Film review: Seven Magnificent Gladiators (1983)

Film review: Seven Magnificent Gladiators (1983)

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Film review: Seven Magnificent Gladiators (1983)

Film review: Seven Magnificent Gladiators (1983)


Lou Ferrigno in a short kilt

Brad Harris in a short kilt

Dan Vadis in leather underpants

Sybil Danning in a  leather swimsuit

Carla Ferrigno in a proper dress (spoilsport)

Several other blokes in short kilts

A few blokes in furs

At least two women who really needed to shave their armpits before filming started.

And an old blind, bird in a mad hat.


 For years bandit chieftain Nicerote has been plundering the small village of Clusium and it's got to the point where they can't take anymore. Since Nicerote is (somehow) immortal, the villagers need to find  a true hero who can wield the mystical Sword of Achilles. The lovely Pandora takes the sword to Rome in hopes of finding the man worthy to wield it. (The test for which, by the way, is "Hold this. Oh, it fried your hand? Too bad."

  Pandora arrives in Rome just as barbarian charioteer Han defeats former Imperial fave Scipio in a race. He gets offered the job of Imperial charioteer, provided he kills his defeated rival. Since he's the hero, he says no and Han and Scipio ride off together as new best mates.  After they save Pandora from beggars - and she saves them from a pissed off Emperor - Han and Scipio agree to help the villagers and begin putting together a team. This includes a couple of other ex-gladiators whose names escape me, Scipio's business partner - the highly mercenary Julia,  a burly farmer they picked up along the way and some young wannabe that wouldn't take the hint and piss off. 

  The next time Nicerote comes a-calling he's going to be facing more than frightened women and children.

  This was an attempt to revive the old Italian Sword & sandal muscleman flick while cashing in on the early 80s fantasy boom.  As you can probably tell, the plot is blatantly nicked  from Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven but pared down to a mimimum.

 Is it cheesy? 

Dear gods, yes. 

 It's easy to find fault with "7MG" For starters, I find it hard to take the  bad guy seriously when he's wearing a pornstar 'tache and leather swimming trunks. He also seems to have been the guinea pig for early attempts at spray-tanning. Acting in this film falls into two camps - wooden and hammy -  and Nicerote is defintely in the second category. The only reason he's not the hammiest thing in the film is because the Emperor seems to have wandered in from a Carry On film.

 Guess which category Lou Ferrigno falls into?  His physique is spectacular and he does have a certain charm but you can see why US producers gave certain roles to Arnie instead.

 I'd also like to mention that as far as I can tell, certain other members of Nicerote's outlaw gang seem to be immortal as well. How else do you explain the way they get killed in one scene then pop up to get killed again ten minutes later.

 Then there's the good guys' battle plan. 

 You are faced with superior numbers, all mounted. Do you:

A. Try and whittle them down with ambush and hit & run tactics, using all the available terrain?


B. March into the open and pick a fight?  (And they do this twice.)

  In spite of all the faults, I did enjoy "Seven Magnificent Gladiators". I wouldn't want to watch it with anybody else in the room, mind you.  They might start giving me funny looks. Again.  

To sum up: If you are in the mood for some ripe cheesy fun, have a fondness for Sybil Danning or men in skimpy kilts or want to see the least thrilling chariot race in cinema history, go heck it out on Youtube here:

  Article Info
Created: Jan 6 2013 at 02:21:45 PM
Updated: Jan 6 2013 at 02:21:45 PM
Category: Movies & Film
Language: English

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