King Yotar (Roldano Lupi) is the ruler of Atlantis. It is an advanced civilization where science and astrology are pursued above all else. It is a society where the King uses science to maintain order and the citizens have no will of their own. Metropolis is the capital city of Atlantis. Yotar is experimenting with his young son Elmos (Carlo Angeletti). He intends on giving him the wisdom of an elder and immortality. He wants to implant the brain of his father (Carlo Tamberlani) into the body of his son.
From out of the desert comes an old man with his sons. Before they get to Metropolis the old man dies. With his dying words he tells his sons to travel to Metropolis and give them a warning. They must not try to change the natural order of things or use science for evil purposes. His sons proceed to Metropolis. The city defense system sends an electro-magnetic storm called the Whirlwinds of Death. All the brothers die except Orbo (Gordon Mitchell). Orbo continues on but is captured by Yotar’s guards.
Yotar orders that Orbo be brought to him alive. Amazed that the man survived the storm he subjects Orbo to various tortures. When Orbo comes out of them still alive Yotar decides to study him. Perhaps he can use Orbo’s special blood for the advancement of science and knowledge.
Yotar’s obsession with science has created some enemies. His wife Queen Texen (liana Orfei), in cahoots Egon (Furio Meniconi) and a couple minions, free Orbo. Egon was one of Atlantis’ leaders that died and was brought back to life by Yotar’s scientists. When Queen Texen is found out she commits suicide rather than give up any information on Orbo. Yotar’s daughter Princess Mecede (Bella Cortez) sees what is happening. She runs to the caves underneath the city to find Orbo finally figuring out that her father is mad with power and will end up destroying everything. Orbo is forced to fight to try to stop Yotar’s wanton destruction.
“The Giant of Metropolis” was released in 1961 and was directed by Umberto Scarpelli. It is an Italian sword and sandal/science fiction film with some really bad dubbing.
Gordon Mitchell was one of several strong men that went to Italy to bask in the sword and sandal fad of the sixties. When that genre faded he transitioned to spaghetti westerns and giallo mysteries. Since he was not able to actually learn pages of dialog in Italian, Mitchell would sometimes simply recite bawdy limericks during his scenes. Actual dialog would be looped in later. This means Mitchell was dubbed in both Italian and English.
I was actually impressed with the sets. They were quite elaborate and futuristic. They looked like a combination of Art Deco and German Expressionistic. Sort of like Fritz Lang’s film “Metropolis” 1927 only on a much smaller scale. I managed to find a restored version and the colors look bold and bright.
The story is rambling yet plain. The characters are a little confusing as well. I also found the acting to be rather wooden. It’s not horrible and the underlying idea of science fiction mixed with ancient Atlantis is a good one. It just wasn’t written well.
The torture scenes were a little strange. Instead of the standard torture tools science is twisted and used for evil instead of for good. Yotar’s obsession with immortal life pushes him to use his own son as a guinea pig for his own glory. There are some glimmers of interesting ideas here but the execution of them leaves much to be desired rendering the film to just your average sword and sandals flick.