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Quest for the Mighty Sword

Ator III: The Hobgoblin
Ator l'Invincibile / The Lord of Akili / Troll 3

Italy 1990
produced by
Carlo Maria Cordio for Filmirage
directed by David Hills (= Joe D'Amato = Aristide Massaccesi)
starring Eric Allan Kramer, Margaret Lenzey, Donald O'Brien, Dina Morrone, Chris Murphy, Laura Gemser, Marisa Mell, Don Semeraro
written by David Hills (= Joe D'Amato = Aristide Massaccesi), music by Carlo Maria Cordio, special effects by Maurizio Trani, costumes designed by Laura Gemser, cinematography by Federico Slonisco (= Joe D'Amato = Aristide Massaccesi)

Ator

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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King Ator (Eric Allan Kramer) is killed by evil God Thorn, and his magic sword, once given to Ator by Thorn, is broken in two. Ator's wife and son survive though, and she brings the child and sword to the treacherous troll Grindel (Don Semeraro) to bring up the boy and make the sword whole again. Then she asks the troll to kill her, but he gives her an aphrodisiak that also gives her immortality, turning her into an eternal slut who from then on walks the countryside in a half-mad state.

It's only days away from the 18th birthday of Ator's son, who's conveniently also named Ator (and also played by Eric Allan Kramer), and he's more and more anxious to get his hands on his father's sword, which was promised to him on his birthday, but yet the troll tricks him out of the sword time and again - until Ator finds it on his own account, uses it to cut the troll in two, then takes of to free his love DeJanira (Margaret Lenzey), the woman who wanted to save his father from Thorn and has been kept in his prison in suspended animation ever since. To muster up enough power to free her though, Ator has to find the treasure of the South and sacrifice it to the Gods, which he manages to do after defeating the treasures robot (!) guardians and its guard dragon. Freeing Dejanira after that doesn't seem like much of an effort.

Ator and DeJanira encounter a prostitute being mistreated by one of her customers, but Ator saves her from the man. She wants to thank Ator by giving up her body to him, and when he refuses she is revealed to be his mother who can now die in peace as someone has saved her for herself and not her body. She quickly does just that.

Almost immediately after mom has died, DeJanira is kidnapped by the men of Prince Gunther (Donald O'Brien) an ugly man but sensible artist obsessed with beauty who wants to make her his bride - with the approval of his troll sidekick Hagen (Don Semeraro again), who has set his eyes on ruling the region in the prince's stead. And since Gunther's sister Grimilda (Laura Gemser) has set her eyes on Ator, the three of them cook up a devilish plan: They return DeJanira to Ator, but really it is Grimilda, who can this way spend the rest of her life at his side without him ever knowing. Immediately, Ator falls for it, too, but soon he sees through the charade and dashes back to the castle when it's already almost too late and Gunther wants to turn DeJanira into one of his statues by sinking her into a vat of boiling bronze. Of course, Ator has no problem defeating all of Gunther's guards, and when Gunther sees himself with the back to the wall, he throws himself into his vat of bronze and takes Hagen with him.

Ator and DeJanira are reunited again, and free for more adventures ...

 

Ok, I'll freely admit it, this is a bad movie: It's grossly underbudgeted for a story of its scale, the props, costumes and sets are definitely on the cheap side, the monster masks are so bad they are almost ridiculous, the action is less than breath-taking, the story is an awful and incongruent mix of legends from around the world with a few genre mainstays thrown in, and the cast couldn't be any smaller than it is, which gives you the impression of a grossly under-populated world.

All that said though, for some reason this film is also lots of fun - fun in a so-bad-it's-good-sort of way of course, but fun still. Everything from the wild story mix to the bad monsters and effects to Eric Allan Kramer's borderline-ironic performance is just so laugh-inducing you will find yourself enjoying this movie - enjoying it for all the wrong reasons maybe, but enjoying it still.

A must-see for bad movie enthusiasts.

By the way, the ending of this film suggests a sequel, but that never has happened - and maybe it's better that way ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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Out now from
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directed by
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written by
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