Everybody wants Ator’s nuts, even his sister.
With the success and popularity of Conan the Barbarian, 1982 had studios clamoring to release their own versions of the fantasy/barbarian film. We had Sorceress, the Sword and the Sorcerer, and of course the Beastmaster – even Krull was a sci-fi variation on the story. Italy’s contribution to the genre was Ator: the Fighting Eagle, a by the numbers Barbarian film featuring the muscular, fur toting chosen one Ator (played by Miles O’Keefe) – risen from the ashes of war. Along with him is the beautiful warrior princess (played by the spectacular Sabrina Siani) and his furry companion Kogar (a la Beastmaster).
Sounds pretty cut and dried, huh?
Except this has to be one of the most laughable of all the aforementioned contributions to the genre. To top it all off, it spawned three sequels!!!
As the movie begins, we are treated to an opening narrative explaining the history of the story and what we’re about to get ourselves into. The only thing is, it’s like a documentary – it’s comically long. The basis for the story is this: Ator, the son of Torin is prophesized to one day destroy the Kingdom of the Spider which has ruled the land in terror for a thousand years. Dakar, the High Priest of the Spider catches wind of this and has all male babies in Torin’s village killed – very biblical. Ator is taken away by a sorcerer of his village and entrusted to a struggling family in a faraway village. Got it?
Flash forward to an older, muscular Ator now being a bad ass in his village and presumably in love with his sister – and he wants to act on it. He confronts his father to ask for her hand in marriage and is informed that she is not his actual sister, but he had been adopted into their family. So, game on for Ator, fuck it looks like that shit wouldn’t have mattered anyway! At the height of their wedding, the village is plundered and his bride is kidnapped by the Spider sect. Ator now makes it his mission to retrieve his love and bring down the kingdom of the Spider
The first hour of this movie involves the chosen one Ator running into scenario after scenario where beautiful warriors and sorceresses do all that they can to get in his furry loin cloth. But alas he forsakes all others in his quest to rescue his bride.
The genre tropes in the movie are everything that you’d expect them to be, but laughably so. Ator and his sidekick Roon (again played by the beautiful Sabrina Siani) seem to drift aimlessly from one situation to another, taking on whatever comes their way. In so doing, the fights are completely gore free and simply hilarious. Whoever the stunt coordinator on this movie was it looks like maybe he spent about two days getting the cast ready for their fight scenes. Sword clashes blatantly miss, blades bend, and in one scene Ator has to fight a “Shadow warrior” which is basically a crew member’s silhouette wielding a blade and trying to make it look somewhat ok.
Speaking of shitty special effects, the best one in the movie is Roon’s river bath which she enjoys sans clothing, but we are unfortunately treated to this at seventy paces. But that just further solidifies this as a kiddie version of a Conan film. The true stars of this film are Siani and O’Keefe’s perfectly coiffed hair!