In the first half of the first century A.D., the Teutonic tribes, led by Arminius The Terrible, rebel against the cruel and conquering Roman Empire. In raging torments and blood curdling ... See full summary »
In the first half of the first century A.D., the Teutonic tribes, led by Arminius The Terrible, rebel against the cruel and conquering Roman Empire. In raging torments and blood curdling battles, the barbarian tribes and Roman Legions fight a war of attrition, so brutal and terrible that Arminius becomes a legend throughout the empire. Only Augustus, Emperor of Rome is evil and treacherous enough to enslave the Teuton barbarian and halt his murderous uprisings. Written by
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MASSACRE IN THE BLACK FOREST (Ferdinando Baldi and, uncredited, Rudolf Nussgruberg, 1967) **1/2
This middling peplum is one of a myriad genre efforts which American actor Cameron Mitchell appeared in throughout the 1960s. As was the custom, the Italian names in the credits were Anglicized for the foreign market sometimes comically so with, for instance, Lucky Stetson as cinematographer (even the director became Ferdy Baldwin)! Incidentally, the film is a German-Italian co-production and the cast, apart from the obligatory American star, includes performers from both these countries (with a Rutger Hauer lookalike for the German villain, an allegedly legendary historical character, Antonella Lualdi from Vittorio Cottafavi's splendid THE 100 HORSEMEN  as his lover and, again, a German actress providing Mitchell's tentative romantic interest).
The plot to say nothing of the wintry settings recalls THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE (1964), one of Hollywood's finest spectacles from this era; the result is equally glum and, similarly, features an ominous score atypical of the genre. The film, then, is highlighted by two spectacular (if uninspired) battle sequences the first depicting the titular ambush by the Barbarians, and the other being the Romans' elaborate retaliation.
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