Friday, September 12, 2014

Movie rummage table : Vulcanus, The Titan

Originally I wanted to continue with the comics next ( the readership has already taken a noticeable drop, although I´m not certain it´s related to the content of the last few posts ) but something else has come up. So, to use all the material I found let´s talk about another entry of this blog´s section about forgotten kintopp gems you may only find on rummage tables ( or on amazon´s " 6 movies for 20 bucks " offers ) : VULCANUS, THE TITAN or like it is called in english VULCAN, SON OF JUPITER.

It´s going to be a rather long one so sit down in a comfy chair, get a bite to eat, something to drink and let´s begin with the awesomeness of this.

The movie was made in 1961 and the only reason why I remember it at all is bouncy actress Bella Cortez, who plays the role of Etna and who wears some skimpy outfits and does a very erotic dance for Vulcan in the movie.

Yes, not really a surprise that I remember the movie because of some hot babe in it but cuban 60s movie cult siren Bella Cortez is without question the quintessential ingredient that elevates VULCAN, SON OF JUPITER from bad but still enjoyable entertainment to a secret cult classic.

Most websites I have come across agree with me and make a point of especially mentioning Bella Cortez ( nomen really est omen with Bella ) and I have to thank the people who put a lot of work and effort into it because without them this post would not have been possible, or at the least there wouldn´t be so much knowledgeable info and facts in it.

Now I put this movie in the movie rummage table section but the chances that you really DO find it on such a table are rather slim. It´s so old that you will probably find an old UFA VHS tape of it at a flea market across town or your neighbour´s garage sale before you see it as a DVD or Blue Ray ( if you´re not old enough please ask Daddy to explain UFA to you ).

The real reason for this post is to make you aware of the flick so that you can grab it immediatelly if you see it. Because this would be one of these chances you only get once in your lifetime and you don´t want to regret it later. Still it is on DVD and Blue Ray and more often than not it´s sold together with other sword and sandal classics like FURY OF HERCULES.

Okay, back to the main topic of the post, which is the movie VULCANO FIGLIO DI GIOVE how the movie is called in its country of origin, Italy.

The main female lead is played by the aforementioned bodacious Bella Cortez and I´m not the only one who thinks she´s a major reason to see the movie because she was given top billing over lead actor Rod Flash Ilush in the american and german release of the film. Not a great poster.

Now is it just me or does Rod Flash sound like a proper porn name ? There are some names like Monika Niederreiter, Rezzo Schlauch or Hans Eichel that are just predestined for a career in the adult movie industry.

Back to the movie.  As you may have guessed it´s a sword and sandal movie or like germans call them just sandal movies ( Sandalenfilme ), and it stars fellow blogger Bob Mitchell as Pluto, God of the Underworld.

No, wait. That´s Gordon Mitchell, my mistake. Maybe they´re related.

I had to look up the story because it´s been a long time since I watched this and I got most of it from POLAR BLAIR`S DEN which was a big help in doing this post.  But before we get to the plot I want to address one thing. The fact that Jupiter is never referred to as Zeus is that being an italian movie the writers used the old roman names for the gods.

If you always had trouble with the difference between the roman gods and the greek gods ( man, I never thought we would get this deep into roman mythology ) is that they are basically the same gods but the romans used the names of the planets for them. So Zeus is Jupiter, Hades is Pluto, Hermes is Mercury, Aphrodite is Venus, Ares is Mars, Poseidon is Neptune and Hephaistos is Vulcan. Which brings us to the hero of the picture.

Unlike his greek counterpart Vulcan is not lame and with that I don´t mean that Vulcan looks very much like Hercules in most movies : he sports more muscles than Charles Atlas, a full beard to put bikers to shame and all the women are just swooning over him, especially Etna.

But I wanted to talk about Vulcan. When I say that he´s not lame I mean that in greek mythology Hephaistos had a bum leg and there are two stories how that happened. Either it was Hera ( his mother in some stories but let´s not get into that now ) who was upset Hephaistos was born ugly and hurled him off Olympus or Zeus did it because Hephaistos wanted to free Hera from punishment. What is consistent is that he fell and broke his legs, that he landed in the sea near the island of Lemnos, and was washed up by the surf on the shore, where his body lay broken until rescued by the sea nymphs Thetis ( not Tetris ) and Eurynome.

These beautiful Nereids took great care to hide him from his mother who, still ashamed of her deformed son, would have continued to try to harm him. Secretly Hephaestus lived with these goddesses in their underwater caves for nine years, and that was the awakening his creative energy.

Which is part of what the writers worked into the movie. There really was a nymph called Etna in roman mythology ( daughter of Uranus, no less ) and she had some dealings with Vulcanus having children with him in some stories. The volcano in Sicily was probably named after her.

Although the reason why Volcano landed in the sea is quite different.

Here it is all because of Venus who according to the mythology became his wife ( and she wasn´t too faithful like most gods ). Although I have to say if I was Vulcan in this movie I also would choose Etna over Venus. Do not get me wrong, Venus, played by Annie Gorassini is nothing to scoff at

but I think Etna just has more OOOOMPH ! if you get my drift.

