A while back, I bought this 50-movie set, Sci-Fi Invasion, for five bucks. That adds up to ten cents per movie. The Giant of Metropolis is a horribly-dubbed Italian sword and sorcery movie from 1961, lacking in both swords and sorcery.
Here’s what happens: Back in ancient times, the heroic and muscle-bound Obro travels from a pre-sunken Atlantis to the equally-mythical city of Metropolis, where he hopes to defeat the evil King Yotar before the king can use advanced technology to overthrow nature itself.
Speculative spectacle: Our beefcake hero gets captured immediately, and then goes through the whole slave-becomes-gladiator/gladiator-becomes-hero thing. There’s a lot more dramatic speechmaking than there is action.
Sleaze factor: The plot (what there is of it) screeches to a halt so the king can be entertained by sexy dancing girls.
Quantum quotables: Obro: “Why don’t you rebel?” Metropolis citizen: “Because my physical existence is artificial.” (This isn’t followed up on. We’re just supposed to buy this as an explanation and move on.)
What the felgercarb? I guess the filmmakers couldn’t afford a James Bond-style death trap, so they instead have the hero trapped by an inescapable spotlight.
Microcosmic minutiae: As Obro, bodybuilder Gordon Mitchell didn’t speak any Italian, so his voice was dubbed into Italian, and then dubbed back into English by somebody else. So… much… bad… dubbing!
Worth ten cents? There’s a reason why a lot of fantasy adventure heroes hang out at the tavern. It’s to make them relatable. When we see sword-bearing dragonslayers throw back a pint with their buddies, we get the sense that they’re just like us, deep down inside. The Giant of Metropolis has none of that. It’s so otherworldly and self-important, that I’m left with not caring at all what happens to these people or their enchanted kingdom. Just awful.
Want more? Check out my book, CINE HIGH, now available for the Kindle and the free Kindle app.