Father Knows Best – Vulcan, Son of Jupiter (1962)

Vulcano, figlio di Giove or as it is known as in America – Vulcan, Son of Jupiter, is as ridiculous a film as one will ever see, yet it is so good at the same time you cannot help but love it. The dubbing is absolutely terrible if you should choose to watch a version of the movie that has it and there are times when the translation makes no sense at all, that or nobody cared when they were doing it to fix any of the mistakes or make it at all coherent. Vulcano, figlio di Giove9That aside, it is a full-on spectacle on par with many of the peplums of the time with all the things you love about them.

This particular film sees Mars and Venus in love and when they get in a tiff with Jupiter, father of all the gods, they decide to run away to Earth and convince some poor mortals to build a castle that would touch the sky and reach Mount Olympus. Jupiter sends Vulcan to Earth to put a stop to Mars and his machinations and while there, he meets a human woman named Etna, a very beautiful woman if ever there were one. Vulcano, figlio di Giove10Eventually, everyone battles it out until Jupiter puts a stop to it and declares everyone has to do as he says, something that he could have done at the beginning of the film to avoid everything that happened thereafter.

Rod Flash would star as Vulcan and Gordon Mitchell as Pluto, a couple of guys that were coined ‘muscle men’ in Italian cinema as they were bodybuilders in the mould of Steve Reeves. Flash was impressive as Vulcan though his fight scenes were not as well choreographed as they could have been. Mitchell looked rough as the father of the gods and could have used a haircut or at least a better wig. Roger Browne would portray Mars and Annie Gorassini would star as Venus, the former doing a fair job as the outraged god and the latter just lounging about, usually half-naked and contributing nothing to the film. Vulcano, figlio di Giove11The star of the show was Bella Cortez though, a woman who had a bit of talent to go along with her stunning looks and who would outshine everyone else in the film. It could be because she had a couple of Baywatch moments or the simple fact she kept running straight into danger, but whatever the case, your eyes were on her in every scene the director decided to put her in.

The special effects were few, which was a good thing as the producers of this spectacle did not seem to inject a lot of cash into it as evidenced by everything, but the story was as decent as the acting and Emimmo Salvi did a fair job of bringing it to the big screen. It would have been nice to see a giant monster or two for our hero to fight, but such as it is, it was enjoyable enough that you did not really need one. Vulcan, Son of Jupiter is not very good when it comes right down to it and just a little silly, maybe more so, but it is a lot of fun nonetheless and a must for anyone who enjoys a little sword and sandal action.

3 out of 5

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