Barbarian Movie Review: Colossus and the Headhunters

Editor’s note: from time to time we’ll be posting barbarian movie reviews here on  There are also quite a few more prominent titles reviewed in the book.  Movie ratings range from 1 to 5 Golden Axes. And yes, sooner or later we’ll be covering the new Conan the Barbarian movie with Jason Momoa, especially if Lion’s Gate wants to send us a screener and press kit, hint hint! Anyway, without further ado, here’s…

Colossus and the Headhunters (1963) – a.k.a. Maciste Contro i Cacciatori di Teste.  Released in the USA by American International Pictures.

A Golden AxeA Golden Axe

In this peplum pablum, Maciste (Kirk Morris) and his pompadour dye-job arrive on an island just in time for a volcano to force the inhabitants onto his raft. Maciste leads the tribe to another island, where they’re all immediately enslaved by, well, the “good” tribe, one of whom immediately shoots Maciste through the heart with a bow and arrow.  Lucky Maciste recovers in full a few minutes later. The actual bad guys are a neighboring gang of headhunters (although you’d only know it by a couple of plastic skulls on posts). After Maciste has a low-intensity romantic moment with the good-guy queen Amoa (Laura Brown) she frees the captives.  Some boring stuff happens to kill time, then Maciste winds up rescuing the queen from the leader of the evil headhunters while the two-and-a-half tribes square off and set some huts on fire.  Maciste doesn’t do much of anything for most of the movie besides stand around with his shirt off, but he eventually defeats the evil headhunter leader which ends the conflict.  Case dismissed, Maciste rides off into the sunset on his trusty raft with the queen swimming after him and declaring her eternal love.  Their inevitable breakup is left to your imagination.

That’s pretty much the entire plot.  If you’re wondering where Colossus is in all that, well, apparently he’s Maciste although they never say so in the English dub.  In English, the movies were usually retitled with another hero’s name, e.g. Samson, Goliath, Hercules, etc..  There were a few more cheesy Maciste movies before Morris retired in 1971– 25 in total (though only 5 starred Morris).  That’s not counting the 27 silent films (1914-1927) or the two in the 1970s by Jess Franco. 54 movies? Apparently Italians love them some Maciste!  This entry was written and directed by peplum veteran Guido Malatesta, whose name loosely translates as “I drive bad head.”

Colossus and the Headhunters

Maciste, a.k.a. Colossus (Kirk Morris, a.k.a. Adriano Bellini) scoffs at the Queen's request for help. Yeah, I watched the MST3K version, got a problem with that?

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Barbarian Calendars

Civilizations have always relied on sophisticated astronomical calendars to determine when to plant and harvest crops.  Barbarians, however, mostly used their crude calendars to determine auspicious times for starting wars, i.e. so they could get out of the house when their wives had PMS.

The classical Mongolian calendar consists of nine thirteen day months followed by one six-hundred day month. Festivals coincide with the appearance of airplanes in the sky over southeast Kyrghizstan. Nowadays, these are celebrated by stir-frying bats and serving them with chocolate chips and crushed drywall.

The Bunglorian calendar has five three-day months followed by a 350-day leap year every year. This corresponds to the Gregorian calendar, except that every day of the entire calendar is a Tuesday. This calendar predicted the birth of Christ in 957 CE and the destruction of the planet Earth in 1994.

The only other known barbarian calendar, last used in the Hyborian age, has twenty-nine three-hour months, with a twelve-second month at 6:15pm on Arbor Day. Hours are seventeen days long, except during five random festivals where time decelerates, then stops and reverses until a child is born with creepy reptilian snake eyes. These are known as Füg Flügür Cycles and the last one ended upon the birth of James Spader in 1960 CE. By the Hyborian calendar, this event occurred 1246 years before the birth of Christ.

Primitive Calendar

The Coligny Calendar, an ancient Celtic device, predicted the rise of Insane Clown Posse.


Barbarian Bible Stories: Noah’s Three Sons

The Holy Barbarella was an edition of the Old and New Testament that was translated extremely badly using the Codex Cumanicus, a sort of Italian-Kipchak dictionary, some time in the 12th century. It was delivered by the Byzantines to the Kipchak-Cumans, a barbarian empire covering much of the area near the Black and Caspian seas. The Kipchak-Cumans were puzzled by mistranslated lines like “I, the Lord, am your rugburn,” and decided to clear it up with some rewrites and make it much less sanctimonious and just generally punch it up for contemporary audiences. They may have gotten a little carried away. The resulting text describes acts of violence so depraved it actually makes the original Testament seem tame. Here is a sample excerpt…

GENESIS 9:20 Noah, a man of the soil, was first to plant a vineyard. 9:21 When he drank some of his wine he became drunk and lay naked in his tent. 9:22 Ham, Noah’s eldest, the father of Canaan, walked in and saw his father naked there. 9:23 Ham walked outside and sayeth to his brothers Shem and Japheth, “Hey youse guys, Pop’s drunk again.” 9:24 Sayeth Shem, “Keep quiet, you numbskulls, and let’s bringeth in a robe.” 9:25 “But Shem,” sayeth Japheth, “won’t the Lord be mad if we witness Pop’s holy dingledangler?” 9:26 Shem said, “Oh, a wise guy, eh? You won’t have to witness nothin‘,” and he thrust his two foremost fingers into Japheth’s eye-balls. 9:27 “Woob-woob-woob,” spake Ham. 9:28 But then Shem smacked Ham and Japheth’s faces in one fell swing. 9:29 Japheth grew angry and landed a large mallet upon Shem’s melon with a vigorous whack. 9:30 “Ow,” quoth Shem, and grabbed Japheth by the nose to pull him around in a circle like a bull. 9:31 Ham approached behind Shem with the mallet and prepared to give Shem a second whack. 9:32 But just then Japheth turned and kicked Shem in the shin. 9:33 Shem hopped to the side in pain, and the blow intended for Shem struck Japheth instead. 9:34 Both Japheth and Shem fell upon the ground. 9:35 “Nyuk nyuk nyuk,” spake Ham, spinning his mallet in triumph. 9:36 Then the Lord appeared and smote the three sons of Noah. 9:37 Their bodies turned transparent and they sprouted wings and flew upwards whilst strumming toy harps. 9:38 “We’s victims of soykemstance,” winked Ham.

Did You Know?

George Washington was born in Baku on the Caspian Sea with the given name Thorax abu Shahezzadar, which translates as “He who crushes the throats of camels.”

Happy Announcings

This site soon have WEB COMIK featchering GRÜTE SKULLBASHER!  Keep watching space!  OR I CRUSH YOU!  love, GRÜTE

A New Delicious Web-Site

Welcome to the website where a barbarian can be a barbarian.  As your humble web-master, let me be the first to say “Yaaggggggghhh!”

By the way, you should buy this book– Barbarians: A Handbook for Aspiring Savages.  It’s available for now, and it will teach the aspiring atavist how to actuate their will in the most fundamentally gruesome ways!

As for the website, in the coming weeks this site will become a veritable treasure-trove of amusement for the discerning reader.

So, in the immortal words of Genghis Khan, “Smash any key to continue!”