), he is preparing to marry his adopted sister Sonya (Ritza Brown). At the wedding though, the evil army of the Spider - having spotted Gribu nearby - attacks & destroys the village, killing everyone in sight but Sonya - whom they abduct - & Ator himself - seems despite they were totally bent on killing him, they were reather careless on making sure that he really is dead (!?) ...

Gribu now makes himself known to Ator for the first time, & teraches him the fine arts of fighting, at which Ator soon excels, & when Gribu sees him rescuing the Amazon Ruun (Sabrina Siani) from quite a number of warriors he knows his work is done & leaves Ator with the magic sword of Toran which he shall use to kill the Spider ...

Ruun meanwhile shows little gratitude to Ator, rather claiming she didn't need his help, & later even has him walk into a trap of her Amazon tribe, where he is to be the prize of a ournament, having to inseminate the woman who wins it & then be killed.

Of course, Ruun wins the tournament, but instead of having sex with him & thenm killing him she helps him escape & decides to join forces with him, wanting to get her hands on the treasure of the Spider.

Countless adventures await our heroic couple, including Ator almost being seduced by an evil but beautiful witch (Laura Gemser), a passage through the land of the living dead (which is rather an anti-climax, actually), & the stealing of the shield of Mordor from the cave of the blind men, who only fight by scent & sound. & if that was  not enough, the shield itself has some magic powers too, like a Shadow warrior emanating from its mirrorlike surface that can only be stopped if the mirror is covered.

However, Ator & Ruun come out of all this unharmed & soon enter the  Temple of the Spider, wher they soon defeat the highpriest using the shield, before Ruun promises Ator to cover his back while he wanders through the temple's caves in search for Sonya - who he fights caught in a giant spider's web ... but then Gribu also shows up, proving not the benevolent mentor of Ator that he claimed to be after all but a former highpriest just using Ator to reclaim his position ... but in stead he becomes entangled in the spider's web Ator has just freed Sonya from & falls victim to the Spider.

With his shield & sword - both maggic, as mentioned - Ator then manages to kill the Spider & is finally reunited with his lost love Sonya ... but what of Ruun, you may ask - she was protecting Ator's back to the last & was killed by the Spider's guards while doing so - rather convenient for Ator as it is, since she now won'T stand in the way of his love no more ...


Like quite a number of films from Italy in the early 80's, this was made to cash in on the success of Conan the Barbarian, but was üproduced on a shoestring - which totally shows: the special effects are not so special, the action is rather lame, the sets are unimpressive, the outdoor locations don't exceed beyond the neighbouring forest & the 2 leads are notoriously incompetent. However, at the same time, the movie has all the enchanting qualities of a guilty pleasure, qualities that ensure Ator l'Invincibile a place in trash heaven ... & the fluffy moonboots that Ator wears thropughout the movie are a hoot all by themselves.

The non-qualities of this movie did however not stand in the way of producing 2 sequels, Ator l'Invincibile II from the following year, which offers more of the same, plus Ator paragliding (really), & the outrageously if unintentionally funny semi-remake Ator l'Invincibile from 1990, that has to be seen to be believed.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
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and your Ex wants
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... and for the life of it,
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD