When Ulysses defeated the enchantress Circe he freed his men who had been turned into animals. He also blinded the Cyclops Polyphemus. These two events incurred the wrath of both Circe and Polyphemus. The hatred for Ulysses and his descendants has been passed down to the descendants of Circe and Polyphemus.
Queen Capys (Chelo Alonso) is the last descendent of Circe. On the island of Polyphemus is the last of the Cyclopes. Agisandro (Germano Longo), his wife Penope (Vira Silenti) and their baby son (Fabio) are the last descendants of Ulysses. Circe and the Polyphemus have sworn an oath of vengeance to the heirs of Ulysses. Capys is tied to that oath and will only be free of it when the last of the Ulysses line is dead.
Queen Capys has her soldiers attack the village of King Agisandro. The King is killed. Queen Penope is captured but no one knows she is among the captors. She and the other women are taken to Sadok.
The baby is spirited away by a trusted villager. The villager is wounded and ends up dying by the shore of the sea. Before he dies he and the baby are found by Maciste (Gordon Mitchell). Before he dies the villager explains to Maciste what happened to the village. Maciste gives the baby to a Sheppard to care for while he goes to the palace of Queen Capys to try to save the Queen and the other women captives.
On his way to Sadok he ends up saving Capys’ life though he doesn’t know who she is. Capys is intrigued by the strong man. When Maciste gets to Sadok he is captured by Capys’ right hand man Ifito (Dante DiPaolo). Ifito is in love with Capys but she is falling in love with Maciste.
Maciste and Queen Penope have a friend in Queen Capys guard. Sirone (Aldo Bufi Landi) helps Maciste whenever he can. He manages to get Maciste out of the palace but Ifito manages to get a hold of the baby. Ifito takes Penope and the baby to the island of the Cyclops to fulfill the vow of Circe. Maciste must battle the Cyclops and try to save both Penope and her son.
“Atlas in the Land of the Cyclops” AKA “Maciste nella terra dei cicipoi” AKA “Atlas Against the Cyclops” was released in 1961 and was directed by Antonio Leonviola. It is an Italian sword and sandal film. Even though the American title of the film refers to Atlas, the character in the film is called Maciste as in the original Italian language.
The Cyclops is only seen from the back in the beginning of the film. He’s never seen again until the last five or six minutes of the movie. The Cyclops wasn’t too bad. I would have liked to have seen more of him but I would assume the budget wouldn’t allow for a lot of special effects.
The film itself is a pretty decent contribution to the sword and sandal genre. These films are not top notch when it comes to script and acting anyway so allowing for that I was pleased for the most part. The action was a little sporadic and was basically the usual fights and boulder tossing but there were a couple demonstrations of strength that were a little different. When Maciste rows a ship by himself and when he has a tug of war over a lion pit were the main highlights.
Gordon Mitchell as Maciste is your typical bodybuilder actor, not that good. Although his portraying a simple naïve mountain strong man is a little on the type casting side.
The baby in the movie is Fabio Lanzoni. Known just as Fabio, he was one of the most famous male models for appearing on the covers of over a hundred romance novels. Fabio again made film and television appearances thirty years later, mostly as Fabio himself.
This is also the film debut of Bodybuilder Paul Wynter who plays a character named Mumba. He was Mr. Universe in 1960 and 1966.