Sunday, June 16, 2019

By the Gods!

Killikrates (John Richardson) tries to get Ayesha (Olinka Berova) to walk in the flames, with 'hero' Philip (Edward Judd) wanting to rescue her in VENGEANCE OF SHE (1968)

How many times have we seen endings like this one? Two men fighting over a beautiful young woman. I like this movie but it's pretty much plotless and it's kinda boring. The beginning really drags (30 minutes in the movie and nothing much has happened yet). But it's still entertaining. There are so many improbabilities in it that it almost becomes a comedy, like Carol (aka Ayesha) walking around the desert in mini skirt and tight top. It's odd that a beautiful woman like her sleepwalks her way around and no one tries to make a pass at her. I guess the improbabilities make it fun to watch.

These screen grabs are from a HD copy. It's so high def that you can clearly see the makeup on Olinka's face. As for Richardson, he clearly stayed too long in the sun. He looked like a strip of overcooked bacon. Again, this makes me laugh since his character is always in some cave or underground setting. And Judd is the unlikeliest hero of all time. His acting is good but he seems befuddled by everything (he also has one of the worst haircuts, or is it a toupee, I've ever seen for a leading man). So many goofy things about it, sorta predictable and kinda slow, and yet I watched it. I love the whole cult/ritual stuff.


Anonymous said...

You are unnecessarily unkind about this movie which is actually very good. And Olinka doesn't walk around the desert in a mini-skirt and tight top. During the desert scenes she wears some sort of abbreviated fatigues and more than a pass is made at her by a pair of Arabs. You are willing to accept the most outlandish aspects of the sword and sandal muscleman films and then find fault with this well acted film from Hammer. If it had been made in Italy you would have forgiven it everything.

TC said...

It is really a remake pretending to be a sequel, although with the male and female roles reversed, and with a different ending. And it suffers from not having Ursula Andress.

Also, near the end of She (1965), the slaves revolt, and it appears that they will overthrow the monarchy. But in this movie, Killikrates is still ruling over the kingdom as if nothing had happened.

I suspect the sequel was made just to re-use the sets. The 1965 film was a hit, but it was still the most expensive movie that Hammer had made at the time, and maybe they were trying to get the biggest possible return on that investment.

PEPLUM TV said...

TC, true....but why remake it so soon after the original?

Dear Anonymous

You're either new to the blog or clearly trolling because since 2010 I've been pointing out all the liabilities of Italian productions. From their use of stock footage to "Who Wore It Best?" to "Same set, different films' to anachronisms to articles on Twin Productions, Technical Goofs, etc. In fact, just recently I posted about how there are few matte paintings in Italian productions compared to US one and showcased the special effects from HELEN OF TROY directed by Robert Wise to show the immense scope of his vision.

So, again, either you're new here or you wan to read what you what to see. Because if there's one thing I talk about is the pros and cons of Italian productions. I even have one permanent page with Wardrobe Malfunctions because they happen so often. I don't know where exactly you got the idea that I think they're perfect.

Your criticism is unwarranted.

Anyway, VENGEANCE OF SHE is filled with silly details, like Ayesha walking in mini skirt and tight top in remote desert village without luggage and yet latter she's wearing a Safari ensemble with go-go boots, that fits her perfectly. Where did she find that in that dusty village? So, yes, the film is filled with silly improbabilities.

I wrote that I like the movie but just pointed out its silly aspects. No biggie.

Scott Ochiltree said...

The 1935 SHE is by far the best treatment of this novel by H. Rider Haggard in my view.

Merian C. Cooper is best known today for his 1933 KING KONG.

Anonymous said...

None of the sets from the original SHE were used in Vengeance of She.

Anonymous said...

Helen Gahagan's costume in the 1935 version obviously influenced the evil queen's costume in Disney's 1937 Snow White. I'm surprised that (AFAIK, anyway) there was not a lawsuit.

When Helen ran for public office, she tried to buy up all copies of the 1935 movie so she could destroy them.