Colossus and the Amazon Queen is another Italian sword and sandal film in which the title character is never actually called that. “Colossus” is actually Glauco, and despite being the title chaaracter, Ed Fury only gets third billing, behind Rod Taylor and Dorian Gray (who isn’t the actual Amazon Queen, either). The plot is a fairly basic affair: Pirro (Rod Taylor) is conned by a couple of effeminate Jewish stereotypes into press-ganging Glauco into serving on a ship’s crew, after the stereotypes see Glauco’s impressive performance in a not at all homoerotic 30 man wrestling match to celebrate the Greek victory over Troy. The ship makes landfall at a beach where several chests are loaded with gold and jugs of wine have been laid out, and the crew are told that they have been hired to guard the treasure. The wine of course is drugged and the men are taken captive by Amazons, save for Glauco who is rescued by Sofo, an Egyptian sailor too smart to drink obviously drugged wine. Glauco has a meet-cute involving spying on Amazon general Antiope while she bathes, followed by some light bondage courtesy of Antiope’s rival for the democratically elected position of Queen, Melitta. The Amazons are impressed with the rugged marital prowess of the Greek men, which isn’t all that surprising given that all the men currently running around their island are extremely gay, and marry them off to the military women. Much scheming between Antiope and Melitta for the position of Queen ensues, with Pirro playing both sides against the middle, resulting in Glauco ending up back in Greece and tricking a band of pirates into bringing him back to the island, whose timely arrival prevents a civil war between Antiope and Melitta’s forces. And then everyone gets married.
Surprisingly, this film is actually fairly clever, despite the plot that veers between trite cliches and needless complications. There’s a strange mix of deliberate homoeroticism and camp gay characters that you sort of suspect that the film-makers knew exactly who part of their audience was, and that level of self-awareness is pretty rare in the genre. The script itself is also fairly clever and even funny at times. True, it’s a corny sort of humor, and fairly broad, but it’s there beyond the usual level of lame comic relief. It’s also refreshing to see a fantasy Amazon film in which the central conflict between female characters isn’t a love rivalry over the asshole male lead, but over a completely practical and understandable political ambition. Granted, there is an awful lot of women gazing lovingly at scantily clad men, but that just brings us back to the film-makers apparently realizing who their audience is.
Fortunately, we’re watching this because it’s an Ed Fury film, and easily 90% of the film is Ed in a small, tight toga running around flexing and punching people. He gets tied up quite a few times as well, and even shares a mass shower with the men, as well as the giant wrestling match that opens the film. Rod Taylor gets a fair amount of screen time as well, usually covered up, and it’s hard to tell if we’re mean to like him or not, as he’s almost a villain and played vaguely gay, but he’s the only male character with anything approaching a personality, as Ed is only required to look pretty.
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