Okay, so Venus is upsetting the gods with her wild, sexual escapades which is a bit hard to swallow keeping in mind how horny all of those greek gods were but apparently even they have limits and Venus has crossed the line. So Jupiter ( who really is no one to make judgement calls in that departement as he turned into all kinds of animals like bulls and swans to get it on with mortal women ) decides to marry her of to one of the gods in order to tame her. Which sounds pretty dirty but we´re already in the realm of zoophilia so whatever. Why is it that you can´t talk about gods without mentioning this kind of sick shenanigans ?

No wonder the Wonder Woman books were f - ed up for such a long time.

The two top choices are Mars and Vulcan, and while Vulcan couldn´t care less and is happier just working in his forge Mars is just beyond himself because of the chance to grab such a hot babe like Venus. So Mars has the manners of a WWE star so he wants to settle this in a gridge match but since Jupiter didn´t give his permission like in most Marvel comics that deal with Thor or Hercules they are stripped of their powers for 2 months.

Mars elopes to Earth with Venus ( who much rather prefers Mars over Vulcan ) and when Vulcan goes after them Pluto pokes him with his giant trident and Vulcan takes a crash course. Now Pluto is the only ally of Mars in the flick and he thinks Mars marrying Venus and taking Jupiter´s place is just the best plan ever. But you know, mice and men and all that, when Vulcanus is found by Etna the whole insidious schtick goes off the rails.

Etna and the other nymphs want to take the injured Vulcan home and I have to say, Etna looks rather unimpressive in her first appearance.

So on the way to Etna and the other nymphs crib they are attacked by bad guys in bad costumes. I have no idea who they are supposed to be but if I didn´t know better I´d say they are the ancient version of the Turtles.

And you might want to skip the next part ( if you are not already doing that and just looking at the pretty pictures and watching the clips with Bella Cortez´ hot dance ) because here´s where it gets complicated.

" Oh, really ? " you´re saying in disbelief. " Just now ? "  Yes, just now.

So if you don´t want to know the rest of the movie but rather want to watch it for yourself just skip the part until the embedded movies or download it here if you want to burn it on a CD and watch it on your tv. But I should probably warn you that the quality is not very good. Like I said, the movie is in the public domain so this should not be a problem.

When did I start to tell you the entire movie and turn this post that was just supposed to be a short post about stunning cult siren Bella Cortez with some clips and pictures into a marathon writing session anyway ?

Ah, well, we lasted this long so we can as well go all the way. Vulcan and the nymphs are attacked by these lizard people, Vulcan is tortured and Etna and the other nymphs are imprisoned together with a lot of other people and a midget named Kayo who becomes Vulcan´s sidekick.

The nymphs manage to help Kayo escape to summon their Neptune with a shell who sends warriors which free all prisoners. Vulcan accompanies the nymphs to their homebase and Etna does her sexy dance in celebration ( but mainly to make an impression on Vulcan who she fancies a lot ). 

The guy who buts in on Etna´s dance just before she got to do her big finish is Mercury and of course he brings no good news. Suffice it to say that Mars´ plans have been revealed, our trio of heroes goes forth to put an end to it and after a lot of complicated stuff the bad gods are caught.

Oh, and since Vulcan was unhappy on Mount Olympus he is " ordered " to stay on Earth with beautiful Etna. Boy, some guys really have all the luck .

This was Bella Cortez' first film and she has a big impact on the movie. She was also the sexy starlet in sword and sandal film The Giant of Metropolis ( 1961 ). Her role in Vulcan, Son of Jupiter, is much sexier and more revealing. Bella had a short but memorable career. The Cuban born starlet would disappear from movie screens after making eleven films.

As for the other stars : Iloosh Koshabe has been credited in films by many names, including : Rod Flash, Rod Flash Ilush, Ilush, and Richard Lloyd. He starred in a handful of sword and sandal films playing characters like Ali Baba, Samson, and Maciste. Salvatore Furnari who played Kayo starred in the film Hercules and the Captive Women ( 1961 ) in a similar role.

Now here comes the part where I give props to all the sites who helped with the post and this time the list is rather long. Here´s to my heroes :

I already mentioned POLAR BAIR`S DEN´s entry on the movie which I used in some parts for the post but you should really check it out because it´s a really good page with all the info you want and I had to cut big parts.

The two major women characters are certainly highlights: Etna ( Bella Cortez ) and Venus ( Annie Gorassini ). Venus shows a lot of leg and likes to get into provocative poses. A very sexy, interesting blonde. She also makes some really cute faces. Etna is given more of chance to " show her stuff " ... and what stuff she's got ! The filmmakers gave us every opportunity to see Etna " bounce " and it's incredible. Etna also wears some very skimpy outfits throughout the film. The dance number Etna performs in Neptune's kingdom is the stuff dreams are made of. I only wish that scene was longer ( dang Mercury, always butting in ). We also get to see Etna tied to a post, and have a great catfight with Venus. The director of this film did a great job of bringing " clean " sexiness into the movie. The women are erotic, but this could still be a G or PG feature.

