Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Movie Review: Thor and the Amazon Women

Thor and the Amazon Women (Le gladiatrici) 
Starring: Susy Andersen, Joe Robinson, Harry Baird, Janine Hendy, Maria Fiore, Alberto Cevenini, Tony Ante, Robert Baca, Anna Majurec, Claudia Capone, Carla Foscari 
Director: Antonio Leonviola 
Coronet Film, Italia Film, Dubrava Film, Italy, Yugoslavia, 1963.
Thor and the Amazon Queen title
Another find from the Warriors 50 Movie Pack (Mill Creek).

16000 BC a terrible matriarchal tribe of Amazons ruled the land called Aprisia(?). The men were thought inferior and they were forced work in mines as slaves. The women who rebelled were forced to fight until death. First time in human history humans were forced to kill each other in gladiator battles for the pleasure of bloodthirsty queen! Political correctness? Never heard!

Glowing Sibyl foresees that the Black Queen (Janine Hendy) will reign until a strong man appears and overcomes 101 strongest Amazon warriors. The man will be a descendant of Thor (?). The Black Queen will give 100 male slaves to the woman who brings that man to the Queen.
The Sibyl
Janine Hendy
The Black Queen
Soon a woman tells how she saw a powerful man in distant land fighting a beast and killing it with his bare hands. Another woman tells how he tamed some lions. Then another woman, one of Queens gladiatrices named Ghebel Gor (Carla Foscari) says she will bring the strongman if she may join the queen's glorious army. Ghebel Gor was captured by Amazons in the forest of Har, the home of Thor (Joe Robinson). The Queen asks what does the name Thor signify. Ghebel Gor tells that Thor is a descendant of Taurus, so he is strong as a bull. Queen wants Yamad (Maria Fiore) to bring Thor alive.
Thor once fought a gorilla
Carla Foscari
Ghebel Gor
Meanwhile in a nice village a blindfolded old man is playing Ring Around the Rosies with kids. A blonde kid Amouk(?) brings home something to eat, a big lamb. Amouk tells that when he was fishing he saw a big tiger. Then a blonde woman Tamar (Susy Andersen) comes herding some goats. The old guy and Amouk plan on hunting the tiger. Tamar who is Amouk's sister plans to help in the hunt. The old guy opposes, Tamar is a woman! Tamar tells that Naylian blood runs in her veins. Amouk shows a circular tattoo on his chest. He tells that his father the king made it and Tamar also has one! (She does not show it though). Someday Amouk will be a king too. The old guy raised them and taught them courage and justice. Tamar tells Amouk that the Amazons killed their father and took the throne. Conspiracy of women wanted to rule over men! The other villagers were taken prisoners and only Tamar and Amouk escaped.
The Shepherd King
Susy Andersen
Tamar and Amouk
Meanwhile Yamad, Ghebel Gor and Amazon soldiers plan to capture Thor. Ghebel Gor is still held captive by the others. Amazons untie her, but will kill her if she tries to escape. Tamar and Amouk see a tiger but it is scared away by a group female looking soldiers. Tamar wonders who they might be, apparently suffering from a sudden amnesia. They hope that the strange women would go away. 

Then we finally see Thor! He is swimming unaware that the Amazons are planning a surprise for him. Thor sees a lonely lamb and goes to stroke it. Tamar and Amouk think he is the tiger and spring a trap. Thor is in the net. Thor congratulates them for the good work. They all have a jolly good time!
Joe Robinson
Maria Fiore and Carla Foscari
Yamad and Ghebel Gor
Amazons surround them and declare that Thor must come with them. Thor declines and Amazon throws him with bolas. Thor falls off the cliff. A black muscular guy carries unconscious Thor to his cave and sucks his foot (?). He explains later that the bolas was poisoned. Ubaratutu also helps Thor fix his disjointed shoulder. The black guy Ubaratutu (Harry Baird) decides to call Thor "Master". Ubaratutu has a cool monkey.
Ubaratutu sucking poison out
Nice monkey!
Monty Python general too silly
Meanwhile Ghebel Gor, Tamar and Amouk are prisoners. Amouk says something about Thor not letting himself to be captured by women, so Ghebel Gor kicks him. Tamar pushes Ghebel Gor. Yamar intervenes and breaks their fight. Ghebel Gor declares to Tamar that they will become best friends. Amouk talks about reconquering Babylos with the help of Shepherd King. (It is a bit confusing: the kingdom is called Naylia, Babylos or Aprisia or whatever). Tamar is taken to Gladiatrix school, she gets 21 iron rings. She will have to fight for the delight of women of Naylia. She will lose one ring with each won match. If she gets rid of all the rings she will go free, however no one has ever managed to do that. 

