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|Index||37 reviews in total|
Lots of people would call "Ator" a bad movie. I, personally, would call it delightfully cheesy, like an unintentional spoof on itself. The random use of pyrotechnics at the end, the extremely low quality acting, the plot line that was, at the same time, both stupidly simple AND made no sense, and an arch-villain that wouldn't scare a baby unless it was hit by lightning. Don't see this movie for technical genius, see it for laughs. But, make sure not to become to overcritical of the movie. It may be an extremely bad movie, but I think you will find it hard to enjoy if you are looking for problems. Just sit back, and let the cheesiness do it's work.
If you are looking for a sage tale, full of mystic fantasy that takes you
off to into uncharted territories, please, do not watch. If you like
hokey barbarian movies, this is perhaps one of the best.
This is not a good movie. However, that should not discourage you. If you can accept it's badness, you will enjoy it. It is so terrible that you can sit back and laugh. The furry boots, the chest armor that looks like a large dinner plate, the fact that he wants to marry his sister... Miles O'Keeffe kinda looks like an out of work porn star.
If you enjoy really bad movies, this is a must see; one of those few gems that is a funny-but-not-supposed-to-be-funny movie.
Unlike most badly-produced hack-and-slash romps through the wilderness in
leather and Lycra, this film has the distinction of being two things that
most movies of its ilk aren't:
2) A fantastic drinking game
Regarding the first point, did it ever occur to anyone else that the authors of the script could have simply made Ator fall in love with somebody else from the village and avoided the issue of, you know, Ator marrying his SISTER? If you haven't seen the movie, a bit of explanation is in order: Ator has been adopted by a family in order to disguise his regal bloodline, and somehow manages to fall in love with his adoptee sister as he grows from a baby into a Fabio-esque stud (complete with a forcefully hairsprayed mane of golden curls). He gets by the whole "incest" thing on a technicality, but doesn't one think that he'd probably have discounted his sister as a potential mate at age five? The whole thing smacks of subliminal messaging on the part of the writers of the script to me. "Look! Ator marries his sister," they're saying. "Write your congressman, and send him a copy of Ator: The Fighting Eagle!" Note that the writing team are a male/female pair...
As for the drinking game, it's really simple: Take a sip every time you see Ator's bear cub, and a shot every time the bear does something to assist Ator. If you adhere strictly to these rules, you will not finish this film before you die of alcohol poisoning. This bear cub does far, far more than either Ator or Roon throughout the course of the movie. And he's so loveable! I started cheering for the bear - and the bear alone - half an hour into the film.
Like the title says, if you can get this movie for four bucks, I highly recommend that you pick it up. It's not unbelievably horrible, like "Reborn From Hell: Samurai Armageddon" is, but it's a docile, friendly sort of awful. And really, what else could one ask for?
