This film was going cheap in HMV and I saw Roger Corman‘s name on it and thought it worth a look since it would probably an entertaining enough B-movie. But this is only produced by Roger Corman and it really struggles to make it to the D-list. I think it was a made on a TV show budget and probably shown on the SyFy channel (short for syphilis I think)
The story is that there’s a cyclops who killed people who robbed him. Cyclops is CGI about 20 foot tall and looks strangely shiny. Anyway clearly Cyclops is not a tax payer because when Emperor Tiberius (Eric Roberts) hears about it he sends a troop of Roman soldiers off to capture him. The soldiers are lead by a centurion called Marcus (Kevin Stapleton) who is kind of doughy looking but I guess on their budget they couldn’t afford anyone with a gym membership. They also don’t seem to have more than 20 Roman soldier outfits
Marcus and his men capture the Cyclops and take it back to Rome. Falco (Craig Archibald) is nephew of the Emperor and he has some sot of grudge against Marcus. This one of those characters that only exist in these films to further the plot by causing trouble and being a vain petty selfish idiot much like the Emperor only cheaper. It was his idea to send Marcus and his men after Cyclops so he is very happy to see Marcus’s men arrive back wounded and dead. He’s not so happy when Marcus appears heading the rest of his troops in triumph with Cyclops in a cage.
Falco is also unhappy with his builder so he suggests to the Emperor that he feeds the builder’s slaves to Cyclops in the arena. A slave girl called Barbara (Frida Farrell) let’s the other slaves in on these plans which doesn’t make them very happy. Meanwhile Cyclops is chained up out in the street and some little brat is teasing him with a dead rat on a stick. This leads to the brat losing his rat and his hand and in the panic that ensues (in the real world it would have been laughter) Cyclops manages to break free and rampage through the streets killing and eating people. This includes the guard outside the slave quarters so led by a slave called Gordian (Mike Straub) the slaves kill their master and escape from Rome.
Marcus and his men capture Cyclops and put him in a cage at the arena and Marcus comes up with the genius idea of feeding him now and again. After that he gets promoted then demoted again then sent out to recapture the slaves only this time Falco will lead them. He is told to both show them no mercy and to bring back as many alive as possible. This goes as well as you’d expect with Marcus interfering with Falco’s attempt to crucify Gordian and subsequently being made into a slave by the Emperor.
The rest of the film is set in the arena, the tiny little low-budget arena. We see Cyclops against four slaves chained together. Then we get the typical battle between friends Gordian and Marcus. Marcus befriends Cyclops. Then there’s big fight in the arena that leads to overthrow of the tyrant Tiberius.
This film was not really a fun watch which is what you want out of a B-movie like this. There’s plenty of gore in it I suppose but it’s all CGI. Cyclops is done pretty well and the CGI does an okay job at making it look like Cyclops is interacting with the environment. I wonder why they went for the shiny look Cyclops? It made him look more plastic than anything. The actors are not so good their part of the illusion and there’s just no charisma or conviction in any the acting. The reason it wasn’t fun was all the action was hung around this feeble story of politics, insecurity and jealousy. It was sub-par TV writing and I bet the life of Tiberius was much more interesting than the guff we got in this film.
- Rotten Tomatoes