Shlock-merchant Leo Fulci takes a change of pace by making a trashy, barely coherent sword and sorcery fantasy movie instead of his usual trashy, barely coherent horror.
A wimpy Orlando Bloom type called Ilias, from some society vaguely resembling Ancient Greece travels across the ocean to caveman territory on some vaguely defined quest to battle evil, where he joins up with a animal loving hunter to battle the wolf-man and mutant minions of a vampiric topless evil sorceress. Wackiness ensues. The sorceress, is oppressing the local cavemen and wants the magic bow for herself. She sends various minions, each weirder than the last, after our heroes who win through in the end, striking a blow for oppressed cavemen everywhere. This movie contains a steady stream of WTF? elements and moments.
For some reason the entire movie is shot in soft focus and the picture is further blurred by the constant presence of mist on screen. This may have been an attempt to create atmosphere or to hide how fake everything looks. Either way, it failed. There is no atmosphere, unless it is one of scuzziness and mild bewilderment and there is no hiding how lame everything looks. The wolf-man minions look like a poor man's wookie. For some reason the director fell in love with shots of them leaping through the air in slow motion, Six Million Dollar Man style, toward our heroes when they attack. There are probably about a dozen of these shots throughout the movie and it gets goofier every time. The other minions of the topless sorceress, other than the generic leather clad humans, are some lumpy white mutants who appear to be covered in cobwebs. Needless to say they are slow and unthreatening and when they speak sound like gay Hispanic, lisping Daleks. The fights are stilted and unconvincing and the special effects are woeful. Oh yeah, the music is cheap synthesiser stuff that the makers of Doctor Who would have been embarrassed to have used.
Ilias, our nominal hero is bland and forgettable. He also looks a complete wuss, especially with his midriff revealing leather outfit and big hair, and is clearly a moron. Sure, he's a dynamite shot with his magical bow but he only takes about three or four arrows with him in his mission to battle this entire continent of evil. Needless to say he runs out of arrows within a few minutes and has to be saved by more traditional sword and sorcery hero, Mace. When he meets Ilias he establishes himself as the taciturn loner type, claiming he has no friends but no sooner can you say latent homoerotic subtext they are bosom buddies, traipsing the misty hills together. Mace promises to take Ilias with him in return for bow related favours. Ilias asks where he is going. "Wherever my legs take me," is his reply. Good enough for Ilias. Mace is also animal lover and outrageous hypocrite. He proclaims his great love of and affinity toward animals, citing the usual stuff about how he prefers them to humans because humans can be soooo mean. He says he would never hunt and kill an animal to feed himself but he will steal meat off other people who have hunted down animals. He is also not above randomly killing innocent passers by for no good reason. Not long after they meet, he is testing out Ilias' bow and the movie cuts to some random caveman, minding his own business, walking along and Mace shoots him dead. There is no indication this poor soul did anything to deserve this and even Ilias, who supposedly hails from a more moral and civilised society doesn't even raise an eyebrow.
The films villainess is quite unusual. For the entire movie she is completely naked except from a g-string and a golden mask that encompasses her entire head. It's like Fulci included her to make the movies obligatory T&A quotient but decided she was bit too much of a butterface at the last minute. She spends a lot of time seemingly being pleasured by her pet snakes and dreaming about being shot by a faceless bow wielding man who is dressed like Ilias. Wow, such symbolism! Later on in the movie she wimps out when she can't beat Ilias and Mace and promises to make herself the sex-slave of some ancient warrior dude if he kills them for her. Hardly the world's most scary villain and not really a step forward for women's rights. I think he sic's the cobweb creatures on our heroes and impersonates Mace in a situation where there is no no-one else around but Mace to fool. Was he really worthy trading your self respect for, Ocron?
There are quite a few other WTF? moments. Most of them come toward the end of the movie. Ilias wusses out, I forget why, possibly his permed hairdo got mussed, but realizes the error of his ways and returns to aid Mace in fighting the forces of evil. All of a sudden, for no reason, his bow can suddenly fire out multiple target seeking bolts of energy. The bolts can also shoot through solid rock when necessary. Needless to say his makes short work of the hordes of bad guys who have captured Mace.
The climax is also rather nonsensical. Mace decimates Ocron's remaining forces using the bows targeted laser attack capability. He then is able to shoot Ocron from a kilometre away using its shoot through rock capacity. She starts dying. Her mask is ripped of revealing a hideous Muppet head. She staggers around screaming and turns into a dog and wanders off with another dog. Mace smiles. Roll credits.
Strangely enough as far as these dodgy low budget sword and sorcery movies this one is reasonably lucid and focused. Any one who has seen Wizards of the Lost Kingdom can tell you how nonsensical and meandering these movies can truly be.
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