Colossus and the Headhunters / Maciste contro i cacciatori di teste (1963)

1.5 out of 5

Absolutely atrocious, laughably bad Ma-chees-ta adventure with yet another Oscar worthy lead role by the vacuous Kirk Morris headlining once again. With Malatesta at the helm, puerile peplum thrills are guaranteed. From the opening, replete with stock footage from Malatesta's even more uproarious, Maciste Vs. The Monsters, 1962, the filmmakers poorly match up a scene with Morris and his tunic wearing friends to the stock shots of the fur wearing cavemen. Reg Lewis is briefly seen carrying Margaret Lee away. Morris the Mighty does very little here except look confused when he isn't grunting and groaning pretending to get a hernia from tossing and tumbling cardboard objects.

The plot is yet another case of a nicely put together adventure yarn poorly put together. Maciste and a group of survivors escape a volcanic eruption only to end up on an island overrun by a tribe of head hunters who have taken the Urias tribes city of gold by force as well as their king, now blinded by his captors. Led by the traitor, Kermes, the axe wielding decapitators seek the kings daughter for a non-consensual marriage.

The violence level is occasionally strong such as scenes of heads adorning poles, people shot in the face with arrows and a man's face forced into a fire pit. But these gruesome scenes are undermined by asinine direction and a lead that's the equivalent of a walking slab of undercooked beef. The highlight of this imbecilic mess is a scene with a female "performer" who appears to be in a trance, or drugged while she "dances" for the guests. Words cannot do justice to the fatuity of this chuckle worthy sequence. One will also derive a giggle from the sight of Morris sucking in his stomach to make his chest stand out more; something he seemed to do in all his movies. A good viewing experience is nowhere in sight, but if an unintended rib tickler is sought, then the viewer is in good stead with Kirk and company.

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