Ironmaster / La guerra del ferro – Ironmaster (1983)

3.5 out of 5

With the help of some impressive matte paintings, nifty models and a minimal clothing budget, Umberto Lenzi tells the history of man in his own remarkable, but entertaining way.

At the dawn of time a small tribe faces a change of leadership. The choice lies between Vood, George Eastman, and Ela, Sam Pesco, although Vood in his impatience takes matters into his own hands, killing the tribe leader during a raid on an opposing tribe. Ela witnesses the act and tells the tribe of Vood’s crime. He’s expelled from their clan and swears to take his revenge on Ela. After discovering the power of iron, when a sword is freakishly molten in the rock by lightening, Vood starts his destructive conquest slaying his way through the lands in search for Ela and the leadership he demands.

Filled with some typical eighties Lenzi moments, like the top of some blokes skull coming off after it’s bashed by a stick, and a enticing wardrobe malfunction as Pamela Prati runs between the two camps to warn off Vood and lure Ela into a trap.

William Berger holds a small, but important part, and George Eastman gives one of his best performances as Vood. Taking a deeper look, the script holds something of a Shakespearian quality, which comes rather unexpected. Also there’s a brilliant scene in a cave, which is classic horror despite the movie being an action flick. Finally there’s a rather droney, but enjoyable score by the De Angelis bros under the name The Onion Brothers that will stick to the inside of the head.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics