Iron Warrior (1986)


(Ator Il Guerriero di Ferro)

Italy. 1986.


Director – Al Bradley [Alfonso Brescia], Screenplay – Al Bradley & Steve Luotto, Producer – Maurizio Maggi, Photography – Wally Gentleman, Music – Carlo Maria Cordro, Special Effects – Mario Cassar, Makeup – Mario Michisanti, Production Design – Frank Vanorio. Production Company – Brouwersgracht Investments/Continental Motion Pictures


Miles O’Keeffe (Ator), Savina Gersak (Janna), Elisabeth Kaza (Phoedra), Iris Peynado (Deeva), Frank Daddi (Trogar)


After she abducts the child Trogar, the sorceress Phoedra is stripped of her powers and exiled by her peers. In seclusion, she raises Trogar as a fierce Iron Warrior, as much machine as man. When she uses Trogar to slaughter the king and his entire court, only the Princess Janna manages to escape. Janna is saved by and begs the aid of the warrior Ator to take on Trogar. Ator goes off to confront Trogar, unaware that the two of them are brothers.

This was the third of the Italian sword-and-sorcery films starring Miles O’Keeffe as Ator. This came following Joe D’Amato’s cheap Ator the Invincible (1982) and its sequel Ator the Blade Master (1984), and was followed by a fourth film Quest for the Mighty Sword (1989) without O’Keeffe. This was the only of the Ator series not directed by porn director Joe d’Amato.

Iron Warrior is a typical Italian sword-and-sorcery effort, of which there were several dozen made during the early 1980s, all attempting to copy the success of Conan the Barbarian (1982). Iron Warrior has certainly been made on the cheap – there are no interior sets for instance, it is all shot on location. Nor does it have a plot. Miles O’Keeffe spends the entire film without change of expression and delivers dialogue that comes almost entirely in grunts, bar a handful of Schwarzenegger-esque quips. Heroine Savina Gersak spends the entire film in transparent see-through gowns.

On the plus side, Iron Warrior isn’t too badly directed – the slow-motion is overused but there is the oddly stylistic moment that momentarily sets it aside, making it at least a better film than the D’Amato entries. Also the musical score – using a combination of synthesised action atmosphere and a catchy classical motif – is quite good.

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