This rating is not a reflection on how "good" "Ator l'invincibile" is; admittedly, it's a cheap, cheesy 'n' clunky "Conan the Barbarian" Italian made imitation designed to cash in on the success of that film. The rating applies to the entertainment value, which is fairly substantial, unintended laughs and all. Beefy Miles O'Keeffe, then riding high after making an impression in "Tarzan, the Ape Man", plays the title character, a warrior who, it has been prophesied, will rise up and vanquish an evil ruler, the High Priest of the Spider, played by Dakar, whom you'll recognize from "Zombi 2" and "Dr. Butcher, M.D." The priests' henchmen have snatched Ator's luscious would be bride Sunya (Ritza Brown), whom he was led to believe is his sister (!). Fortunately, as he goes on a quest where he's never ever challenged to a great degree, he acquires an equally delectable travelling companion, Roon (Sabrina Siani), who's only interested in treasure seeking. From the predictably tacky special effects (we can clearly see the wires manipulating the legs of the giant spider at the end) to the skimpy costumes on the ladies to that hilariously ridiculous end credits song on the American print, "Ator l'invincibile" (or "Ator the Fighting Eagle" as it's known in the U.S.) is agreeable if not outstanding genre entertainment. It's obviously more for the kiddies than the older viewers; one can hardly fail to notice that it's really rather tame, which is especially surprising considering the other, very adult titles on director Joe D'Amato's resume. There's even a little shameless button pushing in giving Ator a constant animal companion in the form of an adorable bear cub. However, even though this is therefore not going to appeal to some people, it's still hard not to like, as it stumbles its way through its 93 minute running time. O'Keefe and Siani may not be the most expressive actors in the business, but when they look the way they do, it's hard to imagine too many people complaining. Adding to the fun are the appearances of other familiar faces from exploitation cinema: Edmund Purdom ("Pieces") as Griba, who gives Ator all important advice and training, and the ever stunning Laura Gemser as Indun, the temptress (annoyingly, this character is never properly paid off). They all make this easy enough to watch, even though this is also easy enough to forget. Followed by three sequels, with O'Keeffe returning for two of them. Six out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ever likable B-movie star Miles O'Keeffe dons fur rimmed boots in this
the first of three films in which he plays the character of Ator
(although in the third movie it is actually debatable if it is the same
This is an interesting entry in the sword and sorcery genre in that it's screen violence is extremely mild in comparison to many of it's brethren. In fact it comes across in many ways as a sort of Conan for a younger audience. This is even more surprising considering that it was directed by the late, great Joe D'Amato, -an incredibly prolific director who is probably best remembered for filming both some of the most notorious 'video nasties' around and a very long list of porno films!
So what of the quality of the film itself?
Well, actually it's rather good in fact!
The numerous challenges that Ator faces as the film progresses, are each like miniature stories within themselves so the proceedings luckily never get dull. One particularly effective scene for instance, involves Ator and his sword swinging female companion being pursued by an undead army who are accompanied by an ever present and ominous fog (obviously inspired by John Carpenter's film) Another (this time rather amusing) scene has Ator actually battling his own shadow! But the very best bit is at the films climax when Ator battles a rather embarrassing looking giant spider which flails around in much the same manner as a fish out of water!
What can I say - the film is certainly no masterpiece, but it IS great fun!
Infamous Italian movie maker Joe D'amato (known for many porn films along with horror movies like "Trap Them and Kill Them" and "Buried Alive") tried his hand at a sword and sandal flick. At parts this movie could be mind numbingly boring and at others quite entertaining. That is to a certain extent of course. It wasn't too bad a movie, but not too good either. Look for delicious Laura "Emanuelle" Gemser in a supporting role as an evil Sorceress.
Miles O'keeffe as Ator, Joe D'amato behind the wheel...what can go wrong? Great sets, great fights, great story and epic as hell.
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.
That's all I can really say about this film, that it's better than it's sequel. Actually, this isn't all that awful, but it's not all that good, either. While the sequel was sickening and dull, this one manages to entertain us with it's amazing badness. The movie is pretty bad, but that's just it, it's not totally awful like some other Italian muscle-man epics. Many types of these films were released by Italian film makers in the early 80's, whether they were successful or not I don't know. To summarize: This movie is bad, but more watchable than other films of it's type.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ator: The Fighting Eagle is nothing more then a laughably lame,
second-rate, knock-off of Conan the Barbarian, one of several from that
era and somehow this accidental comedy of a movie would spawn at least
The film stars Miles O'Keefe in the title-role of Ator (i.e. discount Conan), who is marked from birth with a sign, which falls in line with the movies illogical and nonsensical story-line, which entails him (once he's grown into manhood) as it is predestined, to become the conqueror of "the ancient one" and as prophesied if Ator were to slay this ancient dude and end his 1,000 year reign, a new era of peace and happiness would befall the realm. Described that way the movies plot sounds fairly straight forward, however if you try to follow this movies plot, which I would not recommend doing, as it just seems lessen the fun of this schlocky-ham-handed-B-rate-barbarian-spectacle. In other words when watching this mindless tromp through ancient times, just sit down and turn off your brain and enjoy the ridiculouslessness of it all. Because as you'll no doubt see Ator: The Fighting Eagle (even it's title doesn't even seem to correlate to anything relevant to it's plot) is a movie that's rife with plot-holes and loaded with illogical situations, not to mention the movies corny special effects and numerous, tepidly-staged, action sequences.
