Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Rome Against Rome|
Actors: Antonio Corevi, Matilde Calman, Errore Mani, John Drew, Mano Doro
Director: Giuseppe Verdi
Genres: Action & Adventure, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Rome against Rome is classic peplum with a horror twist. A zombified soldier rising from his coffin, Nosferatu style, is one of the macabre highlights. There's a deadly light that exits the eye of the goddess sculpture b... more »
Rome Against Zombies; DVD against us
Charles J. Garard Jr. PhD | Liaocheng University, China | 11/30/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Rome Against RomeReview by Charles J. Garard, PhD professor of literature and film, University of Indianapolis,Ningbo, China
I had been trying to decide for some time whether or not I should buy the DVD of a film I remembered only in part from the mid-sixties. When it appeared as the lower half of an AIP double feature under the title WAR OF THE ZOMBIES, I was an assistant manager of a small theatre back in southern Illinois.
At the time I knew a little about the sword-and-sandal genre because my father's theatres in west central Illinois had played such dubbed Italian epics as GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS, GIANT OF MARATHON, GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON, and THE MINOTAUR. Fun stuff. I got to know such ubiquitous Italian actors as Etore Manni, who played second banana to Brit strongman Reg Park in HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN. To this day, I still like this last film, even though MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATRE once made fun of it.
I enjoy showing it in a mythology course because the script captures the feel of Greek mythology -- not just with Park's dialogue as he speaks to Zeus, his father, but because of the inclusion of actual figures from the classical myths.
Etore Manni is the hero in ROME AGAINST ROME or WAR OF THE ZOMBIES, while John Drew Barrymore, who plays Ulysses in THE TROJAN HORSE, hams it up as the villain. Despite his American accent in the midst of the spaghetti actors -- just prior to the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns -- he is fun to watch and, more the case, listen to. He has the Barrymore knack of chewing scenery and taking the viewer out of the film and putting him/her front row center of a stage production. Only Orson Welles dominates a film more flamboyantly.
Unfortunately, the quality of this DVD is disappointing. I was looking forward to again seeing the battle with the resurrected Roman soldiers flashing their swords while engulfed in a bluish mist. On this DVD, the mist is all you see; the dead soldiers are lost in the background. In the night scenes, the characters are just as invisible, apparent only in occasional glimpses of flesh and badly dubbed English.
Subtitles would have helped, as would the presentation in the wide-screen or letterbox format. Despite the slighter higher cost of this single-sided DVD, the production remains sub-par as if no restoration efforts had been invested. It is really a shame, because the absense of a super-muscular hero like Hercules is, in some ways, a plus. Etore Manni is more the everyman caught up in struggles that involve his brains rather than his pecs. Someday, some film scholar who specializes in the sword-and-sandal efforts might want to do a little research on this actor and, perhaps, put together a book-length tribute.
In the meantime, give us better DVD productions like Italian efforts such as HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN and HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD, or Harryhausen efforts like CLASH OF THE TITANS and JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, so we can interest our young students, once again, in the world of mythology. This would be quite a responsbility."