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Maria Grazia Spina
I’d never heard of this peplum prior to its recent screening on late-night Italian TV. As the title suggests, it’s an Arabian Nights-type adventure but without any element of fantasy; consequently, it emerges as a totally undistinguished affair that’s barely watchable for the contribution of two “Euro-Cult” stalwarts: Rosalba Neri as the rather bland heroine (she was far more interesting when playing a bad girl) and Paul Muller as the constantly scowling villain (despite having a harem of beautiful girls at his disposal!).
The hero, then, is (unconvincingly) played by muscle-man Kirk Morris who was more at home in mythological roles. Also worth mentioning is pretty Helene Chanel as Muller’s favorite harem girl who develops a conscience out of the blue towards the end and aids Neri in fleeing!; incidentally, she had already appeared alongside Morris in Riccardo Freda’s popular but unintentionally hilarious THE WITCH’S CURSE (1962). The hackneyed plot isn’t worth recounting in detail here – except to say that, at one point, the hero and his sidekick try to pass themselves off as jugglers during Neri and Muller’s engagement feast (a ruse which would also see service that same year in SWORD OF DAMASCUS, a film I rewatched recently!). Neither do the action sequences generate much involvement from the viewer – especially given the sluggish pacing and the sheer contrived nature of events (Morris acquires legendary status as a freedom fighter merely by having made it out of Muller’s palace alive, garnering an impressive army of followers into the bargain apparently at the bat of an eyelid!!).
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