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July 21, 2018, 10:10:57 PM
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Latest Member: BBYDOLL Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Hearts and Armour (1983) « previous next »
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Author Topic: Hearts and Armour (1983)  (Read 716 times)
Frightening Fanatic of Horrible Cinema

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« on: August 13, 2013, 11:22:48 PM »

This sucker actually has a pretty complex plot so I'll have to majorly summarize.  There's a woman named Bradamente who learns that she is fated to fall in love with a Moor named Ruggero.  Shortly after that, she comes into possession of a suit of mystical armor and evidently becomes a wandering hero.  During this, she happens to rescue a woman from a band of rapists.  This woman turns out to be a Moorish princess named Angelica ... and she's Ruggero's sister!  Bradamente takes Angelica prisoner, I suppose on the theory that she can meet Ruggero when he comes to rescue her.  Things get complicated when Bradamente meets The Funny Helmet Knights.  The knights want to take Angelica for themselves, but when Bradamente proves capable of kicking at least some of their asses, they decide to grant her the respect due a fellow knight, and allow her to keep Angelica.  They do not, however, leave the area before Ruggero shows up.  Ruggero challenges the knights to a duel: him vs. their champion.  The victor will get to keep Angelica.  Naturally, Bradamente intends to be the one to fight Ruggero.  The leader of The Funny Helmet Knights, Orlando, won't hear of that.  Can't let a woman get all the glory, even if she can probably kick his ass.  Ganelon, another of The Funny Helmet Knights, takes matters into his own hands and tries to murder Ruggero in his sleep.  During the commotion, Angelica escapes, Ruggero is teleported away by a sorcerer, and the plot kind of comes to an end.  From here on out, the movie becomes increasingly episodic and almost random.  The most important thing for our purposes is that Angelica and Ruggero's father unleashes his three, deadliest mercenaries to figure out what's become of his long-overdue son and daughter.  If The Funny Helmet Knights had a tough time dealing with Bradamente, Ruggero, and Angelica, they're sure as hell not going to be able to deal with these guys!  And, maybe even worse, Angelica meets the mad warrior Ferrau, who may be even more dangerous than all three of the mercenaries put together.  Yeah, I sure wouldn't want to be one of The Funny Helmet Knights about now.

This movie gets a lot of crap for its confusing plot and bad acting but, honestly, neither is that bad.  The plot is only there to set up a bunch of combat between knights and exotic enemies, and it does that quite well.  The acting from the guys playing Orlando and Ruggero is pretty bad but everyone else is passable, at worst.  Barbara De Rossi is actually really good as Bradamente.  The guy playing Ganelon overacts like a mofo but he's good at it.  Tanya Roberts as Angelica even puts in a pretty strong showing for herself.  Honestly, she comes off as tougher here, playing a sheltered princess, than she did as the heroine is Sheena.

But who cares about all that?  If anyone talks about this movie, they're talking about the armor the characters wear.  I called them The Funny Helmet Knights for a reason.  Orlando has crooked sun rays on half of his helmet.  Ganelon has what I at first took to be a huge cross on his.  On closer inspection, I realized it was actually a huge, freakin' sword plunging deep into his head.  A dude named Selvaggio has ram horns on his helmet, which are actually kind of cool.  Rinaldo has a tulip on his, and another on his breastplate.  And another guy whose name I can't remember for the life of me doesn't have a funny helmet at all.  No, his pauldrons are funny.  They are supposed to look like dragon wings, I think, but they're so small they look more like pixie wings, instead.  Perhaps fittingly, this guy seems to be the wimpiest of the knights.  Ruggero doesn't wear much in the way of armor but he has a helmet that looks like ... well.  It was perhaps intended to be the head of a predatory bird.  I sure hope it wasn't meant to be a chicken head made of wicker!  The three mercenaries are: an African (?) warrior with a skull-mask, a samurai with a spiked tophat and a Guy Fawkes mask, and another guy who is decked out in a breastplate molded like the most killer set of pecs and abs you ever saw as well as the angriest faberge egg in history for a helmet.  Not to be outdone, Ferrau wears a set of black scale mail and a black helmet designed to make him look like a crow!  He even has a shield with a bird's claw forged on the end.  Bradamente's magic armor is drearily tasteful in comparison, except for the big disc on the top of her helmet.  (Maybe it's supposed to be Aphrodite's mirror?)

Before I go, there's another thing I'd like to talk about that I haven't seen mentioned before in any review of this movie.  It has three major female characters (one of whom I've managed not to mention before now, oops) and all of them kick ass.  Bradamente effortlessly kicks the ass of one of The Funny Helmet Knights and it's strongly implied she could beat the others, as well.  Later on, she defeats the armored avatar of that sorcerer who kidnapped Ruggero.  Keep in mind that her magic armor is purely for defensive purposes and doesn't explicitly increase her combat ability.  Angelica, the delicate princess, escapes from The Funny Helmet Knights on her own initiative, killing one in the process.  She has a brief series of misadventures wherein she meets a succession of would-be rapists and escapes them without any help, too!  Finally, Ruggero's fiancee is pretty bad-ass, herself.  Women who are not mere damsels in distress is something the sword-n-sorcery genre is sorely lacking, and it was nice to see three of them here in one movie.

Kneel before Dr. Hell, the ruler of this world!
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