Amouk goes to the State Camp for Children. The instructor of girls trains them to give the traditional Amazon salute: Elp! Elp! Elp, Elp, Elp! Amouk is assigned to clean animal skins. A young Amazon girl calls him and asks where Amouk got his bear skin. Amouk tells that he is a hunter and he killed the bear himself. Amazon girl wants the bear skin and is willing to exchange it for her own clothes. Amouk declines because he does not want to wear girls' clothes. Girl suggests that they go hunt a bear together at night. Amouk must use girls' dress as disguise. 
Meanwhile the gladiatrices are trained with a turnstile machine with spears sticking out, it seems like those common hindrances at video games. Tamar has a new friend Agarit (Claudia Capone) who tells that the kids are raised to be slaves. Later they will work in the mines. Agarit has once fought in the arena, but she did not have to kill her opponent. She is a sensitive girl who detests killing fellow gladiatrices. Ghebel Gor instead has no such inhibitions, and has only two fights left before she can go free. She is not very powerful but she uses deception for winning the fights. So maybe Tamar and Ghebel Gor will not become best friends after all. 
Claudia Capone
At night Amouk and little Amazon go adventuring. At the Gladiatrix school Agarit must select her opponent. During the draw two gladiatrices start holding hands. Tamar is selected but is saved because she was wounded in the training. Another girl is selected and combat begins. Agarit wins, and an old Amazon named Umak or something orders Agarit to kill her opponent even if it was only a practice match. Agarit disobeys and is sentenced to death. Gladiatrices shoot her with arrows, all miss except Ghebel Gor. (There is again a hasty cut when the arrow hits). 

Meanwhile Amouk and little girl whose name is Luli are in the forest. They are hungry so they eat some melons that grow in the trees. Next they drink water from a pond. Luli collapses. Soon also Amouk collapses. Amouk wakes in Ubaratutu's cave. Ubaratutu and Thor are arm wrestling. Thor gives Amouk milk, but the monkey drinks it. Luli is still sleeping. Amouk tells that Tamar is in the Gladiatrix school. 
Joe Robinson and Harry Baird
Ubaratutu and Thor arm wrestling
The Black Queen has apparently stolen Blofeld's white cat. The gladiatrices must fight in the Triangle of Death! Three gladiatrices fight, using various weapons and crescent shaped shields, only one survives. Then another three gladiatrices start a fight, one uses a weird cross-shaped spear. There are also some guys with weird masks watching the matches. Tamar is a cool chick, she is not blinking while watching the carnage. One gladiatrix throws down her sword. Amazon guard puts the sword back into her hand. Again she drops the sword. This time the guard stabs her to death. Then another three fight and one is killed. The other two start crying and hugging. Tamar asks Ghebel Gor would she still be her friend if she had to fight her. Ghebel Gor does not wish to fight her because Tamar is very gentle, but also strong. The crying gladiatrices commit suicide. This is getting bleak!
Gladiatrices in the Triangel of Death
Dudes with funny masks
Let's insert a cat picture here
Luckily we see Amouk running happily in the village. The old guy (probably the Shepherd King that Amouk spoke of) declares it is time to find allies for the war against the Queen of Babylos. Thor offers his and Ubaratutu's help for infiltrating the underground city. Ubaratutu would rather stay protecting the village. He does not want to go to a place where men are treated like worms. But Thor says that Ubaratutu must come because it is a fight of justice. Ubaratutu still does not seem very enthusiastic. Amouk says that when he is the king, Luli will be her queen. 

