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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 »
B-movie king Corman dabbled in most commercial genres: this was his attempt at a historical epic the result is one of his worst films! Even if I watched a public-domain pan-and-scan version, the film never promised to be much it's basically at the level of a third-rate effort from the contemporaneous peplums emanating from Europe!
Lead Michael Forest is as bland and wooden as they come; Barboura Morris makes for a fetching heroine, but her attitude and looks are too modern to convince as a woman of Ancient Greece; Frank Wolff, however, is highly entertaining relentlessly hamming it up as the chief villain. The narrative is fairly typical (and inane): the titular muscle-man hero is appointed by self-proclaimed tyrant Wolff to oust power from a rival country; eventually, he sees the error of his ways and determines to turn the tables with the help of Morris, Wolff's femme fatale-ish companion who, naturally, also has a change of heart because after she has fallen for our man Atlas!
I don't know if it was the nature of the print involved or simply the fact that Corman had no money to accommodate sound effects but, hilariously, at a couple of points we're presented with scenes which obviously demand this but nothing transpires: two men are supposed to blow their trumpets prior to a combat and, later, a bevy of dancing girls prance around sans any musical accompaniment at an 'orgy'. The action sequences are equally lame: ubiquitous Corman presence Dick Miller turns up in so many shots at the climactic struggle that one is almost inclined to believe that he won the battle single-handedly!
We love Corman for his unfailing knack to spot and promote burgeoning talent but, other than his classic (and classy, for their miniscule budget) Poe adaptations, his own directorial output is invincibly erratic...
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