A volcanic eruption destroys the island of a peaceful tribe. The leader is killed but his son Ariel (Demeter Bitenc) and a handful of his people escape with the aid of Maciste (Kirk Morris). They take to the sea on a raft. The small band of people float for days until they come upon another island. While everyone rests Maciste goes to look for food and water. While he is away the small clan is captured by a native tribe from the island.
Maciste comes upon the queen of the tribe Amoha (Laura Brown). When Queen Amoha finds out that the newcomer is Maciste she believes he is the person of legend that is to come from the sea to save her people. On the island is another tribe of headhunters. They are led by a traitor from her tribe named Kermes (Frank Leroy).
Queen Amoha and her people once inhabited a city of gold. Kermes and the headhunters attacked the city. What was left of the people fled to the forest. Amoha’s father, King Olibana (Alessio Pregara), has never been seen since. Amoha believes he is dead. Although Amoha expects Maciste to save her people his first priority is to take care of the refugees he is already responsible for. Maciste, Ariel and his people leave to go back to their raft and continue their journey.
While they are heading back to the shore the headhunters attack the village and capture Queen Amoha. Maciste and Ariel hear the sound of a gong. Maciste understands that it is a call for help so he and Ariel head back to the village. By the time they get there the village is destroyed and anyone still alive has been taken to the headhunter’s village, including Queen Amoha. Maciste and Ariel head out to aid the captives.
Meanwhile Kermes plans on marrying Queen Amoha and ruling over everyone in the city of gold.
“Colossus and the Headhunters” AKA “Maciste Against the Headhunters” AKA “Fury of the Headhunters” was released in 1963 and was directed by Guido Malatesta. It is an Italian sword and sandal film. The movie was dubbed into English and distributed in the U.S. by American International Pictures. Although the title of the film was changed to Colossus for the American release the name in the film is still Maciste.
Much of the opening footage of the film is stock footage from the closing scenes of “Fire Monsters Against the Son of Hercules” 1962 which was also directed by Guido Malatesta.
Kirk Morris was an Italian bodybuilder and actor who did several he-man style sword and sandal films. Morris’s real name was Adriano Bellini. He was born in 1942. Morris was a gondolier and the winner of the 1961 Mr. Italia bodybuilding contest. He was typical of the muscle bound sword and sandal heroes. He also did a couple spaghetti westerns and garnered a role as Belsy in the cheezy Italian science fiction movie “Star Pilot” AKA “2+5 Mission Hydra” 1966.
Bad acting and poor dubbing can sometimes make a movie cheezy, campy and fun. Sometimes it just makes it boring. In this case even the battles were unimpressive. As far as sword and sandal movies are concerned it’s not very entertaining. There’s a difference between bad acting (fun) and zero acting (boring). Be it lame or prophetic sometimes the dialogue in these types of movies is note worthy. With this film even that isn’t memorable.
The only thing worth watching is Kirk Morris but not because he’s any good. As far as beefcake is concerned he’s perfect but as for his performance not so much. He comes off flat with no expression. He could have just as easily been played by a photograph.