Friday, June 17, 2016

By the Gods!

Sybil Danning, Lou Ferrigno and Brad Harris in THE SEVEN MAGNIFICENT GLADIATORS

A PEPLUM version of the THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, which was itself a Western version of the Japanese film, SEVEN SAMURAI. This is another example of the odd connection of PEPLUM films and Westerns some have attempted to make. I guess many thought Antiquity was the Wild West of Europe...but it wasn't.  The film itself is fun to watch but it's sorta forgettable, even by 1980s standard.


Scott Ochiltree said...

I agree that Peplum films and westerns should be seen as quite different from each other.

Peplum movies correspond fairly well with the "easterns" made by Hollywood in the 1930s. Such movies include LIVES OF BENGAL LANCER, GUNGA DIN, and CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE (which is actually set mostly in Victorian India!).

Arabian Nights fantasy films - especially those featuring Maria Montez - are also similar to traditional westerns in many ways.

Finally, many of the traditions of the western - such as a damsel in distress - can be seen in such science fiction flicks as STAR WARS and STAR TREK.

Richard Svensson said...

There is, obviously, a certain type of story with certain themes and characters that can be adapted into almost any setting and made to work powerfully. But when said prototype story is hitched by a very popular genre, such as the Western, then all films using that prototype is very often "accused" of being remakes of those Wild West films.
However, when a film with such a powerful pop culture impact such as Star Wars comes along, even though it's using those same themes, it now becomes the new template, at least in the minds of critics and film analysts.
Of course a title like The Magnificent Seven Gladiators has its own connotations.