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I Sette Magnifici Gladiatori

The Seven Magnificent Gladiators

Italy 1983
produced by
Alexander Hacohen, Menahem Golan (executive), Yoram Globus (executive) for Cannon
directed by Bruno Mattei
starring Lou Ferrigno, Sybil Danning, Brad Harris, Dan Vadis, Carla Ferrigno, Barbara Pesante, Yehuda Efroni, Mandy Rice-Davies, Robert Mura, Ivan Beshears, Giovanni Cianfriglia (as Jody Wanger), Sal Borgese (as Michael Franz), Francoise Perrot (as Kristin Kline), Antonella Giacomini (as Claudia Bridges), Mary Rader, Philip Bard, Gregg Logan, Peter Rugge, Raul Cabrerea (as Gary Levine), John Growne II, Laddy Price
written by Claudio Fragasso (as Claude Fragass), music by Dov Seltzer

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Because their village is routinely raided by the immortal Nicerote (Dan Vadis), Pandora (Carla Ferrigno) and a few other women go to Rome to find the warrior able to wield the magic sword of Achilles. Eventually, they find him at the emperor's (Yehuda Efroni) court, a chariot racer called Han (Lou Ferrigno) who has just saved the life of gladiator Scipio (Brad Harris) and is now to be convicted by the emperor - but manages to makes good an escape with the help of Achilles' sword.

Both Han and Scipio agree to help Pandora's village against Nicerote, and on their way there they collect a handful of men (Robert Mura, Ivan Beshears, Giovanni Cianfriglia, Salvatore Broghese) and a woman (Sybil Danning) to help them.

The first clash of our seven heroes with Nicerote ends in them chasing away the baddies, but Nicerote isn't one to easily give up, so he lures the heroes out of the village, then takes the villagers hostage, and this way he forces the septet to surrender their weapons and leave town in shame. However, our heroes return for an all-out attack, and they slaughter their enemies, even if it costs many of them their lives. And of course, in the finale Han manages to kill Nicerote with the magic sword.

In the end, only three of the seven heroes are left standing, but they have brought peace to the village they were defending ...


A hardly disguised version Seven Samurai, The Seven Magnificent Gladiators is basically an hommage to the Italian peplums from the 1960's, employing many a veteran from back in the day (first and foremost Brad Harris and Dan Vadis), but it's also an attempt to jump onto the barbarian bandwagon set in motion by Conan the Barbarian - and it's also a pretty bad film: Made on the dirt-cheap (at least considering the requirements of the genre), this movie was filmed in unimpressive sets (mainly some ruins), features silly costumes (especially the one worn by emperor Yehuda Efroni is hilarious), the fight-scenes are underdeveloped, and a chariot-race that tries to ape Ben Hur is a major disappointment. Add to this a less than great cast (despiote quite a few relatively big names and veterans) and you are left with ... actually pretty ok en tertainment, at least if you're into trashmovies.

By the way, the film is pretty tame for a Bruno Mattei-movie, the fights are rather non-gory and non-excessive and there's almost no sleaze involved (though Sybil Danning's costume is at least pretty revealing). That sayi, he stays true to his predilection of killing off likeable characters at random points in his story at least ... oh well.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD