Monday, December 9, 2019

By the Gods!

Paola Tedesco and Lincoln Tate in BATTLE OF THE AMAZONS (1973)

There was a mini PEPLUM explosion in 1973. A spat of genre films, from Europe and the US, were released that year and the next couple of years. Unlike the PEPLUM explosion after the release of HERCULES (1958), this one was short-lived. One of the reasons for this resurgence was the gradually acceptance of nudity. Stories with a plethora of female warriors, often nude and in lesbian sex scenes, was a selling point back then. And one of the movies released during that time was BATTLE OF THE AMAZONS. The story is sorta inconsequential. Something about men being slaves to the Amazons and they plot to escape or an uprising. Is the story believable, of seeing men repeatedly captured and imprisoned by the army of women? Not really. It doesn't show what advantage they have over men, even though one character mentions that they are "stronger than ten men."

Personally, this production is not very memorable. In fact, it's one of the most dreary productions I've ever seen (PEPLUM or not). It must have been an exceptionally cold shoot. Everything is dark and cloudy and dreary. Directed by Alfonso Brescia, who also directed THE MAGNIFICENT GLADIATOR (1964) and a couple of other PEPLUM movies. There are few memorable moments in it. The most memorable one is in the image above: the nude woman rides a horse with her new male mate. Lotsa slow motion bouncing involved. A beautiful poster for the movie has this scene featured. Aside from this scene, the movie is bleak. One of the reasons why few scenes stand out is mainly because most of everything is shot from a distance. The use of widescreen is oddly reminiscent of the 1950s. There are few familiar faces in it. There's Benito Stefanelli and a brief scene with Pietro Torrisi as a male slave. Pietro is uncredited. It's sorta like THOR & THE AMAZON WOMEN (1963) but unlike that over-the-top movie, this one is forgettable.


Tim Mayer said...

Wasn't there a rerelease of "Hercules" in the early 70's? Might this account for the peplum mini-cycle at that time?

PEPLUM TV said...

Yes, HERCULES was re-released in 1973, along with HERCULES UNCHAINED. The mini-PEPLUM explosion or cycle was most likely triggered by the upcoming release of THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD, which is considered a 1973 release even though it was widely released in 1974 around the world. It was filmed in 1972. The new cycle was also started with the popularity of more 'adult' PEPLUM movies, with nudity, such as THE ARENA which was released in January 1974. The built up started with films already in production and set to be release. But AVCO EMBASSY re-releasing those two movies definitely helped.