|Copyright 1982 Filmirage
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 21 February 2010
- Ator - He is not particularly heroic, but he is a better fighter than everyone else in the movie. It should be taken into account that everyone else in the movie sucks.
- Sunya - She really loves her brother, Ator. Luckily, Ator is her adopted brother, which means that she can love him without worrying about three-toed babies.
- Roon - Her boots are tall and furry and her skirt is short and furry. Meet Roon, the Barbarian Babe of the month for February 2010. She dies in Ator's arms, and spits up blood everywhere. Why do warrior women insist on doing that when they die?
- The Bear Skunk - Ator's little animal friend.
- Griba - He trains Ator in the art of warfare. Killed by a plot twist of his own making.
- Dakar - High priest of the Spider God and Dee Snider impersonator.
- The Spider God - All I know is that that the guy who said, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself" had never heard about this thing.
- The Spider Cult - Every god needs a cult, right?
|At some point in Earth's (possibly future) history, the evil empire of the Spider God holds dominion over the land. After reigning for a thousand years, the Spider Cult is challenged by Tauren, a mighty warrior. The black and rotting foundation of the wicked theocracy is shaken by the champion of good, but Tauren is ultimately defeated and killed by the Spider Cult. Thus endeth Tauren.
However, Tauren knew that he might not be successful in overthrowing the evil empire, and that failing to do so was rather anti-climatic. So, he made much loving with many wenches, that a son might be born after his death to continue the crusade. The birth of Ator, son of Tauren, greatly upsets the Spider Cult, who thought that their power was secure once more now that all of the Tauren hullabaloo was over. As it so happens, there is a prophecy that the son of Tauren will overthrow the Spider God. That is the real problem that faces the evil rulers of Hyborian realms, not only do they have to be on the lookout for the next barbarian upstart, the damn barrel-chested nuisances tend to leave prophecy babies all over the place. Sure, you defeated Tauren, but now you have to spend the next ten months walking on eggshells.
By the way, if you show me a prophecy that says my son will overthrow Thulsa Doom, I am likely to spend a lot more time wenching than fighting. Why waste energy hacking through henchmen when the real war is being fought on the battlefield of love?
Ator's birth is accompanied by different portents that alert the Spider God to the infant's arrival. As the cult goes crazy looking for the newborn, Griba spirits the child away and places him with a foster family. The mystified couple do not understand why they suddenly have two babies and a hairy godfather, but they raise Ator as their own. In time, that relationship becomes a problem, because Ator and Sunya fall madly in love. The pair is overjoyed when their father tells them that Ator is not related. Incest is a no, marriage is a go!
The wedding does not go as planned; the Spider Cult attacks the village during the celebration. Sunya is taken away to become a bride to the Spider God, Ator is knocked unconscious, and everyone else is killed by the black-armored marauders. When the barbarian regains consciousness he is completely alone, and has no idea where the plot has gone. He wanders listlessly until Griba takes the young man under his wing and teaches him the martial arts.
Once his training is complete, Ator goes out into the world to search for Sunya. He is immediately captured by Amazons who want to use him as a stud. Failing to explain to the female warriors that he is the son of Tauren, the one prophesied to destroy the Spider God, and that the prophecies say jack about the son of Ator (maybe he only has girls, which would make the Amazons mighty happy), Ator is tied up while two women fight for the chance to sleep with him. I know that Amazons are supposed to hate men, but being their stud does not seem like such a bad job: watching hot barbarian women wrestle before having sex with the winner is perilously close to fantasy.
I mean fantasy the fetish, not fantasy the genre.
Roon wins the pregnancy challenge, but instead of studding her stud, she releases him and they both escape from the Amazon encampment. Once again, Ator loses track of the plot and wanders around looking for it. One minute he is bedding a beautiful enchantress who turns out to be an undead hag, and the next scene has Ator and Roon running away from slow-motion warriors in the Land of the Dead. This is like playing a D&D module where you go from one encounter to the next without any story in between. Surely something else can happen besides walking into a cave and fighting whatever is living there, be it owlbear, goblin, bugbear, or gnoll (yes, I am referring to B2 - you get a cookie).
