A for Ator

by Lillian Csernica on  April 1, 2015





When I was in high school, the first of the Ator movies appeared in theaters.  At the time I was heavily into sword & sorcery, so I went to see it.  Not five minutes into the actual movie, the dramatic voice-over put a name to the bad guys: the Kingdom of the Spider.  You don’t have to be a movie expert to know what that means.  Sooner or later, Our Hero is going to go up against a spider the size of a tank.  I’ve gotten a lot better in recent years, but at that time if I saw so much as a tiny spider, I started screaming.  It’s a good thing I’ve always had a vivid imagination, because I spent most of the movie with my eyes shut.


I’d seen Miles O’Keeffe in the remake of “Tarzan, the Ape Man,” and while that was hardly Oscar material, my main interest was the eye candy factor, so it was all good.  I did expect more out of a movie that promised sword fights.

Ator: The Fighting Eagle” begins with Our Hero asking his father Torren for his own sister Sunya’s hand in marriage.  Excuse me?  Ator wants to marry his own sister?  Well gosh, as luck would have it, Torren chooses that moment to tell Ator this is not a problem because Ator is in fact adopted.  Does anybody in Torren’s court have a problem with this?  Apparently not, because the wedding plans move ahead.   Ator is doing the barbarian equivalent of choosing a boutonniere when Dakkar, High Priest of the Spider Cult, has Sunya kidnapped.  Can you guess what Dakkar plans to do with Sunya?  Here’s a hint: it involves a really huge spiderweb.


This is plainly a rip-off of Conan and Valeria in “Conan the Barbarian.”

So Ator vows to rescue his beloved, but first he must learn how to fight to defend himself from all the dangers along the way.  What’s this?  He’s a prince in a warrior culture and only now is anybody teaching him how to use a sword?  I believe the expression I want here is  <facepalm>.  Once his training is complete, off goes Ator to rescue his beloved.  (The sword training should have taken several weeks, if not years, so in a realistic world Sunya would already be spider chow.)

On the way Ator meets Roon, an Amazon thief, who decides to help him out on his quest.  Sabrina Siani wears the armor well enough, but she’s no Valeria.  Sandahl Bergman, a professional dancer, made her sword fights in “Conan the Barbarian” look great.  In the Ator movies, and I mean in ALL of the Ator movies, you have the dubious pleasure of watching Miles O’Keeffe parry before his opponent even starts to attack.  I’ve watched dozens of movies that include sword fights.  My husband lettered in fencing in college, and back in my Ren Faire days we both worked at the fencing booth.  I tell you, it is painful to watch Ator walk through his fight blocking like a nervous groom learning how to waltz.  You can see the stunt men holding back until he’s in position.

The middle of the movie is taken up by set pieces from a bad D&D campaign.  There are hideous witches, undead warriors, and then Ator’s own shadow attacks him!  It’s a creature of sorcery, so its fighting skills are far superior to those of Ator himself.



Another standard feature of sword & sorcery movies is the evil seductress who seeks to derail Our Hero from his quest.  Ator comes up against a perfect example when he meets Indun, played by porn star Laura Gemser.


Even so, Our Hero triumphs and enters the lair of the Spider Cult.  Some day, if I turn my writing skills toward game design, I’m going to create a Trivial Pursuit variation all about adventure movies.  Observant players will be able to answer the question that comes up time and time again, from Indiana Jones to Harry Potter:  Just how many tarantulas did they use in that scene?



Poor Sunya, stuck in the web while Ator fights off the Mother of All Spiders.


If you want to have a good time and you’re OK with lots of spiders, then grab some popcorn and settle in for 98 minutes of predictable storytelling, silly dialogue, laughable costumes, really bad sword fights, and special effects that make the original “Doctor Who” look like Jerry Bruckheimer with a bottomless SFX budget.  (Don’t get me wrong, I love “Doctor Who.”  Tom Baker then, Christopher Eccleston now!)  In all fairness, I should praise Ator’s best asset: his hair.  No matter how rough things get fighting the big ugly spider puppet, Ator always has great hair.

Join me tomorrow for a look at a true B movie!


Filed under fantasy, Horror, Humor, romance

16 responses to “A for Ator

  1. Oh my, I don’t know whether I want to watch it with my eyes or run away!
    And I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this. How’s that?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I saw this movie by accident when sick once, which actually helped me enjoy it (the drugs). I was flipping channels between bouts of Noro virus vomiting. I loved the giant spider and the terrible special effects!


  3. His hair is the best part made my laugh hard!! Nothing is better than 26 bad movies!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, this is definitely a new one for me! You’re right about the hair. Not sure that would help me get through all the holes in the plot, though! Thanks for a fun post, I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the others. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d never heard of Ator but I used to love Hercules for all the reasons you mention. Sometimes you need something truly mindless and silly to watch!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there! Thanks for the visit. I’ve watched a lot of sword-and-sandal gladiator movies too, like the ones with Victor Mature. Gotta love being able to turn off your brain and feast your eyes!


  6. Alex Hurst

    This sounds awesome. 😀 How fun, and corny, and yes, the rip-off factor is high with this one. I’m currently rewatching Highlander, and these stills are making me think of it, particularly the comment about the terrible sword-fighting. I need to find this one! (And wow, you weren’t kidding about the eye-candy…)

    Alex Hurst, A Fantasy Author in Kyoto
    Out of Print, Fiction authors and their shorts

    A-Z Blogging in April Participant

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a great blog! As you may realise, I’m a bit of a heretic when it comes to this genre of film. What was it you saw in the smouldering, rippling muscled Tarzan?! Looking forward to tomorrow’s blog. You might even get me to watch some of this all action, swash buckling, swords and sorcery epic tale telling. Maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you, Rob. What did I see in Tarzan? I saw a big, good-looking guy in a loincloth. LOL I also wanted to see that version of the story. I’ve watched the early black and white Tarzan movies with Johnny Weissmuller, along with the TV shows and that really awful movie with Christopher Lambert.


  9. Spiders?? Ha, ha, now I know why I never watched these movies. I’d have nightmares.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: The A to Z Blog Challenge Theme Reveal! | Hopes and Dreams: My Writing and My Sons

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