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The Arena (1973)

Cast: Mary Count, Mary Count, Daniele Vargas, more...
Director: Steve Carver, Steve Carver
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Studio: New Concorde
Genre: Adventure, Sword & Sandal
Running Time: 78 min.
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This title is currently out of print.

Pam Grier and Margaret Markov reteamed a year after Black Mama, White Mama for this similarly crowd-pleasing exploitation effort. They play Roman slaves who eventually rebel against their male oppressors. Mixing elements from the Italian peplum and the Filipino women's prison movies, The Arena also adds some po-faced feminist theory while still managing to exploit its scantily-clad stars. Italian film regulars Lucretia Love and Rosalba Neri look strangely out of place in a movie filmed in their own country, but fans of drive-in movies should be pleased. ~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Better Than You Might Guess... by colintappe June 9, 2009 - 4:09 AM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
You know, for being d-grade(ing) sexploitation dreck, this flick actually manages to do a good job of...What's the phrase? Making you care? Yeah, it's odd, I actually found myself caring about the characters and whether they lived or died. I know this sounds like prerequisite for a film, or any story, really, but when you've seen as many films as I have that are just thin-to-non-existent excuses to show buxom ladies brawling, it'd catch you off guard too. The plot itself isn't even too bad: slave girls get captured and forced to tend to the coliseum, then, after a decline in interest in gladiator battles, get pushed into battling each other for sport. Okay, well, typing it out it does sound silly, but they manage to slip in some commentary on class, entertainment's numbing effect on the masses, and of course gender. I mean, of course it's a dumb movie, but it's not AS dumb as you might expect. Put it this way, I can say without a shadow of doubt there's more substance to this drive in schlock fest than there will be in any big budget spectacle I'll pay good money to see this summer. And hell, I'll probably walk away just as, if not more entertained. And at about 75 minutes, it's got a brisk pace as well. Good stuff.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 5.87)
47 Votes
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