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Italian designer timepieces where the designer utilize lines, colors and materials that are on-trend, but maintain a timeless quality. The perfect union between Italian design, competitive prices and quality
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Published:  February 25, 2012
 
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Slide 1: ==== ==== Haurex Italian watches are high quality wristwatches with innovative design and materials that are always in line with the latest fashion trends. http://goo.gl/aGrxE ==== ==== As Italian sword-and-sandal spectaculars go, GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS is one of the best. American Steve Reeves sports his small beard and huge muscles as he plays a character whose name is not Goliath but something authentic-sounding and yet barely discernible. Subtitles would have helped in this case. The quality of this DVD transfer is quite good, and certainly superior to most in a genre that reached its pinnacle in the early 1960s. The ultra wide-screen transfer has produced sharp images and saturated colors, unlike the washed-out colors in the companion piece on the flip side of the DVD that is now available: GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES. The latter has neither Reeves nor vampires but ex-Tarzan muscleman Gordon Scott. The credit sequence of both films is curious. While Scott is plowing his sea-side acreage, the credits scroll briefly with a soundtrack that sounds all-too-familiar. . . the music score featured on the LP album for GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS. Les Baxter was credited with scoring the BARBARIAN, yet the credits for this DVD version of the film list another composer's name, and Les Baxter's score is nowhere to be heard. As a background for the credits, with the title itself spelled out in Italian, we see only the legs of horses galloping past. When the film was released in the US by AIP, we saw -- at least I did in my father's small-town theatre -- swirling colored smoke on the screen (like we see in HOUSE OF USHER) and the listing of Les Baxter's name as composer. The wide-screen process was referred to as ColorScope (?), not Totalscore as it is here. The credits also show "with the participation of Bruce Cabot" of KING KONG and John Wayne movie fame (catch his bit-part in the Paul Newman film W.U.S.A.). In GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS, he is barely recognizable, mainly because his English dialogue is dubbed by someone else and his screen time must be all of 4 minutes and thirty seconds. At least GOLIATH AND THE VAMPIRES gives French actor Jacques Sarnas more screen presence --partially hidden though he is under a veil-- but nothing like his leading-man appearance as Paris in HELEN OF TROY. In that film he was the leading muscleman and beefcake, but no less credible as Paris than is Brat Pitt portraying Achilles in TROY. In VAMPIRES he apparently decided to stay covered up rather than compete with Gordon Scott in the muscle department. Anyway, Cabot's brief appearance makes about as much logical sense as the more substantial appearance of Broderick Crawford as an evil king in GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON and a strong fighting ruler in THE CASTILLIANS. At least Crawford is recognizable in those films. Making GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS one of the better Italian spectaculars is the presence of dark, exotic-looking beauty Chelo Alonso. Her mere presence, regardless of which Fredericks of
Slide 2: Verona costume she is wearing for a particular scene, wrenches viewer attention away from all of the growling, testosterone-dripping male characters in view -- even Reeves himself. Reeves actually gives her a kiss on horseback at the end of the film, something that we don't often see in his films, even when his leading lady is Sylvia Koscina. The bald bad guy with the ponytail that Reeves dashes against a wooden fortress fence at the climax makes a brief appearance as a villain who makes the mistake of hiring Lee Van Cleef as a hit man in THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY. If you are a fan of this genre and appreciate sharp color images on your screen, GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS is worth examining and adding to your collection. Only THE COLOSSUS OF RHODES has saturated color wide-screen images this crisp for your Italian-made (as opposed to huge-budget, major-league, star-filled productions like BEN-HUR, EL CID, and THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE), English-dubbed, sword-and-sandal viewing pleasure. One memory about my first viewing of this film comes back to me after all of these years: when one of the horses in an outdoor scene makes a deposit on the ground from his anal canal, my young friend commented: "That horse's exhaust is not working properly." As far as another Italian sword-and sandal spectacle is concerned, this entry called ROME AGAINST ROME falls far short of the one above, except, perhaps, for the element of fantasy added to the togas and swords. I had been trying to decide for some time whether or not I should buy the DVD of a film I remembered only in part from the mid-sixties. When it appeared as the lower half of an AIP double feature under the title WAR OF THE ZOMBIES, I was an assistant manager of a small theatre back in southern Illinois. At the time I knew a little about the sword-and-sandal genre because my father's theatres in west central Illinois had played such dubbed Italian epics as GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS, GIANT OF MARATHON, GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON, and THE MINOTAUR. Fun stuff. I got to know such ubiquitous Italian actors as Etore Manni, who plays second banana to Brit strongman Reg Park in HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN, a far superior film if one cares about quality of images. It was, after all, originally filmed in 70mm, and sharp eyes can appreciate this. MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATRE once made fun of it, but their puerile humor wears off more quickly than do the sharp images of Atlantis. I enjoy showing it in a mythology course because the script captures the feel of Greek mythology - not just with Park's dialogue as he speaks to Zeus, his father, but because of the inclusion of actual figures from the classical myths. Etore Manni is the hero in ROME AGAINST ROME or WAR OF THE ZOMBIES, while John Drew Barrymore, who plays Ulysses in THE TROJAN HORSE, hams it up as the villain. Despite his American accent in the midst of the awkwardly dubbed-into-English actors -- just prior to the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns -- he is fun to watch and, more the case, listen to. He has the Barrymore knack of chewing scenery and taking viewers out of the film and putting them front row center of a stage production. Only Orson Welles dominates a film more flamboyantly. Unfortunately, the quality of this DVD is disappointing. I was looking forward to again seeing the battle with the resurrected Roman soldiers flashing their swords while engulfed in a bluish mist. On this DVD, the mist is all you see; the dead soldiers are lost in the background. In the night scenes,
Slide 3: the characters are just as invisible, apparent only in occasional glimpses of flesh and badly dubbed English. Subtitles would have helped, as would the presentation in the wide-screen or letterbox format. Despite the slighter higher cost of this single-sided DVD, the production remains sub-par as if no restoration efforts had been invested. It is really a shame, because the absence of a supermuscular hero like Hercules is, in some ways, a plus. Etore Manni is more the everyman caught up in struggles that involve his brains rather than his pecs. Someday, some film scholar who specializes in the sword-and-sandal efforts might want to do a little research on this actor and, perhaps, put together a book-length tribute. In the meantime, give us more DVD productions of Italian import efforts such as GOLIATH AND THE BARBARIANS. Give us more crisp and colorful fantasy epics like HERCULES AND THE CAPTIVE WOMEN and HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD, or Harryhausen special-effects efforts like CLASH OF THE TITANS and JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS to help us interest our young students, once again, in the world of mythology. This would be quite a responsibility. Charles J. Garard is a PhD in literature and film now living in Ningbo, China, where he teaches literature, writing, and history of the English language. Before Ningbo, he lived and taught in Anshan, China. He writes about films and mythology (such as his recent article about creatures in Indonesia published in a paranormal magazine) and works on his novels about time-travel, vampires, and mainstream topics. He is now working on a fictionalization of his experiences in China. Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Charles_Garard ==== ==== Haurex Italian watches are high quality wristwatches with innovative design and materials that are always in line with the latest fashion trends. http://goo.gl/aGrxE ==== ====

   
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