FantasticFest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S., specializing in horror, fantasy, sci-fi, and action movies from all around the world. Here's a list of some of our favorite movies at FantasticFest.
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 »
Cheap, sure. Corman --- of course. But not the usual fare, not even for the King of the B's. Here's the backstory: Corman was in Europe shooting another feature and supposedly entered into a co-production deal with another company. At the last moment his co-producers pulled out and took their money with them. Now Corman had two choices: abandon the project, or shoot the script he had for half the money he'd budgeted. Which did he choose? Well, the movie got made didn't it? Screenwriter Charles Griffith had also written LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS and originally wanted to call this movie ATLAS, THE GUIDED MUSCLE, but Corman nixed that. So we get Steve Forrest (who also played Apollo on a STAR TREK episode) as a slightly malnourished looking Atlas, standing around with a bunch of extras in Greek costumes (including Griffith and Corman himself), looking around at the "grandeur" of ancient Greece, a bunch of the crumbling ruins which the villain explains away by saying "Well, we've been at war so long all the buildings have been demolished" or something like that. I'm not going to pretend this is a GOOD movie, but it's a great example of the unstoppable Corman machine in action.
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