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"Ator, The Fighting Eagle" is an early Conan ripoff from the prolific
and usually enjoyable Italian schlock director Joe D'Amato. While the
basics are in place here (swords, sorcery, and that's about it), the
execution entirely misses the mark. It's hard to describe what exactly
it is that is so off-putting about this film, probably because there is
not a whole lot going on IN the film. The titular character is
portrayed as weak, and not in the sense that it is part of his
personality or backstory. He avoids most combat by simply running away,
which is absurd (no D'Amato pun intended) considering what makes these
types of flicks so enjoyable are the battles. The villain is about as
threatening as the stupid skunk-striped bear cub that runs and grunts
it's way through the movie by Ator's side, dying almost immediately
upon being confronted and showing almost none of the tyrannical traits
his cult is supposed to exhibit.
Sabrina Siani is hot as Roon, if that's any consolation, but it only brings me to my next point: This film is basically FAMILY FRIENDLY. There is no gore, no nudity, and basically nothing else that makes films of this caliber a treat. The dialog, weapons, scenery and characters are cookie cutter and mostly formulaic, which is the biggest shame. Even the giant spider is a disappointment and is disposed of with little effort in one of the only actual battles of the whole movie. There is no tension, no dramatic build toward the climax and no real reason to care about any of the characters. Foremost, don't even get me started on the awkward and blatant incest sub-plot.
I want to like this movie. I really do. But, unfortunately, I just don't.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Mighty warrior Ator (woodenly played by Miles O'Keefe, who's all
flowing long hair and well sculpted muscles) must rescue his beauteous
(semi)sister Sunya (foxy brunette Ritza Brown) from the vile clutches
of evil high priest Dakar (wildly overplayed with deliciously hammy
brio by Dakkar of "Zombie" and "Dr. Butcher M.D." fame). Feisty Amazon
thief Roon (luscious blonde Sabrina Siani) and a cute'n'cuddly bear cub
help Ator out.
Boy, does this hilariously horrendous honey possess all the right wrong stuff to rate highly as a real four-star stinkeroonie: We've got clumsy (mis)direction by legendary sleazemeister Joe D'Amato (who also wrote the patchwork script and did the polished cinematography), dodgy dubbing, erratic pacing, hit or miss acting, ineptly staged action scenes, lovably rinky-dink (far from) special effects (you can clearly see the obvious wires manipulating the legs of a giant puppet spider!), a derivative plot that slavishly (and shamelessly) imitates the story from "Conan the Barbarian," and even a hideously sappy soft-rock theme song mewling away over the end credits. Edmond Purdom adds a touch of class as helpful and vengeful mentor Graba while delectable Euro soft-core goddess Laura Gemser has a small, yet neat role as wicked and powerful sorceress Indun. Carlo Maria Cordio's robust score hits the rousing spot. An absolute crummy hoot.
Conan the Barbarian you could say was at the top of the pile of these derivative sword and sorcery enterprises that were being churned out in the early 80s and the main influencer for these films. "Ator" was at the very bottom of the pile and was a quick cash-in on the former by notorious director Joe D'Amato. It's quite bad. More so in a banal and simple-minded way, this is unforgivable. What happens is second-rate and hasty in its execution and with little fun attached to it. A bemused Miles O'keeffe plays the title character and goes about things in a rather laborious manner (uneventful journey with plenty of strutting and flat sword choreography) although there are some amusingly terrible dialogue exchanges (the heart to heart talk about love with romantic interludes), a lousy twist and a battle scene with a slow moving gigantic spider but other than that not much to recommend. It's just risible more so than thrilling. Oh I did forget something the bear cub. I don't know what it had to do with anything, but its presence was a welcome inclusion.
"Break out the Kleenex!" I said to myself, ready to watch a Joe D'Amato
film starring Laura Gesmer and Sabrina Siani, and all set to pass out
from exhaustion around the fifteen minute mark, just like when I
watched D'Amato's 'Emmanuelle and the Last Cannibals'. Then I noticed
it was a PG film, but my disappointment was short lived as I discovered
that the guy prancing around looking like Ghengis Khan was actually
Edmund Purdom, mister Movie Gold himself. I almost needed those Kleenex
right there and then!
Purdom's never been in a bad film, be it 'Pieces', 'Don't Open Till Christmas' or '2019: After the Fall of New York', and here again he picks a winner, another Italian sword and sorcery film that's low on sense, but high on stupidity.
Miles O'Keefe (with a great hair-metal do) is Ator, son of some guy who tried to bring down the Spider King, brought up by step parents, with a bear for a sidekick and a sister he wants to marry. The high priest of the Spider or something, Dakkar (from Zombie Flesh Eaters), kidnaps Ator's sister and it's up to Ator and his mentor Ghengis Purdom to do...things!
Ator, his bear and newly acquired, violent sidekick Sabrina Siani, set off on many adventures to get Ator's sister back, be it meeting enchantress Laura Gesmer (with clothes!), or enduring the least eventful zombie attack in history, or robbing a whorehouse and killing the customers for no reason at all, or for stealing from blind people and killing them too, on and on and on until Ator faces off with the bad guys, one of which has had the stupidest plan I've ever heard in a long time and that's saying something.
Top it all of with a battle involving an extra from The Giant Spider Invasion and you've got yet another IQ dissolving serving of Italian madness. It doesn't top Fulci's Conquest (whereupon viewing Conquest does result in a feeling that Sabrina Siani has sucked all you brains from the top of your head), but Ator's daft enough to make the grade! Love that end credits tune too!
