DIRECTOR: Antonio Leonviola


aka – (And the title that I watched this under) “Atlas In The Land Of The Cyclops (U.S. TV)

Will we be adding this to our collection? NO

Pardon my confusion, but I sat down to what this Spaghetti Epic, or Sword and Sandal as they prefer to be called, which was called Atlas In The Land Of The Cyclops, I didn’t understand why Atlas was being addressed as Maciste.

This was nothing remarkable and not my taste at all, as the well and I mean well-worn story of a Greek hero saving the day and in this case, putting a baby upon his rightful throne. This was part of a huge series of films,. following Maciste, here played by Gordon Mitchell, credited here as Mitchell Gordon. Unfortunately, there was very little to recommended it if you’re not already a hardened fan of the genre.

The sound dubbing was typical, with one particular moment standing out, as two characters are talking with the baby in the scene, and the baby’s crying sounding like another baby had turned up during the recording session and had inadvertently supplied the echoy dub.

Personally, I find these films to be hard to watch or enjoy but there is certainly and audience for them. But do I feel that this genre is falling in to the abyss, not only of obscurity but most likely into oblivion. The print quality was appalling, leading me to believe that since these films have fallen out of copyright, that the negatives are but faded, decayed or outright destroyed.

This was a 2.35:1 widescreen print in its day I would bet that nobody has seen that print in 40 years and are likely to NEVER see it. The colour was almost gone, faded to the negative’s native browns and the sound mix, only mono in the original instance, was also mushy. Granted this was a very cheap DVD, with a 1.33:1 print, clearly, based on the title, the U.S. TV print and no doubt, a 16mm one at that.

The Spaghetti Epics where always a cheap Italian alternative to Hollywood’s Roman Epics, but with little demand and limited financial return for the genre, I can see the negatives disintegrating and these movies being lost forever. Is that a bad thing? YES: even though I may never willing watch one again, it is a crying shame that the art of these films may lost forever. NO film should be lost, as no book should be either, but unless remastering technology becomes cheap enough and the demand for what could be regarded as cult classics, as horror films such as Dawn Of The Living Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are, then I see little hope.


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