Mighty Mark the Magnificent!
Jery Tillotson | New York City | 03/27/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"IF you've never seen a Mark Forest muscle man movie this might be a good introduction, although I prefer him in "Mole Men Against the Son of Hercules" and "Kindar the Invulnerable." Forest had the most phenomenal torso of any of the Italian Hercules actors who flooded Rome during the heyday of "Hercules." Steve Reeves is still the apogee of blazing male beauty but Forest was more massive with enormous pecs, lats and a famously ridged stomach. His face was a work of art and his frequent scenes with actresses were sensuously believable. Forest exuded sex while Reeves was more godlike and remote. Forest was the most popular physique model of the 50s and went on to win Mr. America and Mr. Universe. He later became Mae West's favorite muscleboy in her Las Vegas act, next to Reg Lewis. When you watch him, nearly naked, in all of his work, it is to be stare in wonder that a man could be so beautifully put together. Everything from his head to his legs and feet are all perfectly portioned. He left Italian movies at the top of his career and went on to become an opera singer and performed all over Europe. Nowadays, he still sings and teaches opera in los Angeles where he is--surprise--a personal trainer to the stars."
Demigods of the Desert
J. B. Hoyos | Chesapeake, VA | 05/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Retromedia (a subsidiary of Image Entertainment) has provided an excellent double feature of sword and sandal films. Both "Son of Samson" and "Son of Cleopatra" are primo examples of their genre. Both have plots that are surprisingly intense and violent, resplendent with scenes of beauty and barbarism. Kudos to Retromedia for an outstanding job in restoring the main attraction, "Son of Samson," to its original brilliance. It is presented in super widescreen of 2.35:1. "Son of Cleopatra" has a full screen presentation but the print is excellent considering that it is a bonus feature. In both films, the setting is the deserts of Egypt and the heroes, Maciste and El Kabir, deliver their people from enslavement and oppression.
In "Son of Samson," professional body builder and physique model, Mark Forest (real name Lou Degni), stars as Maciste. Throughout the film, he wears only a yellow towel knotted around his loins. You'd think after a few days it would start to smell. Nevertheless, the women can't keep their eyes (and hands) off his muscular torso. Especially the diabolically evil Queen Smedes, excellently portrayed by the gorgeous Chelo Alonso. Together, Forest and Alonso make an extremely attractive couple. Maciste pretends to fall under her bewitching spell so that he can foil her plans for selling Egyptian peasant women into slavery.
In "Son of Cleopatra," the charming Mark Damon stars as El Kabir, the prince of an Egyptian tribe of nomads. However, he has always realized that he is different from his more muscular, darker complexioned brothers. When the Egyptians are being slaughtered and enslaved by the Romans, he comes to their rescue. Soon, the plot becomes more complicated when he begins to fall in love with the daughter of an evil Roman dictator. Though Damon doesn't have the bodybuilding physique of Mark Forest, he is every bit as charming and handsome. He gained great notoriety for his starring role in Roger Corman's "The Fall of the House of Usher," which costarred Vincent Price.
Fans of sword and sandal (peplum) features will enjoy this double feature. It is certainly a must have for fans of the legendary Mark Forest. Other films that you must see are: "Hercules Against the Mongols," "Kindar the Invulnerable," "Mole Men Against the Son of Hercules," and "Goliath and the Sins of Babylon."
Boring Lifeless movie
LOVE | Kirkland, WA USA | 10/25/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Kinda surprised I did not like this one, but whoever made this, put a lot of money into a flop. I think they tried to make a benhur without Christ as the Focal point of repentance, and took the name of Samson but without the great blessings of God in his final deathbed repentance, and thought that many would watch glory to men and false gods of egypt:-). The acting turned out lifeless, with no real entertainment value than if someone had taken some mud and thew them at the gold plated screen. So sad all the money spent to glorify other gods. Give me 10 Commandments or Ben Hur (the new cartoon or the older movie) or The Robe. This movie turned out to be 1/1000th of the value of those movies. Such a sad waste of talent and time :-(."