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You didn't REALLY expect masterpiece theater, did you?
EquesNiger | Prague, Czech Republic | 06/02/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Anything named "Amazons and Gladiators" cannot be taken as anything more than "B" movie caliber, and this certainly doesn't disappoint. Like all "B" movies about Amazons, it's about a bunch of naked women running around being sex objects while, somewhat hypocrtically, trying to talk and act convincingly about female empowerment in being MORE than sex objects. Characteristically, this empowerment is derived from the pointy end of a sword (phallic references obvious here, huh?).Anyone who buys or rents this film expecting something more will be disappointed, but probably hasn't been off the back of the turnip wagon long in that case, anyway. Anyone who says they wish to watch it for the quality of the acting or its historical value is probably trying to convince their wife/girlfriend to see it with them so both can enjoy some lesbian action on screen. They will be disappointed, as there is none of that in this film, despite the lead characters' professed confusion as to what exactly a man IS good for....The story is typical. Serena, a young girl from Pane (I assume a reference to Pannonia, or present day Hungary) is forced by General Marcus Crassius to participate in her mother's execution (taken straight from an old Charles Bronson western, only without the harmonica). She then becomes a dancing slave girl, who quite chastely refuses the (paid) advances of a Roman senator, slaying him the process and running off with the Amazon warrior who happened to be captive in the same room. She joins the Amazons, and sets out with her trusty sidekick to avenge herself on the evil general that killed her mother. She gets the general, then becomes the Amazon queen and defends women's rights across Roman and barbarian lands. We've seen it all before. What's the harm in watching some of it again?Yes, the costumes are cheesy. Yes, the dialogue is sometimes terrible (there are some Lithuanian actors whose only English is limited to the lines they learned for the film, notably "Yes, my lord"). No, it's not a movie for Feminists. But it's a good mental vacation, regardless. Enjoy it for what it intended to be in the first place, a "B" movie about naked women pretending to be empowered in a time when women were property."
Lithuanian sword and sandal
S. Gustafson | New Albany, IN USA | 03/10/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This sword and sandal film was apparently made in Lithuania. The Baltic scenery, obvious from the many scenes set in forested areas, seems somewhat out of place in a Roman setting. The handful of sets made to represent the grandeur of Rome fall quite short of the mark.The movie itself offers the usual sorts of entertainment found in sword and sandal flicks, sugar coated with a vaguely pop-feminist twist that seems incongruous given that the plot is pretty much standard. Your lead character must escape from cruel slavery and sexual danger with the aid of the Amazons, and then go back to confront her former master. This is the occasion for a fair number of orgies and badly choreographed hooch dancing sequences. A number of plot twists lie between our heroine and her final vengeance. The undercurrent of sexual violence, the motifs of dominance and submission, that were always present in the classic Italian low-budget sword and sandal films are presented more explicitly in their latter-day imitations. This is either a step forward in delivering the sort of entertainment wanted, or a step backwards in taste and subtlety. The bottom line is this is comparable to, but not as good, as -The Arena- a/k/a -Naked Warrior-. In that Seventies film, another Roman amazon gladiator film, Pam Grier's hooch dancing is much better. She also made a more convincing Amazon gladiator than the heroine of this film. One gathers from the packaging of the film that they are trying to ride the coattails of -Gladiator-, the Oscar-winning remake of -Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire-. Those who expect something similar will be disappointed. Those who like old fashioned low-budget sword and sandal films might get a kick out of this."
I would rather die free than be a dancing whore!
Johny Bottom | Jacksonville, NC | 12/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"So says a captured Amazon who is brought before the Senator. She escapes with the help of kidnapped maiden Serena who stabs the Senator in the back with a candlestick. I'm not sure where the blade came from after the candle fell out, but you go along with it.
Serena was just a young child when her village was attacked by a bloodthirsty Roman General turned Governor. Her father was killed, her sister was kidnapped, and her mother's death rested on her shoulders. Her mother was hung from a tree and Serena was underneath her for support. With her bare feet she had to stand under her mother while hot coals were lit on the ground. Of course her mother died and she was taken away as a slave.
After her escape she rides and trains with the Amazons. Only then does she discover that her grandmother was a great Amazon warrior and she is prophesized to be even greater.
Well there is a lot of sexy costumes, but little sex. Oh there's a whole lot of female nudity for those of us who enjoy sex with our violoence. My favorite chick had no lines, but was only instructed to pour the bath water slowly. Check out the headlights on that little honey WOW!
Anyway there's a whole lot of fighting in this movie, in the woodds and in the gladiator arena. In the end Serena gets her revenge by fighting the governor himself in the arena. After her victory she makes her speech; "And if I hear that anymore women are abused in this town, I will come back and kill you all!"
This is not a great movie, but it's good enough to pop in the old DVD player every now and then."
Good Campy Fun!
SereneNight | California, USA | 10/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nichole M Hiltz stars as Serena, a simple village girl in some distant unimportant Celtic province. When her village is ransacked by the legions of Roman General Marcus Crassius, Serena is taken captive, tortured and sold into slavery. Marcus takes her beautiful older sister as a courtesan.Ten years later, Serena and her best friend Brianna are slaves working as dancers. When the slaver sells Serena to a rich Roman senator as a whore, Serena unwittingly kills him. With the help of an Amazon prisoner, Ione, Serena and Brianna flee north to the village under the protection of the Amazon Queen Zenobia. Ione trains Serena and Brianna in the art of war, and to become Amazons, but Serena can't forget about the past and the evil Crassius and vows to take revenge. Will Serena succeed in getting revenge against Crassius?This is a Xena-esque flick right down to its bones. But I loved every sword-chopping, Amazon yelling minute of it! Nichole M Hiltz was excellent as Serena. Jennifer Rubin did a great job as Princess Ione. The actor who played Serena's boyfriend was very good (sorry, don't recall his name!) This movie is fun fluff. A good B movie. Historical Purists should steer clear though... Amazons' have names like "Serena, Brianna, Mathew, Ione" and the amazon's costumes are of the 'chainmail bikini' variety. Still, I was genuinely surprised at how much I liked this movie! I will definitely buy the DVD.Slight warning: The movie deserves the R rating for several gratuitously nude shots of partially clothed women and several violent scenes."
Mildly interesting, little sex, Bergin's a real b...........
S. Gustafson | 12/01/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie, which I think tries to marry the "Gladiator" idea; with the buxom heroine figures of movies like "Barbarian Queen" and other anti-male; pro-female, movies does so with limited success. Patrick Bergin, known for playing a right b.......d (you know what I mean); for example, in "Sleeping With The Enemy", is perfectly evil as the Roman Governor and Hiltz (since it's her first film) is moderately attractive as the female heroine (but limited in revealing her charms, for the above reason I guess). Mary Tamm (who many may remember [as Romana I] in the Tom Baker era of Dr. Who) is still a stunning looking woman (as the Amazon princess). It was a moderately interesting movie, but if one buys it, don't pay over $5.00 for it. (I bought a previewed copy and had to clean it three times with cd/dvd cleaner to get it to play all the way through.) Barbarian Queen with the late Lana Clarkson was better (though none of these movies are "cinema classics" by any stretch."