Thankfully, Ator eventually figures out what he is supposed to be doing and where he is supposed to be going. He goes into a subterranean realm to retrieve a magic shield so he can defeat the Spider God. Meaning that Ator walks into a cave and fights the blind blacksmiths who live there. Granted, the blacksmiths probably attack anyone who enters their cave because they are tired of barbarians stealing magical weapons to defeat the Spider God, Demon Prince, or whatever other evil entity killed the barbarian's tribe and kidnapped his betrothed.
I give the blacksmiths props for having motivation. From what I can tell, gnolls and owlbears sit inside of caves for their entire lives, hoping that an adventurer will come along.
Once he has the shield, Ator is ready to destroy the Spider Cult and kill the Spider God. Doing so proves frightfully easy. The Spider Cult has about twenty members, and the big arachnid just waggles its hairy legs at the barbarian until he stabs the monster enough times for it to die. So endeth the story of Ator, son of Tauren.
There is more than a passing resemblance between "Ator" and "Conan the Barbarian." Both of their villages are wiped out by the evil warriors, both are trained by sword masters who display Eastern influences, and both sleep with crazy witch women. Oh, and both lose blonde warrior babes who die after spitting up blood.
The opening credits sequences in both movies are also strangely similar, but I think you get the idea.
Before I go, I want to revisit the whole "barbarian makes baby that saves the world" idea. Have you ever tried to pickup a girl by telling her that your son is destined to defeat the Spider God? Chicks go nuts for that sort of thing. My youngest son can be attributed to such logic. After coming back from Iraq, I brought up the idea of a third child to my wife, and she wasn't having it. I mean that both ways: the subject was not open for discussion, and if I wanted another baby I had better find another mommy. There is something about chasing two young kids around the house all day that changes a woman's view of babies. They're not precious little darlings anymore, they're things.
Anyway, when Katie pressed me about why I wanted another child so badly I replied, "My son is the only one who can defeat the Spider God and save mankind from a thousand years of darkness. You don't want the Spider God to win, do you?" Less than a year later, there's Garrett - all eight pounds and eleven ounces of him.
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|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Tattoos are hereditary through the father.
- The difference between the 1980s and the Dark Ages is not the music, hair, nor leggings, but the dancing.
- People who live in thatched huts should not throw torches.
- Women don't like it when you try to kill Bambi.
- Tiffany lamps have existed since the Dark Ages.
- Nothing says "den of iniquity" like leopard skin blankets.
- Spiders spin their webs out of rope.
- Giant spiders are filled with 16.9 ounces of orange Shasta.
- 5 mins - You should put some weatherstripping around the door.
- 13 mins - All hail Alotta Nachos, er, I mean Atlach-Nacha!
- 40 mins - Wine: check, roaring fire: check, hot blonde barbarian babe: check, the mood: strangely absent.
- 52 mins - It could be worse, like Japanese porn worse.
- 65 mins - Look, stop screwing around with all these random encounters and pay attention to the plot.
- 67 mins - Only a shield? Other volcanoes have magic rings and glaives in them!
- 80 mins - I still don't know if the eagle is Tauren's totem or a symbol of the Spider Cult.
- 85 mins - I am almost on the edge of my seat, almost.
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Dakar: "The son of Tauren is among us! His duty and his vision is to put an end to our ancient ways. We must never allow him to reach manhood. Gather your men together, seek out the newborn, and extinguish their brief lives. We must prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled!"
||Ator: "You remember how our ancestors used to allow marriage between brother and sister? I know times have changed, but..." |
Dad: "Ator, you don't know how really happy you make me."
