WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Here at the B-Horror Blog we pride ourselves on our varied and eclectic taste in terrible cinema. Whether it’s a terrible monster movie, various kinds of weather wreaking havoc on small towns, questionably scientific escapades, the Twilight franchise, or horrendously Historically Inaccurate movies, you know that Tropical Mary and I will be there. To give you an idea of just how historically inaccurate Amazons and Gladiators (which, by the way, contains no real Amazons or gladiators) is, here’s a run down of the plot: just after the Punic Wars, a man named Crassus (or, in the movie, Crassius) takes down Spartacus, the leader of the Third Servile War against Rome. Under the leadership of an unspecified Caesar, Crassius must do battle against a band of unruly Amazonian women. When the Amazons defeat Crassius, they band together with the Visigoths to bring down the Roman Empire. Now, for a timeline:
- Third Punic War (presumably what the movie is referring to), fought between the Carthaginians and Romans from 149 to 146 BC.
- Third Servile War, led by Spartacus and fought from 73 – 71 BC.
- Marcus Licinius Crassus, lived c. 115 – 53 BC.
- Julius Caesar (presumably the Caesar in question), lived 100 – 44 BC.
- Visigoth invasion of Roman Empire, successive invasions from 376 – 382 AD.
And yet this all happens in the space of a few years in this movie. Yeah, can’t say much more about the historical inaccuracy than that. Plus there’s the regular things like appalling acting and not much of a budget, not to mention the thinly veiled accents, although the breasts were really out in force for this one, so that might count for something.
- Wow, Paramount really let itself go with this one…
- Amazons and Gladiators presents: A remedial child’s attempt to learn Linear B.
- Lord Smarmacus has arrived.
- Zanobia, Gwyneth and Serena? Where the hell are we?
- Damn it, she’s still giving gradual chase!
- Connor? Seriously, where the fuck are we?
- Gallo – master of the tuning fork.
- God I love some thumpin’ Roman techno beats…
- Ooh, it’s the Dance of the 5 Veils!
- What a delightful push-up bra this one has on.
- You know, freedom would look really good on you.
- A two-boobed Amazon spy? OK, sure…
- The basic rule of Amazon camp is ‘midriff OUT!’.
- It’s rare to come across such masters of ancient Amazonian pleather.
- Dahlia and Ariel? No seriously guys, where the hell are we?!
- Finally, an answer! We’re in Transylvanian Rome.
- This is the tiniest colosseum you’re ever gonna see.
- Your fate was sealed with a broken ankle.
- Seriously? A broken ankle? Three goddesses dedicated to deciding how people die and they picked a broken ankle? Fuck, that’s a shit way to go…
- Grey Haven? In Transylvanian Rome? With Zanobia, Gwyneth, Serena, Dahlia, and Ariel? I’m so confused…
- Quickly! Kill them with wheat!
- I condemn thee to death by Cornflakes!
- Croissants? In Transylvanian Rome? With Gwyneth and Serena? I’m even more confused.
- The Battle of Grey Haven? Must have missed that somewhere in my 7-year education.
- There’s no better dog than the Roman Alsatian.
- What gorgeous French manicures these Transylvanian Roman whores have.
- Behold! The most underwhelming death of them all!
- The End.
SCENE FROM AMAZONS AND GLADIATORS
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WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Roger Corman and Eric Roberts strike again! Having already subjected myself to Sharktopus, I felt the perverse need to watch another movie where this terrible twosome join forces to melt the brains of anyone who owns a TV. Thankfully, I wasn’t alone in this one: I had my good friend Tropical Mary helping me through it. As she put it, “Cyclops is a tale of two cities: Rome and un-Rome.”
Now, I know this isn’t a horror movie, but there is some logic floating around: since both myself and Tropical Mary are classicists, and in particular I have spent the past 7 years studying Roman history, to see this kind of thing happen to Rome is just bloody horrifying to me. The story is simple enough: giant cyclops is captured, taken to Rome, escapes, is recaptured and then used in gladiatorial combat because the Emperor Tiberius (Eric Roberts, who always looks so fucking smug with himself) thinks it’s a good idea. Since it really is that simple I thought, instead of running through the movie, I would just present the incredibly long list of Life’s Lessons Learned as compiled by myself and Tropical Mary. Enjoy! 🙂
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Just because the Americas haven’t been discovered doesn’t mean that Rome doesn’t have a thriving pineapple import business.
- Sneakers were a common Roman fashion accessory.
- Cletus and Barbara were common Roman names.
- By developing a rudimentary teleportation device Romans were able to transport modern locks and keys back in time.
- To prepare for battle many Roman soldiers donned purple tights and knee pads.
- The emperor Augustus spent a great part of his reign slaying the world’s cyclops population.
- Medusa was a witch.
- The Colosseum was brought back through time to the reign of Tiberius. This sadly made it compress in size.
- Half a boar is the traditional Roman meal at a banquet to celebrate the capture of a cyclops.
- The entire Roman Senate was comprised of 4 senators.
- A common office bestowed on victorious soldiers was the Tribune of Nothing.
- Roman amphitheatres were often decked out with Christmas trimmings.
- The ghost of Cato was known to rock up +- 60 years after he died to host the Saturnalia.
