A king makes a pact with an ancient demon and after years of ruling his kingdom in peace, the demon has come to collect. Now a group of rival gladiators must fight for the survival of the kingdom.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Maurizio Corigliano
Sharon Fryer
...
Kayne
...
Hel
Bryan Murphy ...
King Wolfkahn
Matt Polinsky ...
Gunnar
Annie Social ...
Teela
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A king makes a pact with an ancient demon and after years of ruling his kingdom in peace, the demon has come to collect. Now a group of rival gladiators must fight for the survival of the kingdom.

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The duel they never expected is about to begin.


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Release Date:

27 January 2011 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Iron Gladiators  »

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$3,000,000 (estimated)
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Although the film is set in medieval times, the king is shown to have dental fillings when laughing. See more »

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Approach with caution (and possibly intoxication)
24 September 2011 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

There are so few 'good' things about this film that I can count them with one hand: 1. Music/sound - In order to partially offset the painful torment of this film, I found myself closing my eyes for a large portion. However, in my blind contemplation, I was quite surprised to notice that some orchestration in this film was very well done. There are a few unsuitable choices for music (for example, some more modern music was used when this clearly did not suit the era of this film). Despite some occasional acoustic pleasantries, these were often short-lived, being crudely interrupted by the shrill voice of some of the actors (see comments below). 2. Scenery - In my few moments of bearing through this, there were some enjoyable choices of location. Some of the countryside shots were quite stunning and the castle shown were also very captivating.

That being said, it seems as if too large a portion of this film's budget was blown on film locations and/or orchestration. As an audience, it felt as if the director's idea of making a good film was spending an obscene amount of money.

My biggest strife with this movie is the "acting". I put the word acting in quotes here, because beyond the incessant muscle-flexing, skimpy-outfit wearing women and awkwardly corny scenes, there wasn't much of this "acting" going on.

Firstly, the accents of this film were incredibly annoying. On the one hand we had this king - who I presumed was English. Yet on the other hand, the returning crude yankee-American accents stood out like a sore thumb. Was it just too hard to ask the actors to attempt an English/British accent? The change of accent is not only incredibly disorienting to the viewer (are we in England or America?), it just reflects poorly on the actors/directors for putting up with it. I wouldn't have cared as much if they had just stuck with either one, but a mixture of both is just plain laziness.

Don't get me started on the role of women in this film. The poster looks promising, and I was expecting a mixed arsenal of skilled warriors and adept female assassins of some sort. What I got instead was a blatant over-the-top sexualisation of what should have been a graceful film in this regard. One of the scenes depicted the king's daughter pushing her breasts together exclaiming no one had "seen a body this good". I understand that 'sex sells' is a commonly accepted marketing tactic, but stuff like this just comes off as shallow and unnecessary. Furthermore, the very same female warrior as shown on the poster sports what I make out as being a skimpy chain-mail bra-like garment (designed primarily I suppose to as a cleavage-enhancing device). To me such costume designed just made no logical sense. What was the point of making the bra out of chain-mail and exposing as much skin as possible on the girl? Doesn't that just defeat the very purpose of wearing armour? This type of nonsense can also be seen on some of the other costume designs. Did they just spend too much on flying everyone out to the extravagant locations that they just ran out of budget on chain-mail costumes? I just wish the director spent as much time working on the authenticity of this film as much as he did on computer retouching every seen with banal transitions and effects (or perhaps even half as much time as the women in this play spent exhibiting their breasts).

I felt as if there was no real performance here: the actors just stuck way too precisely to the scripting. For example, there is also one scene in particular where the king struggles with one of his maids in which he forces her head down onto a table after she called his daughter a witch. This particular scene is just embarrassing to the industry of acting. The maid flinches too artificially and the entire act looks forced. I expect that attempting to ad lib some of the scenes would help eliminate this awkwardness, but that would require a brain-cell or two as well as some level of skill in acting. The fight scenes looked just as contrived and unpracticed as ever. These were often accompanied by the lousy gore effects of limbs being torn off, weapons piercing through heads/necks/torsos and generally disconnected fight scenes (it felt as if they were there just to claim the title of 'gladiator' as opposed to offering any worth to the plot/story of the film).

There are also numerous camera anomalies. Off the top of my head, one particular scene shows one of the gladiators dropping a dagger down upon a defeated enemy who is lying half-dead on the floor. Just in the nick of time the dagger is caught by a third gladiator. The scene is just cut and stuck together, one showing the dagger falling and the next showing it being caught (and suddenly one of the gladiators has disappeared in this cut scene). Once more, it's little things like this that reflect poorly upon the directors/editors for not picking it up.

My last knit-pick is the narration to this film. I'm as much for a mythical/enchanting/magical story line as the next guy, but this film just doesn't execute it right. It feels as if they took as many words pertaining to mythology as possible: demon, devil, evil, shadow, scar, hell etc. and just stuck them all together in what makes for a confusing and rather pointless story. There were various elements ripped off other classic stories (Excalibur) and numerous clichéd twists (guy succumbs to evil and must be vanquished by someone pure).

Overall, what I got was mixed assortment of crummy costumes, corny acting, eye-popping breast panoramas, confusing and contrasting accents, lack of genuine direction in terms of plot, poorly executed fight scenes which held next to no merit.


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This has cult movie potential like Birdemic garnet-8
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