When Thor and Ubaratutu find bodies of hanged men, they know they have arrived at the right place. They see a man getting executed. Thor intervenes, the man is queen's husband. The queen does not want him anymore. Thor frees him, but Amazons shoot him. Ubaratutu runs away. Thor goes hiding in the cave. Amazons capture Ubaratutu and ask who he is. Amazons take his pendant. Male slaves take him to physical inspection. The queen watches from hole in the wall. The queen asks him to show his muscles. She clearly likes what she sees! The queen chooses Ubaratutu to be her new husband. 
Harry Baird
Ubaratutu in physical  inspection
The Queen likes!
Meanwhile Thor meets some male prisoners. Ubaratutu enjoys his new life as the King. Thor comes in and Ubaratutu is glad to see his master. Thor explains that soon she will also kill Ubaratutu like all her former husbands. It is hard for Ubaratutu to believe that the queen is so wicked. Ubaratutu does not want to go so he and Thor exchange blows. Ubaratutu manages to knock himself out. Male guards try to stop Thor from carrying Ubaratutu outside. Ubaratutu recovers and helps Thor fight the guards. He accidentally knocks Thor out. He's certainly not the sharpest pencil in the drawer. The Queen gives Ubaratutu the boot from the king's position. Wicked woman! And always changing husbands!
Harry Baird and Janine Hendy
Ubaratutu enjoys the life of the King
Another gladiatrix training session is starting. Tamar takes a hooked weapon but Ghebel Gor wants to have it also and tries to take it from Tamar. Yamad stops the fight. Tamar's shirt is torn so her tattoo is shown. Yamad looks a bit uneasy. Yamad decides it is enough training for a day. Meanwhile the kids and the Shepherd King are meeting their allies at the Spring of Sadette. No one comes, because they are afraid of the women of Naylia! But the three of them can still try to liberate Tamar using the secret passage. So forward to Babylos! Yamad tells Tamar that the tattoo is the sign of the royal family of Babylos. Yamad says she will help Tamar get back the throne. Ghebel Gor eavesdrops. Yamad has been a conspirator since she realised that the rule of women is the most frightful and horrible form of government(!). 

Ghebel Gor exposes them: the two of them are traitrices! Yamad refuses to tell the names of other conspirators. Tamar is sentenced to death, she accepts her fate coolly. Ghebel Gor says that the public execution would show the people that a member of royal family is still alive and they would revolt. Ghebel Gor suggests killing Tamar in gladiatrix tournament. If Ghebel Gor succeeds, she will become the Captain General of Naylia. Yay!
Carla Foscari
I will be the Captain General of Naylia. Yay!
Meanwhile Yamad is getting tortured in a pulling machine. She dies pronouncing that the dictatorship will soon end. Thor and Ubaratutu are also sentenced to death. The Queen says that the governments of men were based on force, but then the women realised they were superior to men. To free himself Thor must demonstrate his force, by winning against the combined strength of 101 Amazons. At the same time Ghebel Gor will fight Tamar and a third gladiatrix. The Amazons look like Christmas elves in their red dresses and silly hats. 

Joe Robinson
Thor must win the Tug of War or else.
Parade of Amazons in season colours
Meanwhile the kids and Shepherd King find the secret passage. They untie Ubaratutu. Thor must win a Tug of War contest against the women, otherwise he will fall into fire. Ubaratutu and the kids free the male slaves. The rope burns and Thor is now free. Tamar throws Ghebel Gor into spikes at the rim of the Triangle of Death. All-out revolt begins. Tamar is wounded but she throws the Queen with a spear. Stick around! Tamar dies happy that the authority of men is restored. Except that she does not die because she must destroy the symbols of evil. Or she becomes a angel or something. Amouk is the new king with Luli as his queen. Also Thor and Ubaratutu are there and they all have a jolly good time!
Janine Hendy
Queen's shocked face
Mortal Gladiatrix Combat
Long live the King!
Some scenes were shot in Grottoes of Postumia in Yugoslavia. It was cold in there, the actors' breath is visible. Compared to the tongue-in-cheek film Colossus and the Amazon Queen, this movie tries to be a more serious adventure. The movie tries to combine a muscleman movie, gladiator movie, women's prison movie and a kid's adventure. Well, the ingredients do not mix very well. Strong anti-feminist overtones are present, but the movie is so campy that anything is hard to be taken seriously. The movie suffers from clumsy editing, bad acting and a silly plot which all contribute to the movie being even more hilarious than Colossus and the Amazon Queen. Pompous and often out-of-place silly music only adds to the campiness.
No Ma'am approves
Rating: So bad it is good

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