- Gift vouchers were often given to the populace that they could exchange for Prize bread.
- Rome had a sizeable Middle Eastern dancing community.
- The priestesses of Venus had nothing better to do than shag gladiators.
- Despite being a polytheistic people the phrase ‘Oh my God!’ was relatively common.
- Despite being a polytheistic people there are no temples or altars to be seen in Rome at all.
- Roman soldiers frequently went into battle with Celtic shields and helmets with crests made from a feather boa.
- Roman gladiators often wore Spartan helmets.
- Butchers never needed to be paid for their meat.
- The name ‘Flavia’ is pronounced ‘Flaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahvia’.
- The emperor’s assistant often wore a piece of lace trimming around his head.
- Despite ‘decimate’ being a Latin word the Romans had no idea how many people it involved killing.
- Romans had amazing dental plans.
- Despite being a demilitarised zone Rome often had entire legions of soldiers in it.
- Every Roman citizen owned at least one lumo outfit.
- Emperors owned wicker boxes named ‘Lot’.
- Despite the fact that emperors were never addressed as such, the phrase ‘Yes, sire’ was often used in acknowledging their orders.
- The only way for Romans to be freed from freedom was to have a cyclops kill the emperor and for gladiators to celebrate.
- The Seven Hills of Rome refers to nothing – Rome is completely flat.
I would recommend giving it a watch – it’s one of those movies where I was laughing so hard I had tears running down my face.
BUY CYCLOPS AT AMAZON.COM
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
As a fun fact about me I’d like to say that I’m an ancient history geek. Specifically I am incredibly interested in Roman history so, when I heard of a movie called Demonicus, I thought that it would be the perfect opportunity to bring together my two seemingly disparate loves: Roman history and watching z-grade horror movies. I hunted high and low to find this one because (surprisingly) nobody seemed to have heard of it and certainly nobody seemed to want to stock it. My efforts eventually paid off and I wasn’t disappointed: it certainly is one of the worst movies I have seen in a very long time. Technical and historical inaccuracies aside Demonicus was clearly made on a minute budget with people who don’t seem to have any acting experience (I don’t care what IMDB says) in a place that looks nothing remotely like Italy. Put your boots on and follow me! We’re gonna hike up Mount Demonicus…
Our story begins in Italy as a group of 5 friends and their college professor (all of whom look about the same age) have decided to take a little holiday / do some research on the history of Roman slavery. As part of their itinerary they’re going to spend a few days in the Italian part of the Alps and, for fun, decide that they’ll go up in twos and see who can make it to base camp first. How anyone will get to base camp at all is a mystery since it’s just some random spot under a few trees. Nevertheless the kids seem quite eager and set out on their respective ways and expect to make it to the camp within a day or two. This is where James comes in (why must all the really dumb villains share a name with me?). Leading the pack with his girlfriend whose name I can’t remember he stumbles upon a mysterious cave. While exploring the cave a very quite rockfall happens, exposing a secret chamber containing the body of a dead gladiator. Apparently the rocks created some kind of vacuum that freeze-dried the body so the corpse and all the weapons are remarkably intact.
Now James clearly isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed and decides that the best thing to do upon making this discovery is to try on the dead gladiator’s helmet. As any ancient historian knows the armour of gladiators is often possessed by demonic spirits and should be handled with the utmost care, but James doesn’t seem to be aware of this fact. As soon as he puts the helmet on things that look like the Wisps from Warcraft III appear above his head and he becomes possessed by the spirit of Tyranus (the naming of the demon is very complicated in this movie). With most possessions there comes some epic music, and Demonicus proves to be no exception in this regard and we are entertained by a good 10 minutes or so of James / Tyranus playing with his new weapons, making a variety of different stances and then watching it all over again from a different camera angle. Once he grows tired of this he runs outside and kills his former girlfriend so that he can chop her up and use parts of her in the stew he’s making. With that done he heads out on patrol looking for his other friends so that they too can become a part of the special meal he’s preparing.
So you see, way back in the day, there was this man named Spartacus. He was a slave who led a rebellion against the Roman Republic and was a serious thorn in the Romans’ side for a few years. Turns out, and I wouldn’t have known this without watching the movie, that he had a buddy, Demonicus. While Spartacus bravely fought for the good of the slaves Demonicus fought only for evil. When Spartacus and the other slaves were crucified at the end of the revolt Demonicus went and hid in the hills. James, now possessed by Tyranus (which is apparently Demonicus’ real name), must prepare a stew of human body parts and prepare a victim (who just happens to be a virgin) for Demonicus to eat once he’s been resurrected (but not in James’ body). See? Told you it was all very confusing.
Be prepared to see a lot of running around in the woods, some very poor attempts at brutish masculinity, random fights and cheap costumes and effects. Not for the faint of heart or those unaccustomed to watching bad horror movies.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Being punched in the face will heal a sword wound in your stomach perfectly.
- You don’t need any hiking gear to go hiking in the Alps.
- When hiking through the alps for days you should always break off in twos rather than travel in one safe group.
- Randomly stringing Latin phrases together will revive undead gladiators.
- A coffee table book on Rome will give you all the information you need to combat a demonic gladiator.
- A single soul can be resurrected in numerous bodies.
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