A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Ator: The Fighting Eagle

November 21, 2010

Ator: The Fighting Eagle

“This exercise is working. I can feel it… here.”

Another painfully awful movie tonight. For the children. As I mentioned yesterday we’re watching some of the worst movies in our collection to show sympathy for the good people playing Desert Bus to raise money for Childsplay. Amanda and I are far more familiar with the sequel to this movie – Ator The Invincible – better known to MST3K fans as “The Cavedwellers.” We bought this – the prequel to one of our favorite MST episodes so because I am a glutton for punishment. I simply cannot resist a good bad movie.

This movie lacks the huge budget ambitions and star power of yesterday’s film. Instead it is a low budget epic fantasy filmed, I believe, in Italy and dubbed into English. More than anything else it feels like a low budget version of Conan the Barbarian. The movie starts out with a lengthy voice over prologue that attempts to set the scene. It is a time of magic and prophesies. In a poorly defined medieval time period there is a land that has been ruled for a thousand years by an evil spider priest. Only one man has ever attempted to defeat him, but the hero Turin was defeated. Still – there is a prophesy that his son will finally put an end to the spider priest. It is that son, Ator, whose adventures we follow today.

Body-builder and general pretty boy Miles O’Keefe plays Ator, a callow youth who knows nothing of his ancestry or destiny. He only knows that he wants to marry his sister Sunya. He is much relieved to discover, after telling his father of his incestuous intentions, that Sunya is not his sister after all. But on his wedding night Dakkar (the spider priest, who according to the titles plays himself) sics his minions on Ator’s village, killing his adoptive parents and kidnapping his sister/wife.

Ator is trained via montage by the mysterious warrior Griba, who wants to defeat Dakkar for reasons of his own, and then the “adventures” begin. Which is to say that he has a few random things happen to him. Most of which seem to have to do with people wanting to have sex with Ator. There’s an amazon tribe, a witch with a magic mirror, a bunch of undead soldiers (who do nothing at all), a madam at a tavern, a bunch of blind sword makers and their glittering charm shield. In spite of all the prophesies the movie is only really bookended by the confrontation with the spider priest with the rest of the movie padded out by encounters that have nothing to do with the movie. In a way I think it might have worked better as a serial or something than as a movie.

We found it impossible to watch this without MiSTing it. Not just because it is a funny low budget movie, but because it was summarised in its entirety in the prologue to the second Ator movie, which we have seen many, many times. Lines like “oh, he’s been gonged” and “he had never killed so large a puppet” just came automatically to our lips.

This movie was not as bewilderingly and possibly inadvertently bas as Battlefield Earth. It is simply an aimless low budget bunch of silliness that sets out to amuse us with its tale of adventure and magic, and pretty much delivers. You can’t expect great cinema from an Italian Conan movie – but if you can accept a lot of badly staged stage swordplay and a giant spider puppet that hardly movies and whose strings you can clearly see, then this movie might meet your needs.

November 21, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: