Sangraal, la Spada Di Fuoco (1983)

Run Time - 83 min.  |   Countries - Italy  |  
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As the 1980s began, Italian director Michele Massimo Tarantini (here credited as Michael E. Lemick) segued from his violent action films of the 1970s (Poliziotti Violenti, Napoli si Ribella) into a series of sword and sorcery films, of which this entertaining entry is probably the best. Pietro Torrisi (using the pseudonym Peter McCoy) stars as Sangraal, who is crucified over the city he rules and forced to watch it destroyed by barbarian hordes. As if this weren't bad enough, the goddess of fire, Rani (Margareta Rance), kills his lover in front of him. Needless to say, Sangraal escapes and goes after the goddess, as well as her sleazy avatar, Nanuk (Mario Novelli), who ends up sitting on his own dagger and reaching a (dare we say it?) painful end. Along the way, the heroic Sangraal battles monkey-men, subterranean zombies, and a dark mystic (Massimo Pittarello). There is some inventive cinematography by Giancarlo Ferrando, an appearance by the stunning Sabrina Siani, and a Pietro Regnoli script that stays remarkably free of the stentorian nonsense that usually passes for dialogue in this sort of film. All in all, not a bad way to spend a rainy afternoon.

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barbarian, war-atrocities