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Il Colosso di Roma

Hero of Rome
Muzio Scevola / Arm of Fire / Spartacus - Der Held mit der eisernen Faust

Italy 1964
produced by
Dorica Film, Produzioni Europee Associati, Unicite, Les Films Jacques Leitienne
directed by Giorgio Ferroni
starring Gordon Scott, Gabriella Pallotta, Massimo Serato, Gabriele Antonini, Maria Pia Conte, Roldano Lupi, Philippe Hersent, Franco Fantasia, Bernard Farber, Nando Angelini, fortunato Arena, Tullio Altamura, Valerio Tordi, Attilio Dottesio, Gaetano Quartararo, Antonio Corevi, Gianni Baghino
story by Alberta Montanti, screenplay by Antonio Visone, music by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Ancient Rome is under siege by the Etruscans, so Roman hero Muzio (Gordon Scott) decides to kill Etruscan king Porsenna (Roldano Lupi) - but fails and is captured by the Etruscans instead. When he is threatened with torture though, he intentionally burns his right arm just to prove how tough he is. Porsenna is impressed by the man and asks him for a conversation face-to-face, during which the two men are able to broker a truce and get peace talks on the way - much to the dismay of Tarquinio (Massimo Serato), Rome's ousted tyrant who tries to use the Etruscans to come back to power. And using his influence on Tarquinio's son Arunte (Gabriele Antonini), Tarquinio makes the Etruscans take some Roman hostages - among them Muzio's fiancée and his ex Clelia (Gabriella Pallotta) - as security for the peace talks, without the knowledge of Porsenna. Porsenna and son soon see through Tarquinio's web of perception and intrigue, but alas too late, as Tarquinio has already taken over Porsenna's army, and while Porsenna is made his captive, Arunte is able to flee to Rome and hook up with Muzio. Muzio though seems to have lost his fighting spirit when he burnt his hand after his failed attempt to kill Porsenna - but Arunte manages to reinstall that spirit and teach Muzio how to use his left hand - and in the end, the Roman troupes of course go against the Etruscan ones, Porsenna is soon freed and he and his son manage to get several Etruscan troupes to switch sides ... and in the end, it all amounts to a duel between Muzio and Tarquinio, who still holds Clelia hostage. Guess who wins!

 

Your typical Italian sword and sandal flick (or peplum), too cheaply made to really impress, featuring a cast of mediocre actors plus one muscleman (Gordon Scott), and based on a script that's too simplistic to really be taken seriously. Actually, only the final battle, that shows to large armes clash in many wide range shots is kind of impressive, the rest is at best ok entertainment, but one can't shake the feeling to have seen everything elsewhere before, and better, too.

 

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
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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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD