Le Gladiatrici (1963)

With the Italian title meaning The Female Gladiators, this film was released here as Thor and the Amazon Women. It’s actually a sequel to Taur the Mighty, but I think you’ll be fine with just watching it without seeing that movie.

It comes from Antonio Leonviola, the man who made Atlas in the Land of the Cyclops and Mole Men Against the Son of Hercules.

A civilization of women warriors, lorded over by the evil Black Queen (Janine Hendry, Taur the Mighty) has been decimating the men of their country. Soon, they come up against Tamar (Susy Andersen, Black Sabbath), who is the daughter of a great warrior who teams with Thor (Joe Robinson, who was Taur in that aforementioned movie and I guess may be that character again. Perhaps not. Is it more confusing if Tamar is the daughter of Taur and Robinson is just playing a whole different role? Ah man…), Ubaratutu (Harry Baird, The Four of the Apocalypse) and her younger brother Homolke.

Nera the Black Queen like two things: her cat and gladiator battles between captive women. She must be Italian, because this is one of the prized tropes of my ancestral forebearers. One of the captives, Ghebel (Carla Foscari, Mole Men Against the Sons of Hercules), tells the evil leader about Thor, a strongman who prophecy claims will end the Black One’s evil kingdom. Tamar ends up getting kidnapped and turned into one of the gladiators.

Luckily, the captain of the guard opposes the queen is ready to help our heroes. She tries to lead an uprising but is killed and the Queen orders Tamar and Ghebel to fight to the death. Just then, the rest of our heroes attack. Tamar ends up winning the battle and kills both Ghebel and the Black Queen, deposing her rule and putting her brother on the throne, which seems kind of backward to have a little boy leading everyone when Tamar has more than proved herself.

That’s right. A movie about a female empowered society that does all it can to prove to you that a female empowered society is the worst idea ever. What I’m saying is that if you expect a movie that proves the superiority of female leadership, look elsewhere than a 1963 peblum movie.

By the way Thor and Ubaratutu look at one another, I think Tamar would have been better off keeping Nera in power. If you must watch this, you can find it on Tubi.

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