Tuesday, August 14, 2018

By the Gods!

Hadji Murad (Steve Reeves) and Prince Sergei Vorontzov (Gérard Herter) in THE WHITE WARRIOR (1959)

This is one of those films difficult to categorize. Is it a PEPLUM film? I say absolutely yes but the setting is sorta modern compare to stories set in Antiquity. It's a PEPLUM because it follows the familiar PEPLUM formula, including beefy Hero and slimy villain. Directed by Riccardo Freda, a PEPLUM veteran, also helps determine that this is one. I like this film. Steve has never been better (or more buff) and Herter is perfectly slimy...to the point that he renders the character totally unlikeable (sometimes villains can be bad but in a fun way). The annoying thing about it is how there are few great copies out there. Yes, the French DVD is pristine (a bit too pristine) but the company which released it is notoriously Youtube copystrike happy so I can't use that one. I have a pseudo HD copy of this, from an Italian TV broadcast. Unfortunately, there's a massive VOD graphic for several minutes at the start of the film, which renders it useless. Not many choices out there. Cinematography by Mario Bava. BTW, the Italian title, AGI MURAD IL DIAVOLO BIANCO, translates as Agi Murad The White Devil.

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