HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
Bloodthirsty
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Demonic
Night Drive
Luca
Prospect
Toll, The
Last Bus, The
Purple Sea
Pebble and the Boy, The
Mosquito State
   
 
Newest Articles
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Goliath and the Dragon Flex for success
Year: 1960
Director: Vittorio Cottafavi
Stars: Mark Forest, Broderick Crawford, Leonora Ruffo, Gaby André, Philippe Hersent, Giancarlo Sbragia, Wandesa Guida, Sandro Moretti, Federica Ranchi, Carla Calò, Ugo Sasso, Claudio Undari
Genre: Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Released by drive-in kings American International Pictures, Goliath and the Dragon was but one of what seem like hundreds of Italian peplum movies - named after the short garment worn by its heroes - released in the wake of Pietro Francisci’s Hercules (1957). Garbled narration barely clarifies the convoluted plot before Goliath (beefy American muscleman Mark Forest), who is confusingly also referred to as “Emilius the Mighty”, climbs down to the “Cave of Horrors” to battle an endearingly hokey, three-headed, fire breathing hell hound and a hairy bat monster. Thus does Goliath (or is it Emilius?) retrieve the fabled “blood diamond” - before it’s nabbed by Leonardo DiCaprio - to appease the gods and vex his mortal enemy the temperamental tyrant Eurystheus (down-on-his-luck Oscar winner Broderick Crawford). In fact Eurystheus is doubly vexed given Goliath’s brother Illus (Sandro Moretti) is in love with Princess Thea (Federica Ranchi), the woman he intends to force into marriage and thereby steal the throne of Thebes. Aided by snake-eyed schemer Tindaro (Giancarlo Sbragia), Eurystheus hatches a plot to drive a wedge between Goliath and his brother. One that, thanks to some ill-chosen conspirators, grows very complicated indeed.

Like a lot of Italian exploitation movies this is a handsome effort. Filmed on sets no doubt left over from bigger budgeted Hollywood epics at Cinecitta, it looks almost as lavish at a fraction of the price. Vittorio Cottafavi may not have been the stylist Mario Bava was but clearly knew how to stage a lurid thrill or two, as when Illus is poised to be crushed underfoot by an elephant or various characters are dangled above a pit of snakes. The production team bedeck the sets with Grecian splendour while the special effects may be variable (e.g. a man in a lousy bear costume) but include some accomplished opticals and a very fine stop-motion animated dragon (a rarity in Italian films). The film also includes several nicely mythopoeic moments, as when the wind carries Thea’s words of warning to her beloved Illus.

Screenwriters Marco Piccolo and the improbably-but-fantastically named Archibald Zounds Jr. add layers of complexity to the serial-like plot by including several conflicted characters. Self-serving slave girl Alcinoe (Wandesa Guida) is so moved by Goliath’s goodness she switches from coveting the Theban throne to becoming one of his closest allies, while Ismene (Gaby André) is torn between her love for Eurystheus and genuine affection for the innocent Thea. Furthermore, Goliath is not quite the clean-cut hero. He disapproves of Illus marrying Thea seeing how her father murdered their parents and goes so far as to tie his brother to a tree.

Moving away from the fascistic overtones of those early peplums spawned by Giuseppe Pastrone’s Cabiria (1913), the Fifties/Sixties sword and sandal films had muscular heroes lending their strength to those that could not fight for themselves. Here the plot takes an interesting turn when a sleazy centaur (Claudio Undari) kidnaps Goliath's dishy wife Dejinara (Leonora Ruffo, a genre regular since the original Hercules) and the gods ignore his pleas for help. Defying the ungrateful gods, Goliath resolves to put family first. The underlining message perhaps being piety is far less important than simple love.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2586 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: