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Sansone e il Tesoro degli Incas

Lost Treasure of the Aztecs
Lost Treasure of the Incas / Hercules and the Treasure of the Incas

Italy/West Germany 1964
produced by
Fortunato Misiano for Romana Film, Constantin Film
directed by Piero Pierotti
starring Alan Steel (= Sergio Ciani), Toni Sailer, Wolfgang Lukschy, Brigitte Heiberg, Mario Petri, Anna Maria Polani, Pierre Cressoy, Dada Gallotti, Harry Riebauer, Antonio Gradoli, Federico Boido, Attilio Severini, Amedeo Trilli, Carlo Tamberlani, Gino Marturano, Elisabetta Fanti, Gilberto Galimberti, Omero Gargano, Franco Jamonte, Bruno Scipioni, Andrea Scotti, Umberto Spadaro, Nino Vingelli, Rosy De Leo, Giulio Tomei
written by Piero Pierotti, Arpad DeRiso, music by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino

Samson

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The Old West: Samson's (Alan Steel) best friend Alan (retired Austrian skiing superstar Toni Sailer) is accused of the murder of Nixon (Carlo Tamberlani), the dad of Samson's girlfriend Jenny (Brigitte Heiberg), and local shady barowner Jerry Damon (Mario Petri) tries to see to it that he is lynched without a fair trial - mainly just because Damon is a really bad guy. Of course, Samson, who believes in his friend's innocence, sees to it that Alan is not hanged prematurely, and has him put on a stagecoach to the next city where a fair trial, that will in all probability end in his acquittal, awaits him. However, Damon does everything in his power to see to it that Damon never reaches the next city, even if that means to lure the stagecoach into an ambush. Somehow though, Alan escapes the ambush unscathed, and he is kept alive during his walk through the desert by an Indian boy (Anna Maria Polani) he has picked up on the way. The boy eventually leaves him, is revealed to be the princess of a secret Incan tribe, but leaves enough water behind for him to make it a few days. Soon, Samson and Jenny have caught up with Alan.

In the meantime, Damon has teamed up with El Puma (Wolfgang Lukschy), who has a map to the secret Incan caves which are supposed to harbour a large Incan treasure, too.

Somehow, everybody involved in the story ends up in the underground Incan empire, and the baddies soon die like flies by the hands of the Incas and each other's hands alike. Our heroes however are captured to be sacrificed to the Gods. The princess however tries to save Alan - which only leads to her taking her place among those to be sacrificed herself.

In the finale though, a volcano breaks out rather spontaneously, and all the good guys survive while the baddies and the Incans all die ...

 

In many ways (and probably unintentionally so), Sansone e il Tesoro degli Incas is a transitional film between the fading peplum genre that dominated Italian film production in the early 1960's, and the spaghetti western that was still in its infancy in 1964, which was of course the year of A Fistful of Dollars, and yet Sansone e il Tesoro degli Incas was more inspired by traditional (B-)Westerns and of course the pan-European success of the German Winnetou-series. As a result, for the most part, Sansone e il Tesoro degli Incas is a genuine Western, but biblical hero Samson, whom the Italian filmbusiness dedicated a series to, is featured in the title, and bodybuilder Alan Steel, a familiar face from a number of peplums, played the title role. Also, after playing on traditional Western territory for the longest time, the film slips into peplum mode towards the end, when the action moves to a mythical underground civilisation, complete with eccentric architecture, weird rituals, human sacrifices and the like.

All of this results of course in a definitely less than great film. True, the Western elements of the movie are well-enough handled but don't spark too much interest as the plot is at best tried-and-true, while the peplum elements don't sit too well with the rest of the film. But while the film might not be great, it's at least some fun due to its inconsistencies and the like - though maybe not as much fun as the concept of Samson finding Incans in cowboy land might suggest ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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directed by
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