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Brenno il Nemico di Roma

Battle of the Valiant
Brennus, Enemy of Rome / Brenno, der Herr des Schreckens / Battle of the Spartans / Brenno der Barbar

Italy 1963
produced by
Victory Film
directed by Giacomo Gentilomo
starring Gordon Mitchell, Ursula Davis, Tony Kendall, Massimo Serato, Erno Crisa, Vassili Karis (as Mark Vassili), Margherita Girelli, Carla Calò, Nerio Bernardi, Andrea Aureli, Michel Gaida, Anna-Maria Pace, Roland Gray, Carlo Lombardi, Attilio Dottesio, Goffredo Unger
written by Arpad DeRiso, Nino Scolaro, music by Carlo Franci

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Ancient Rome: Army commander Commodus (Massimo Serato) is exiled for (allegedly) having embezzled the loot of his last raid.

Months later, barbarian Brenno (Gordon Mitchell) and his horde of Gauls start attacking and conquering villages all over the Roman empire, and Brenno is unmistakably heading for Rome - and Rome's army is weakened and seriously lacks a commander like Commodus ... but Commodus is nowhere to be found, and actually, he couldn't care less about Rome either.

Brenno has meanwhile conquered another small village, but in order to save the village as such, Nissia (Ursula Davis), the priestess and daughter of the village leadeer, has promised herself to Brenno - much to the dismay of Quintus (Tony Kendall), her fiancé (and the actual hero of the film), who knows for a fact that Brenno will betray her trust, and who thus kidnaps her in the middle of her wedding to Brenno.

Later, Quintus leads a small Roman battalion against Brenno and his army, but they are almost all slaughtered by the enemy, and Quintus is among the few survivors.

Brenno is now on the verge of entering Rome, and Rome is too weak to even defend itself, so only a core group of Roman fighters and dignitaries lock themselves inside the Capitol with the city's treasure, and the Capitol is pretty much inconquerable, so a lengthy siege begins.

Eventually, Quintus finds a secret passageway out of the capitol with the help of Commodus adopted son, but unfortunately there are Vatenius, exactly the man who tricked Commodus into exile in the first place, and his henchman Taurus, who want to use Brenno's siege to their advantage, and they kill the boy, then bring Nissia to Commodus and suggest a truce in which Rome's treasure would fall to Brenno and the two traitors get their fair share ... and soon enough, Brenno is in the Capitol, demanding the treasure ...

But Quintus has since made it to Commodus and persuaded him to lead the army against the Gauls and save Rome after all, and while Brenno is still in the Capitol collecting the spoils of war, Commodus and the Roman army ambush the Gauls and defeat them, then they move in on the Capitol where Brenno is only accompanied by his elite soldiers, which are rather easily defeated.

Only Brenno gets away via the secret passageway, but of course, in the end he is defeated and killed by Quintus in one-on-one combat ... and once more Rome is saved.


Admittedly, this film has little to do with the actual history of ancient Rome, and many of the historical facts are rather distorted, too ... but apart from that, Brenno il Nemico di Roma isn't half bad, a competently crafted peplum (= Italian sword and sandal movie) that doesn't suffer too much from budgetary limitations and tells a rather interesting and engaging story that even contains a few plottwists and a sombre tone not necessarily found in a film like this. Not a great film perhaps as it by and large lacks any extraordinary setpieces, and all the battle scenes are tired routine at best, but in all totally watchable.


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
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


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