In Peplumania Part 2 I mentioned how Disc #12 of the Mill Creek Warriors 50-movie pack (of which most of the reviews in this series are based) appeared to suffer from a manufacturer's defect and I'd sent a e-mail to Mill Creek inquiring after the availability of a replacement disc, received an prompt and courteous reply, and would let you know how those movies looked when they arrived. Well they've arrived. While I plan to do comparative reviews in a future addition to this continuing sword-and-sandal saga I have to tip my hat to the folks at Mill Creek. They not only sent that replacement disc, in a white sleeve, AND a separate Disc #12 sleeve to put it in they also included 3 bonus 20-movie packs in the package. A package they sent UPS!

That's class.

To summarize briefly that's 1 replaced disc, 1 Monsters 20-movie pack, 1 Vampires & More! 20-movie pack, and 1 Strange Tales 20-movie pack for sending 1 courteous e-mail inquiry. That sort of customer care deserves notice. And not just because those are great early Christmas presents!

True, I already had one of those 20-movie packs (Vampires & More!) but this was totally unexpected. And those 20-movie packs contain some really great titles. So let that be a lesson to everyone who's ever thought of sending an angry e-mail (or who has) to a company because of a minor product defect. Courtesy is repaid in kind.

Speaking of what happens when you aren't courteous this week we are taking a quick peek at. .

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THOR AND THE AMAZON WOMEN

AKA: Le Gladiatrici/ Les gladiatrices/ Women Gladiators

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Here's a rather strange flick, probably because it's really a sequel (or pseudo remake) to TAUR THE MIGHTY. That's right the hero's name, as so often happened when an American distributor got their grubby lil paws on a foreign film, was changed. As was the original title of the film. No point wondering why just sit back and bask in the glorious camp.

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Long story short: There's this loincloth clad warrior named Thor, he apparently lives off in the mountain wilderness by himself, except for his man Friday. Okay his companion isn't really called Friday but I just can't get the Robinson Crusoe reference out of my head. Now Thor is important because of this prophecy about a muscle bound hero who is going to do a bunch of things and stuff that this Queen really would prefer not happen. So she sends her Amazon warriors out to find Thor and do really bad things to him, and I don't mean the sort of bad things Thor would go looking for in Babylon on a Saturday night!

But the movie is really about this woman (and her kid brother) who get captured by the Amazons and is forced to train to become a Gladiatrix. So, really, this is more or less two stories kludged into one mess of a movie that's sort of a female version of Spartacus tacked onto this crazy plot about a coming hero prophesied to do bad things to the evil Queen. Along the way there's the night of clubbing that includes running the pre-Hellenic spinning death machine trot. .

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The but I was abducted by an Amazon and forced to wear a funny party hat quick excuse two-step shuffle. .

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But it's all good because at the end of the day you know you can always visit the chiropractor and get those vertebra realigned. .

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In short Thor and the Amazon Women is the sort of movie you watch and realize that maybe not all those clichéd jokes about homo erotic subtext in sword-and-sandal movies were entirely off the mark. There's something unusual about the relationship between Thor and his thickly hewed muscle bound ebony friend. But don't take my word for it a picture is worth a thousand words. .

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Talk about Jungle Fever! Actually there's a perfectly innocent explanation for what's going on, at least according to the dub over dialogue. But if I told you what it was you'd fall off your seat in a fit of hysterics.

There are also some subtle Sapphic allusions. .

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But it's mostly symbolic with nothing quite as overt as seen in later movies such as WAR GODDESS. Speaking of movies about Amazons there's another surprise on this set. .

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But I'll save that for next time. In closing Thor and the Amazon Women is a rather unusual flick that's not been released to DVD by any other labels to the best of my knowledge. Sadly the video source used wasn't the best, witness the fuzzy screen caps. In fact it's possible this wasn't even the best possible video source out there as there's supposed to have been at least one UK release from the label InterOcean (?) as WOMEN GLADIATORS that was letterboxed (1.40:1). But this appears to be the best PD video master currently available, at least it is what's freely available online here and here. For a more in depth look at this movie I recommend the review posted at Agony Booth. It's a bit long in the tooth but makes for a entertaining read.

(to be continued)

Copyright © C. Demetrius Morgan

[This is an archived review. Originally posted here.]