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Overall Rating

Awesome: 7.14%
Worth A Look: 0%
Pretty Bad42.86%
Total Crap: 7.14%

2 reviews, 2 user ratings

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Arena, The
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by Brian McKay

"Before GLADIATOR, there was SORRY HE DIDN'T . . . er, I mean, THE ARENA"
3 stars

From the Corman school of 70's shlock comes THE ARENA. The film's tag line, served up gleefully by that ubiquitous 70's deep-voiced announcer guy, pretty much says it all: "White slave! Black slave! Forced to fight to the death - and love on command!"

Okay, I'll start off by saying this isn't one of the best efforts from the camp of Corman, but like most of these 70's sexploitation flicks, it's got its high points that make it worthwhile.

Beautiful women, who have been captured from their native lands, are sent to ancient Rome to serve as slaves. But when the usual deathsports become blase', and coliseum attendance starts dropping, the Romans come up with the brilliant idea of giving swords to the slave-babes and letting them duke it out. Their reward? They get to bump fuzzies with the reigning male gladiators. This prompts one haughty slave girl to exclaim (with about as much enthusiasm as one would reserve for filing their nails): "By the Gods! Will we be called upon to satisfy their animal heat?!"

You know why I like to watch all these crappy old drive-in B-movies? Because of lines like that one. These howling little gems that prompt guffaws of laughter, and can continue to do so for weeks to come as you quote them back and forth with your friends over beers. Those precious moments of dialogue that land smack-dab in the middle of "so bad it's good" with a resounding cannonball splash. That's why I watch these flicks.

Okay, that . . . and the titties.

Which brings us to our next subject - the babes. The heroine of this piece is the beautiful, blond, and aptly-named Bodaecia of Brittany (Margaret Markov). She forges an alliance with African slave girl Mamauwi (Pam Grier), who is captured wearing a leopard-skin print tube dress that was probably purchased in some thrift shop on Melrose Avenue. Yes, very authentic African period dress, there. The only thing missing is the big bone through her hair.

The plot doesn't bear much elaboration. The two girls plan their revenge on and escape from the Roman swine who have forced them to fight in the arena and "love" on command. There are some more unintentionally hilarious bits of dialogue, some fairly entertaining fight scenes, and the occasional exploitative nude scene. Pam Grier hogs the spotlight in that department, and her Tenacious Double-D's are prominently displayed both in and out of her cross-your-heart tit sling arena garb. You've never seen a bigger or firmer pair. I'm not kidding, she could fell mighty oaks and alter the flow of the tides with the sheer gravitational force of those things. Mamauwi Wowie!

Okay, so it drags on after a while, and it's a little light in the skin quotient, with only a few scattered scenes here and there. But dammit, it's half-naked slave girls duking it out with swords. That's gotta be worth 83 minutes of your time on a Thursday night.

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originally posted: 05/11/03 22:43:33
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User Comments

12/19/10 My Name Pam Grier - 'Nuff Said 5 stars
10/22/08 Shaun Wallner Very Boring! 1 stars
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  02-Feb-1973 (R)



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