Strongman Maciste must battle the one-eyed Cyclops monster that is ravaging the land of Sadok, while at the same time fending off the advances of the evil Queen Capys, who wants to do a little ravaging of her own.
Capys, la crudele regina di Sadok, erede di Circe, ha deciso di sacrificare all'ultimo dei ciclopi il piccolo figlio di Re Agisandro, ultimo erede di Ulisse. I guerrieri di Capys distruggono Coos, il villaggio di Agisandro, uccidendo quest'ultimo. Ma il ragazzo viene salvato ed affidato a Maciste. Il mitico eroe, benchè catturato, riesce a liberarsi ed a salvare dal feroce attacco degli uomini della perfida regina il piccolo e la madre di quest'ultimo. Written by
If viewers can get by the crummy existing home video transfers currently available ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS, as this is know in it's English language form, is actually a superior example of the Italian Peplum sword & sandal genre. The problem with the existing versions isn't with the film, it's that a glorious widescreen (2:35:1 Techniscope) popcorn movie has been cropped and pan/scanned down to an abysmal, color rotted 16mm fullscreen reduction print meant for television distribution back in the 1960s. There should be a Crimes Against Humanity tribunal charged with tracking down those responsible for ruining this and countless other movies like it, perhaps forcing them to watch endlessly looped repeats of those old SnackMaster infomercials as punishment. The original elements are probably long lost and like a butchered scrap of an old Michelangelo painting, this is all we have left. It's a horrible loss.
But even in such a miserable state this is quite the little Hercules/Samson/Maciste style adventure, with big grinning Gordon Mitchell at his finest as another he-man wandering the ancient world and righting wrongs. This production actually had a decent budget for it's time as well, with a huge cast of extras and some genuinely clever effects sequences and strong man spectacle moments -- at one point Mitchell even rows an entire slave galley at ramming speed, by himself -- along with the requisite eye candy Veil Dance naval gazing for the dads, slave mistreatment scenes, lots of Pizza Pizza guards running around in plumed helmets, the ubiquitous moment where the hero gets to flirt with all the serving girls or share wine & grapes with the evil sexy queen who is responsible for the misdeeds that he must set to rights.
What makes this one stand out is that all of that happens before Atlas, as he is called here, even squares off against a genuinely frightful looking 18 foot tall Cyclops down in it's pit for a duel to the death to save both the pretty princess and the rightful infant heir to the throne. The Cyclops rulez and for once the muscle bound hero is presented with a monster that's quite worthy of his talents. Their battle is a doozie and actually somewhat graphic for it's time. You'd really have to be a cold heartless bastard not to get a kick out of it, and as usual the clever way it was filmed puts any CGI rendered special effects sequence depicting similar events to shame.
And as usual the big lummox of a hero rides off into the sunset at the end while the adoring crowds cheer his heroism & derring-do, something that quite frankly the world could use a bit more of these days. I'd encourage anyone with a love for fantasy adventure/action films to seek this baby out, and you can: It's available on one of those 50 Movie Packs called "The Warriors Collection" easily found on Amazon.com for a few dollars, featuring forty nine other movies more or less just like it, which would take you about two weeks of non-stop viewing to get through it. And people say getting snowed in sucks, I call it an opportunity for cheesy Euro man-beef fantasy indulgence with an exceptionally cool monster to boot. Ignore the crummy picture quality, pop a bucket of popcorn and enjoy!
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