Michael Forest stars as the wrestler hero Atlas, who fights the evil king Praximedes (Frank Wolff), the power-crazed tyrannical ruler of Seronikos, for the hand of his mistress Candia (Barboura Morris).
Handsome muscleman Michael Forest, 6ft 3in and 215lb, gives a suitably wooden performance as Olympic champion Atlas in producer-director Roger Corman’s cheap ($100,000) 1961 Greek historical action adventure epic, shot in Greece in widescreen and Eastman colour.
One of Corman’s worst, with a slapdash screenplay by Charles B Griffith and terrible production values (funding ran out), it is slightly saved by the tongue-in-cheek dialogue and campy tone, which help to make it amusing enough to watch.
Corman recalled: ‘The film was a total disaster, but somehow we got through it.’
Also in the cast are Walter Maslow, Christos Exarchos, Andreas Fillipidis, Theodore Dimitriou, Miranda Kounelaki and Sascha Dario. Corman has a cameo as a Greek soldier and so does Dick Miller.
Corman gave Griffith four weeks to write the script and he also worked as production manager, assistant director and extra on the film.
Greek producer Vion Papamichelis agreed to put up half the budget, about $40,000, but did not come up with the money. Corman managed to complete the film, shooting in ruins around Athens such as the Parthenon, plus sequences shot at UCLA, as well as stock footage from Universal’s 1954 Sign of the Pagan.
© Derek Winnert 2016 Classic Movie Review 4816
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