THE UMBRELLAHEAD REVIEW is a blog that gives brief reports on B - movies. FAMILY MATTERS covers Vulcan, Son of Jupiter, The Man with Two Lives ( 1942 ) and Scared to Death ( 1947 ) and Vulcan, Son of Jupiter gets the best grade for the Bouncy - Bouncy and / or Beefcake Bonus.

COOL ASS CINEMA also gives the movie a big thumbs up. From all the movies on their 20 OF THE WORST SWORD & SANDAL ADVENTURES list it´s cited as arguably the single worst movie on the list, but the most " enjoyable " for its overwhelming level of rancidness. Their verdict :

This one is highly unusual as it deals predominantly with the gods and their battle, and or banishment over Venus. Two beefy contestants on the ancient Grecian version of Love Connection duke it out with fists and bad optical effects to make Venus the love slave of one lucky winner. Between that is a surprisingly thick air of subterfuge and treachery and some hilariously ridiculous looking " monsters ". There's also a lot of midget action here. The little guy even gets a pony this time! Rod Flash ( ? ), took the stage name of Richard Lloyd by the following year. Roger Browne co - stars and Gordon Mitchell is on hand to look sinister and laugh a lot. Bella Cortez is the real showstopper here in an unusually sexy dance number giving La Caliente Cubana Chelo Alonso a run for her tamales.

Definitely check the post about if you want to find the worst of the bad.

Bella Cortez is PEBLUM´s Babe of the Month in July 2012 which is where I found one of the pictures and here´s a review of the movie in german where I also found some pics. The suomi language page of the wikipedia entry on Vulcano, Figlio di Giove is an odd one but unlike the english, german or italian page this had an actual movie poster on it. Just a curious page I found during my research is spanish blog 800 SPAGHETTI WESTERNS which has an entry on Gordon Mitchell and you might want to go to Bella Cortez´ facebook page after you´ve enjoyed the movie.

More comic related links, these are for Terry Hooper Scharf who kind of instigated this whole thing with his post about the first 300 movie THE 300 SPARTANS that also mentions the Dell Comics adaption of it LION OF SPARTA. Well, PEBLUM once again comes to the rescue as they have ultralong comic posts where you can read entire issues of Dell movie classic comics like LION OF SPARTA, THE MAGIC SWORD, BEN HUR and JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS , THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINDBAD , HELEN OF TROY and HERCULES ( by John Buscema ) and HERCULES UNCHAINED and finally THE VIKINGS ( also by John Buscema ) and THIEF OF BAGHDAD .

Mythology 101 begins with this list where you learn all about the greek gods and their roman counterparts from ABOUT EDUCATION and continues with GREEK MYTHOLOGY WIKI´s page about Hephaistos that centers on his life. MEDEA`S LAIR has some of his few stories and MYTH MAN`S MAJOR OLYMPIAN GODS was the Hephaistos entry I used for the post.

Last but not least the wiki entry on Etna also helped. Thanks again to all.

I know this was exhausting but we will get back to comics now that all the stuff about cult siren Bella Cortez is done. As a taste for this to come here´s a peek at the next post for which I have already lined up att the art : it´s BLACK AND WHITE SUNDAY with Will Eisner´s THE SPIRIT.

After such a long post I don´t want to put that many at the end of the post. But I promised to put the whole movie on the blog for those who want to watch it. I had added some versions in other languages like i italian but all of them except for the english version were deleted, sorry.

As a last bonus I want to include the movie ALI BABA AND THE SEVEN SARACENS also starring Bella Cortez and Gordon Mitchell. There is another post on PEPLUM about The Incorrect Timeline of the US cut of the movie which you should read before seeing the movie, just in case. You might not want to see it right after reading the post but maybe you will watch it Tomorrow or the day after while having a cold beer. Who knows ? It´s raining a lot here in Germany and this could be one long weekend.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best


Terry Hooper-Scharf said...

Oh boy....not being that interested in mythology...hah! Love those old Italian Sword and Sandal epics but they never made a movie about Gilgamest. Darn.

Lets see if we can push those blog hits up a little!

SUBZERO said...

Yeah, when I first discovered the Gilgamesh myth and that he was supposed to be the first " super " hero I was all exited and waiting that someone turns the story into a kickass movie.

I´ve been waiting ever since.

And yes, I took one post down again because I had just put stuff in there that didn´t really fit into the Vulcan post. It was going in a totally other direction.

So, put it in another post, added some stuff but I don´t have the time to finish it now. I have been working on the Vulcan post without seep .... I´m tired now.

For the moment it´s saved but I don´t know if I´ll use it. It´s not about comics.

Hah. What a joke.

Seriously, I have to get some sleep and then I can do the SPIRIT post.