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Ator, the Fighting Eagle (1983)

(aka: Ator, L'Invincibile)



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Ator: The Fighting Eagle is the archetypal bad fantasy movie. It starts out with the prophecy that a child born with a particular birthmark will grow up and defeat the evil badguy of the ages. So the evil badguy of the ages, upon learning of the child's birth, orders the death of all babies everywhere. His men ride around in black and not only kill the babies but decimate entire settlements, because in bad fantasy movies it's the law that badguys on horseback mow down primitive villages.

Naturally the child escapes, grows up, and becomes Miles O'Keeffe, an actor renouned for having a physical resemblance to Charlton Heston and none of his talent. He spends the entire movie creeping around forests, tunnels, and vine-covered staircases. Once in a while he has staged swordfights with stuff, my favorite of which is one where he knocks someone dead by swinging his sword an entire foot above his opponent's head. A lot of people die by not getting hit in this movie.

Some of the unintentional laughs include: (1) an ancient mystical sword lying around in a cave, free for the taking, (2) a Circe-like enchantress that keeps an object in her living quarters that will destroy her if she looks at it, (3) fog machines that squirt mists from unconcealed holes in cave walls that don't turn on until after the camera's rolling, (4) a woman who is trapped in a cave by a rockslide and can't dig herself out -- who is rescued by a little bear cub who digs in from the outside, (5) a badguy who spontaneously combusts, and (6) footage of an erupting volcano that's thrown in at the end and has no bearing on anything at all.

Yet in spite of the above, this movie is an insufferable bore. Not even bad movie lovers will find much to enjoy here. It's a public safety hazard. It's a vile piece of filmmaking that should have been torched in the editing room. Ick.

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