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Hogarth judge

December 2017

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Hogarth judge

Review: "Samson and the Seven Miracles of the World"

This is a Maciste picture, actually. The original title in Italian was "Maciste alla Corte del Gran Khan" (Machiste at the Court of the Great Khan).

What makes it interesting is its mediæval Chinese setting, with Han Chinese versus evil Mongol invaders. If you're even looking at this review, you've likely seen this done a hundred times before in martial arts films. Here we have a far more naive presentation of the same setting by Italians. Instead of martial artistry, you get a muscleman hero who knocks down trees and wrestles tigers. A pleasant and amusing sensation of cognitive dissonance will be induced by watching this picture, because you've seen it all before, and yet this version is strangely different. The plot itself is the same one you have seen a hundred times before in Maciste/Samson/Goliath/Hercules pictures, but this time it has been removed from its usual locus in classical antiquity.

Gordon Scott, former Tarzan, provides Maciste/Samson beefcake. The Chinese setting makes for some weirdly cool soundtrack music, and allows slightly interesting variations on the mandatory hooch dancing scenes. The mighty Mongol warlord is as usual the cat's-paw for his much more interesting beautiful and evil queen. The adventure is reasonably well paced, and the special effects slightly less amateurish than usual. Both sword and sandal fans, and kung fu fans, might get a kick out of this.

Comments

I keep imagining David Crosby with the Jiffy Pop crown from Undersea Kingdom...
That's the Crash Corrigan picture, innit? The evil Mongol ruler wears a hat inspired by the King of Hell's picture on hell money. Speaking of which, I suppose I need to do a review of Lady Death: The Movie. The most naturally MST3Kable anime I've ever seen.