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Amazons & Gladiators

3.0 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

IN CAESAR'S ERA, POWER AND REWARD OFTEN COME AT A MORTAL COST. SERENA UNDERSTANDS THIS FIRSTHAND WHEN, AT AGE TWELVE, GOVERNOR CRASSIUS AND HIS ARMY ATTACK HER VILLAGE, KILLING HER PARENTS AND SEPARATING HER FROM HER SISTER. AT THE TIME SHE IS UNAWARE THAT HER DESTINY IS TO BECOME A HERO AND SAVIOUR TO HER PEOPLE.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Patrick Bergin, Jennifer Rubin, Richard Norton, Nichole Hiltz, Wendi Winburn
  • Directors: Zachary Weintraub
  • Writers: Zachary Weintraub
  • Producers: Eve Brandstein, Fred Weintraub, Jackie Weintraub, Rainer Mockert, Robertas Urbonas
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: February 19, 2004
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005RDSB
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,836 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Amazons & Gladiators" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Anything named "Amazons and Gladiators" cannot be taken as anything more than "B" movie caliber, and this certainly doesn't disappoint. Like all "B" movies about Amazons, it's about a bunch of naked women running around being sex objects while, somewhat hypocrtically, trying to talk and act convincingly about female empowerment in being MORE than sex objects. Characteristically, this empowerment is derived from the pointy end of a sword (phallic references obvious here, huh?).
Anyone who buys or rents this film expecting something more will be disappointed, but probably hasn't been off the back of the turnip wagon long in that case, anyway. Anyone who says they wish to watch it for the quality of the acting or its historical value is probably trying to convince their wife/girlfriend to see it with them so both can enjoy some lesbian action on screen. They will be disappointed, as there is none of that in this film, despite the lead characters' professed confusion as to what exactly a man IS good for....
The story is typical. Serena, a young girl from Pane (I assume a reference to Pannonia, or present day Hungary) is forced by General Marcus Crassius to participate in her mother's execution (taken straight from an old Charles Bronson western, only without the harmonica). She then becomes a dancing slave girl, who quite chastely refuses the (paid) advances of a Roman senator, slaying him the process and running off with the Amazon warrior who happened to be captive in the same room. She joins the Amazons, and sets out with her trusty sidekick to avenge herself on the evil general that killed her mother. She gets the general, then becomes the Amazon queen and defends women's rights across Roman and barbarian lands. We've seen it all before. What's the harm in watching some of it again?
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Lackluster dialogue and shoddy sets left what could have been a remarkable production bereft of soul.

Nichole Hiltz plays Serena, a tomboy who witnesses her family slain by Crassus, a savage and ruthless Roman governor, sent to the backwaters by Julius Caesar. The girl grows up to become one of the most powerful Amazon women to ever face Rome.

First of all, don't come to this film looking for history. The real Crassus was not slain by an Amazon. It was the Parthians that did him in. Secondly, there were no Amazons during the early Roman Empire. The Amazons were during Greek times. But for the sake of fun we can overlook these anachronisms.

Serena was tough! Wow! I'd never want to face her in combat. She was absolutely ruthless to her enemies. While beautiful and deadly, she also possessed intelligence and guile. I admired her struggle against the odds and I especially loved Jennifer Rubin as Ione, the Amazon woman who instructs Serena and her girlfriend Gwyned in the arts of fighting. Both quickly rise up within the Amazon hierarchy and acquit themselves well in the world of men. Woe to any man who underestimates their power.

Serena has a burning desire to avenge the deaths of her family. She does just this by the end of the movie and has all her enemies lying in pools of blood. Nothing could stop her! I liked the portrayals of the characters. Unfortunately the poor dialogue and shoddy sets did this production in. This could not compare with any Hallmark production. Currently I'm watching Timothy Dalton's Cleopatra, and there is no comparison. As a result of the poor production and bad dialogue (The Plot In & Of Itself Is Pretty Good), this DVD loses Two Stars. My rating is an even Three Stars.
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Format: VHS Tape
This sword and sandal film was apparently made in Lithuania. The Baltic scenery, obvious from the many scenes set in forested areas, seems somewhat out of place in a Roman setting. The handful of sets made to represent the grandeur of Rome fall quite short of the mark.
The movie itself offers the usual sorts of entertainment found in sword and sandal flicks, sugar coated with a vaguely pop-feminist twist that seems incongruous given that the plot is pretty much standard. Your lead character must escape from cruel slavery and sexual danger with the aid of the Amazons, and then go back to confront her former master. This is the occasion for a fair number of orgies and badly choreographed hooch dancing sequences. A number of plot twists lie between our heroine and her final vengeance.
The undercurrent of sexual violence, the motifs of dominance and submission, that were always present in the classic Italian low-budget sword and sandal films are presented more explicitly in their latter-day imitations. This is either a step forward in delivering the sort of entertainment wanted, or a step backwards in taste and subtlety.
The bottom line is this is comparable to, but not as good, as -The Arena- a/k/a -Naked Warrior-. In that Seventies film, another Roman amazon gladiator film, Pam Grier's hooch dancing is much better. She also made a more convincing Amazon gladiator than the heroine of this film.
One gathers from the packaging of the film that they are trying to ride the coattails of -Gladiator-, the Oscar-winning remake of -Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire-. Those who expect something similar will be disappointed. Those who like old fashioned low-budget sword and sandal films might get a kick out of this.
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