By the Gods!

Joe Robinson and Cameron Mitchell in ERIK THE CONQUEROR

Film directed by Mario Bava. Like almost all of Bava's color films, the color gels are used to excess here. Purples, reds, greens, yellows, blues, etc. The film ends up looking artificial. I know many people admire this and consider it one of the signature aspects of his films, and most of the times they're quite effective (certainly in his horror films) but in this film, it makes everything look like a Haunted House ride at an amusement park. The star of the film is Cameron and George Ardisson (not shown) but Joe should have been the main star. He eclipses the two other actors whenever he's on screen. The big problem I have with this film (aside from the colours) is the structure of the story. It's lopsided. Bava made another Viking film with Mitchell, KNIVES OF THE AVENGER, and that one looks more realistic but the story is dull.

1 comment:

Richard Svensson said...

I guess Bava is an aquired taste, but I relly like the visual qualities of his films. Though his colors and camera work is definitely a trademark thing from him, it livens up even a dull movie.
As I've mentioned before I have a soft spot for the Viking movies of Cameron Mitchell. I think he's a very capable action star. I once read an interview with him in Fangoria, and it seems he really enjoyed making his Italian films (like most US actors, apparently), putting his best effort into the work he did over there. He also visited my native Sweden a few times. Here he was a big star simply on the back of his role as uncle Buck from "The High Chaparall" TV series, but Mitchell was always down to earth and generous with his time for fans of him and his work.