And lo, trash director Joe D'amato did witness the success of mighty
warrior Schwarzeneggar as Conan and did cash in on the great Austrian's
success, fashioning a film in its image. And that film was called Ator,
and it's star went by the name of Miles O'Keeffe.
It was written that O'Keeffe, as Ator, would defeat the evil Spider King and his ten loyal henchmen whilst on a quest to save the woman of his dreamshis sister! Travelling through lawless, cursed lands, accompanied by a blonde tribeswoman and a fearless bear cub, Ator doth battle with slow zombies and blind warriors, explore the Volcano of Shadows to find the Shield of Mordor, and finally defy the wrath of Dakkar, defeat his evil minions, and battle a giant, ancient arachnid.
A predictably dumb barbarian flick from Italian trash director D'amato, Ator, The Fighting Eagle is complete cobblers from start to finish, but oh so entertaining: a welcome appearance from sleaze goddess Laura Gemser, some unbelievably funny fight scenes, and plenty of crappy dialogue make this cheapo fantasy crap difficult to dislike.
I've not seen the MST3K version of this film, but it's hard to believe that anything could be much funnier than Ator, The Fighting Eagle in its original incarnation.
An action-packed-fantasy-adventure that takes you beyond imagination. Reminds me of one of my favorite movies, Conan. Although this ain´t the same quality it´s very amusing to watch. Miles O´Keeffe does astounding things with his role as Ator and the work with little Keog must have been a difficult task. When you're watching this you really get that feeling of middle-age-fantasy. The story is within a well known concept but still strikes out with an original touch.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I just want to state for the record the the character portrayed by Sabrina Siani is not MOON, but ROON. I submit this as a potential "spoiler" because her name is not reveled until several minutes after her introduction. I think this is ridiculous that we have to write ten lines in order to submit a comment or modification to what has been written about the movie. If you want my opinion, it was not the best sword and sandal flick, but it was better than some of the Hercules movies that came out in the sixties. It has Miles O'Keefe in it who was a star in the eighties with his Tarzan the Apeman movie and Emmanuel of soft-core porn fame. So what does anyone have to complain about.
Ouch! The might menace known as Miles O Keefe in his first
(unfortunately not last) appearance as the thick skulled Ator. He
mostly stares stoically with his gold dyed hair and emotes very little.
Imagine going to your kitchen counter and staring at the dishes drying.
You have captured the essence of this movie.
There's an amusing wedding of brother and sister, this guy Greba who mainly scowls and moves back and forth from scene to scene. I mean, c'mon, when he goes to get the baby, it's the theatre of the mute! There is no crying, pleading, rage; more kind of like 'So long and thanks for the kid!' Who can imagine that village raid attack can be so boring? This is plentiful in this adventure. On the bright side, there's warrior women, good eye candy, and proof that shooting in forests and mountain areas is great because it doesn't COST anything!! Who are you going to pay, Mr. Squirrel? Now, he should've been in this movie!
All in all, Miles O Keefe has been quoted as being good humored; he supposedly even liked the MSTing of Cave Dwellers. Also, the movie is done very seriously which makes it even more kampy fun. Watch it for laughs or for the effect of coma inducing meds.
This movie was a somehow successful rip-off of "Conan, the barbarian"because it was released a very short time after but it has nothing of the value of the film starred by Schwarzenneger. It is cheesy, non-spectacular, special effects are not good and the acting is horrid, although the blonde actress Sabrina Siani is really nice to look (She was seen in other turkeys such as "2020: The rangers of Texas" and I don´t know what happened to her later but in any case, she is the best of this movie which resembles a revision of those antique Italian peplums about Hercules, Ursus or Maciste. It´s equally bad. From director Joe D'amato I prefer his film "Absurd" which was at least gory and much funnier than this.
Ator!!! NO !! NO !! NO !! .. .not Miles O'Keefe. Unfortunately yes.
This seems to be an Italian rip off of Conan (which is funny cause an
Italian produced that movie - and was filmed in nearby Spain).
This is the origin of Ator (which sounds funny since this is technically the first movie, however, most of us know Miles O'Keefe from the Mystery Science 3000 episode of Cave Dwellers, a.k.a Ator 2). Most of us will remember this movie from the various flashbacks in Ator 2, a.k.a Cave Dwellers.
In the first five minutes of the movie we are assaulted with a long, boring narrative that doesn't make a heap of sense. This is followed up by dialog like :
(Minion) Lord, the sign is in the sky.
(Dakkar) What are you saying foooooollll ??
(Minion) The animals cry out and the wind, the trees, the mountain. The earth trembles like a virgin being drawn to the nuptial bed, and the sky is the color of flame, my Lord.
(Dakkar) ..... .... (LINE !!!!)
This is followed up by some more pointless plot points, dialog and fights scenes that look like the Bionic Man was choreographing. One of my favorite scenes is invention of ballet during the wedding scene. It was a modern dance interpretation gone completely wrong. The other scene is a look at our hero, who is a peeping tom pervert.
This is definitely for fans of Deathstalker, Red Sonya and the Barbarian Brothers. If you like your sword and sorcery lite, crunchy with a side of Jack Daniels, then this is the movie for you.
And what was up with that bear ? It was in more scenes than Miles O'Keefe. I guess they were trying to rip off of the Beastmaster as well.
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