Ator: "Well then you're saying you'd allow me to marry my sister?"
||Roon: "No we must pass through the land of the walking dead." |
Ator: "Well, if we gotta go..."
||Griba: "I am the only one to possess the secret of your true identity, Ator. And I can restore the proof of your birth to you now, as I hid it from you when you were a baby. Here is the mark of Tauren, your father. Yes, Ator, you are the son of Tauren."
|Theme Song|| Listen to a clip from the soundtrack. |
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|Ator and Roon battle the blind blacksmiths. Yeah, that's a fair fight.
| ||Leave a comment||EXTRAS||Buy the movie|| |
Posted on February 22, 2010, 06:58:43 PM by Andrew
I remember seeing this movie a long
time ago ... on a vhs tape, not a dvd. I also remember it being pretty forgettable. But I also remember that the lead actor, Miles OKeefe AKA Ator -- played another heroic figure -- TARZAN
opposite BO DEREK! The statuesque amazon of "10". She of the slow-motion run across the sand with cornrowed hair and juggling jugs. Like I said ... it was a long
Miles O'Keeffe makes for a good barbarian or Tarzan just based on his physique. As for his acting, maybe not so much.
Ha, think I saw the sequel to this movie on Mystery Science Theater 3000; it's weird though, it was called Cave Dwellers.
MST3K did do the sequel as you remember. The "Ator" films tend to have a few different names. "Ator 3" is also called "Iron Warrior."
That was a fun little review. My friend and I were talking a while back about Conan and stuff. We researched the film and actually ended up finding this movie at some point. My friend said it seems interesting and that he would watch it. He hasn't reported back about that yet.
Also, during the review, you mention owlbear. Is this by chance a reference to an enemy from Dragon Quest?
I was referring to the D&D monster. As Scott M. remembers, it's one of the meaner single monsters in an old D&D module that many remember because it was for levels 1-3.
Reply #10. Posted on February 24, 2010, 04:50:57 AM by Steve76
Loved this movie! Miles O'Keefe rules the mediocre cinema of the 80's. He's my favourite 'he ain't Arnold, but he'll do'-actor ever. If you ever desire to see O'Keefe at the apex of his career, watch 'Phantom Raiders' (1988). It's got a lot of Keefe, Guns, Ninja's and almost no dialogue at all. Truly the worst at its best!
btw; Andrew, are you aware of the fact that the movie O'Keefe made before
Ator, was named: "Garrett, the Lone Runner"? And that O'Keefe played Garrett in that movie? It may be wise NOT to tell this to your son though...because that movie is as bad is they get.
Reply #11. Posted on February 28, 2010, 02:12:47 PM by annoynmous
Did you know that the guy who played Griba, Edmund Purdom played the President of the confederacy in 2019: After the fall of New York.
Reply #12. Posted on February 28, 2010, 11:19:09 PM by Alex
Yeah, the MST3K sequel version was distributed by some company that bought up rights to these cheap movies and changed their names and added those weird blurry credit sequences. THey also did Pod People and Space Travelers which was marrooned but somehowe they got the rights to it and re-edited.
BTW, Cave Dwellers just may be MST3K's best episode ever. I found a VHS rental of it a few years agoa and it was still hilarious.
Posted on March 01, 2010, 11:05:36 AM by Nukie 2
I love this movie!
I swear all the cave sets looked the same, except for some simple rearrangements.
I was just watching this a few nights ago with my friend, and as this is obviously filmed in a public park somewhere in Italy, we couldn't help but wonder what people did while walking their dogs past the filming!
When Ator and Roon were in that bar, we're they eating mac and cheese? It looked suspiciously like it.
Posted on March 03, 2010, 04:09:33 PM by BoyScoutKevin
"Iron Warrior" was a sequel to "Ator?!" No wonder they changed the name. But, "Iron Warrior" was another film I saw in the theater, not knowing what I was seeing. After watching all those bad movies: "Ator," "Iron Warrior," "Star Odyssey," etc., what surprises me is that I still have a brain that still functions.
Reply #15. Posted on April 09, 2010, 03:25:06 PM by June
"When the barbarian regains consciousness he is completely alone, and has no idea where the plot has gone." - I spit out my snickers!
Reply #16. Posted on May 23, 2010, 10:32:51 PM by LifeMasque
I'd just like to say I haven't seen this flick, but my first character DID get killed in "Keep on the Borderlands". It was included in the star-up pack. His name was Bosk, taken from those awfull "GOR" books I read as a teen. That guy sure had a thing about slavegirls... Apparently the Italians made a movie of the first Gor book, with Oliver Reed in it.
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