Let me briefly go into description of Ator - our mighty hero in the movie. Miles O'Keefe is a guy who evidently had some bodybuilding in his background and thus has a ripped, though not heavily muscled, physique (he's no Arnold) and looks to be well over six-feet tall. So far he sounds like he fits the role, but then there's the fact that he's more of a metro-sexual, sissy-pants, then a believable screen hero. Then we have his costume (the wardrobe department has to take some of the blame on this one), when Ator makes his first appearance he's wearing this ridiculous looking, fur-lined, get-up that also has lots of frilly fringe. Cringe. He also has white flowers weaved through his hair, which throughout the movie qualifies as an anachronism, our hero's hair; because where in a medieval world did Ator get his Aqua Net.
The villains of this schlocky mess of a movie are just as lame as the hero, especially the bald black guy whose decked out in studded, black leather armor (standard issue among medieval villains), who has an infatuation with Tarantula's and who is also in the habit of wearing heavy amounts of golden eye-shadow....... sound cringe-worthy? You'd be right. Then there's yet another villain, whose grand plan further undermines the movies already flawed logic and cliché-ridden plot, but seeing as how Ator is a poorly made fantasy film / barbarian-adventure-romp it doesn't really seem to matter whether it's story makes sense or not. It's my suggestion that you suspend any inkling of disbelief (which you'll undoubtedly have) and simply relish all the unintentional humor Ator brings to your screen. Because, Yes, this movie is a bad as looks.
Which brings me to another point that doesn't bode well for Lord Ator, which is the fact that the image quality of this movie (or lack of it), no matter whose copy you're watching, always looks flat-out terrible. It's image is beset with several significant problems, which range from it's faded, washed-out, color, to it's weak contrast levels; which looks especially bad whenever there's a scene involving a low-light setting and seeing as how nearly half the movie takes place inside a series of caves, you can expect to see lots of washed-out blacks and an overall heavily marred and hazy image quality - which proves to be so bad in certain places that it's to the point of distraction. Though I doubt it, Ator: The Fighting Eagle looks as if it were a movie that was shot directly to VHS tape - because that's just how bad it looks.
The films production values are another mark against it, what a joke, with it's lame small-scale sets, goofy-looking costumes, deplorable FX, etc and when you add everything up it all make for a very cheap and amateurish looking movie. But if there's one category where Ator doesn't come up on the short-side of - it's tail, for Ator's a real cocksman in this movie; starting with a young women who he thinks is his sister and yet wants to marry her anyway (so pitch in a hint of incest). Then there's a blonde-headed amazon on horseback not far in, which eventually leads to a whole tribe of amazonian warriors (they fight over him in order to earn the privilege of mating with him), then further on there's a wizardly seductress whose aching for some action with Ator.... and well I've lost count, but I think there's one more romantic interlude near the end.
If there's one scene that's a stand out, not because it's actually good, but because it's a showcase of terrible FX. Near the end through the black magic of "the ancient one" there's shape-shifting in the air, so beware! What you can expect to see is a big phony-looking spider, but in reality it's just a badly made puppet, that looks about as realistic as drugstore-brand Halloween decor (or maybe some crap bought at Spencer Gifts, after the holidays when their trying to off-load their seasonal merchandise at a steep discount). Which is no surprise really, because "big scary spiders" always look phony in old movies, always.
So in the end, if you want to see a pathetic Conan The Barbarian rip-off settle down and put on Ator: The Fighting Eagle and afterwards if you still somehow find yourself craving for more Ator movies, Miles O'Keefe starred in at least two sequels - and in one those movies Ator, our dear, sword-swinging, barbarian, friend - goes hand-gliding!
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