Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 23rd, 2021
The Italian film industry has been setting trends since Edison first released his wonderful moving picture cameras. Names like Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, and Lamberto Bava delivered what would be known as Spaghetti Nightmares. These are the films that gave birth to the American splatter craze that began in the 1970’s. Then there was Sergio Leone and his Spaghetti Westerns that propelled Clint Eastwood to instant stardom with his Man With No Name films. Most film fans know these filmmakers and the history that spawned. What is less known is that decades before these trends Italian filmmakers were created, a genre often called sword and sandal films that featured a lot of ancient buff guys with swords saving cities, and of course beautiful damsels in distress. While many were low-budget affairs, they soon evolved into epic spectacles while still on somewhat limited funds. Among these films the Greek semi-god Hercules would become one of the more famous and successful. Hey, Greek mythology is in public domain, so you can develop a franchise that has high name recognition without having to pay royalties. Writers were a dime a dozen and could be paid with a six-pack and a TV dinner. In Europe at the time there were no unions to make sure everyone shared in the wealth.