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Barbarian Movie Review: Colossus and the Headhunters

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Editor’s note: from time to time we’ll be posting barbarian movie reviews here on Skullbasher.com.  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
(2/5)

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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