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Although it is usually assumed that the somewhat skimpy battle scenes were due to director Roger Corman's legendary cheapness, Corman had actually arranged for the services of 500 soldiers from the local Greek army garrison. On the morning of filming, however, only about 50 showed up, and as the day wore on (and the heat intensified), some of them drifted away. In order to make it look like there were more "soldiers" than there actually were, Corman had them march in formation past the camera, then when out of camera range run around behind the crew and equipment, and march past the camera again. That is also why the battle scenes are filmed in close-up combat between individual soldiers or small groups of soldiers rather than in long shots of masses of battling infantry, as Corman had originally planned. See more »
... that is, if you dig flicks that involve men wearing really high cut "togas" that look more like skirts. The battle scenes are absolutely laughable, with lots of shots of shields being hit by things (occasionally the wooden swords), and lots of guys who throw spears really poorly at their crew-cut Greek rivals. The charges just sort of slow in front of enemy lines, once even to turn around and change a formation four feet from the "battle line." Some of the editing looks like it may have been done by a deranged chimp, and that's just for the important dialogue scenes. There are a few shots where the camera literally gets knocked out of place. A final word of warning: the director took full advantage of shot width, so if you are unfortunate enough to watch this on tv, several scenes will have half of the speakers cut off at the edge of the screen. If you need something to MST3K, come and get it!
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