ATLAS IN THE LAND OF THE CYCLOPS (DVD) Image

They don’t make films like “Atlas in the Land of the Cyclops” any more, and that’s probably a good thing. After all, if you’ve seen one cheapo Italian muscleman gladiator epic, you’ve pretty much seen them all.

This go-round, the warrior Maciste (Gordon Mitchell, a bargain basement Steve Reeves) protects the infant heir of a small kingdom which was laid to ruin by Queen Capys and her army of spear-tossing soldiers. Capys, not unlike certain residents of a certain white structure on Pennsylvania Avenue, decided to wage war for the flimsiest of reasons and winds up with more than initially bargained for. Maciste, who apparently has nothing better to do with his time, wages his own one-man war against Capys’ army, including her super secret weapon: a giant cyclops.

So where is Atlas, as promised in the title? Well, Atlas and Maciste are one in the same – the original U.S. distributors felt American audiences would not recognize the Italian hero Maciste, so they stuck the more familiar Atlas name in the title. Which is just as well, since Gordon Mitchell couldn’t hold up a conversation, let alone the world (his dialogue, like the rest of the cast, is badly dubbed).

Some unintentional giggles might emerge here and there, most notably when Maciste wrestles a rather flaccid lion into submission. But on the whole, this is a pretty stale little movie.

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