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Maciste, Gladiatore di Sparta / Maciste, Gladiateur de Sparte
Maciste - Held von Sparta / The Terror of Rome against the Son of Hercules

Italy/France 1964
produced by
Promoteo Film, Sancro Film
directed by Mario Caiano
starring Mark Forest, Elisabetta Fanti, Robert Hundar (= Claudio Undari), Marilu Tolo, Peter White (= Adriano Micantoni), Giuseppe Addobbati, Ferrucio Amendola, Franco Cobianchi, Lea Monaco, Renato Novarrini, Giuliano Giuliani
screenplay by Mario Amendola, Alfonso Brescia, Albert Valentin

Maciste, Maciste (1960's)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Maciste (Mark Forest) is the greatest gladiator of the Roman Empire, & a personal friend of Caesarr (Robert Hundar, & even has a mistress, noblewoman Olympia (Marilu Tolo) at the emperor's court. His only enemy is Sifatius, the commander of the Pretorian guard, , but he seems to be powerless against Maciste.

Then one day though, Maciste frees Sylvia (Elisabetta Fanti) from the clutches of some Roman soldiers (& Christianity was a capital crime in Rome back then), & of course the 2 fall in love ... but for having saved her, Maciste is convicted to fight in the arena ... against a gorilla.

Maciste of course wins, & Caesar grants him a wish ... & wouldn't you know it, Maciste wishes for the Christian girl to be free (even though she is free as he speajks). Caesar & Sifatius are more than happy to grant this wish, as they have Maciste followed, & wouldn't you know it, he leads them right to the Christians' secret meetign place, so Sifatius' men are able to arrest them all ... only Sylvia they would let go, but she refuses to leave the others alone, who all now blame Maciste for their capture ... & they are of course right to a point.

Maciste though that same night stops by at the prison they are held in, rips the bars of tehir window with his bare hands, & frees them. When Sifatius hears about that, he of course at once suspects Maciste, but his noblewoman Olympia, who is in love with him even though she knos he doesn't love her back, gives him a waterproof alibi ... & continues to do so when Maciste breaks free more & more Christians, until only the Christians' bishop is in captivity ... in the dungeons under the arena.

Sifatius, who still suspects Maciste of helping the Chritians despite his alibis is now setting him a trap in the Arena, but somehow the trap proves to be a mighty poor one, as Maciste is not only able to free the bishop but also a bunch of rebel-gladiators he knows from his gladiators' school days. It's onlyx when one of these gladiators turns traitor that Sifatius learns about the hiding place of the Christians in the catacombs, but event hen Maciste can provide them with a safe escape route, only he himself falls into te Roman soldiers clutches, & is to be killed in the arena by being dragged behind some horses until his death.

A prayer on his lips & his superhuman strength to help him, Maciste survives even this & can make a getaway, with only Sifatiius hot on his heels. In the end, Maciste can kill him in a fight, & immediately afterwards, he & all the Christians are pardoned by Caesar, who is quite impressed by the power of their god ...


A bit of a poor man's Spartacus, this late entry into the Italian muscleman-sword-&-sandals-cycle boasts little in respect of originality, production values or historical accuracy, instead presents the audience with a easy-to-follow, colourful if cheap heroic epic, a pulp-version of the persecution of the Christians with a happy ending thrown in just for good measure, that is at once rather childish & pretty endearing - in a trashy sort of way.


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