The Arena (Gladiator Women / La Rivolta delle Gladiatrice / Naked Warriors, 1974) plus
"Fly Me" (1973) and "Cover Girl Models" (1975)

US Shout! Factory 2 disc DVD edition - Triple Feature




Yes, an exploitation cult classic B-action masterpiece with the Made in Heaven coupling again (earlier in the 1973 US-Philippino WIP
movie "Black Mama, White Mama") of Pam Grier and Margaret Markov as female gladiators in ancient roman times.
And WOW! do they look fit for the roles, Margaret Markov very athletic and Pam Grier looks strong as an Ox, and they could well
have been actual female gladiators in an alternative universe. Pam Grier should've made more action films.

The Arena is one of three films in this Lethal Ladies 2 Collection - Roger Corman's Cult Classics Triple Feature 2 disc DVD edition
and the only interesting one as the other two are some Philippines co-produced crappy crime comedies sexploitation ones.
The Arena is a very entertaining Sword & Sandal with some fine actresses in it, besides Pam Grier and Margaret Markov, as Euro
Golden Era cult favourite Rosalba Neri acting under her alias name Sara Bay, and the charismatic US actress Lucretia Love.
Cinematographer Aristide Maccassesi AKA Joe D'Amato gives the film a lush look and maybe also helped Steve Carver with the
direction a bit (as i've seen mentioned somewhere) and The Arena could be seen as the B-movie equivalent to Ridley Scott's classic
"Gladiator" - two great movies, but made in two different ends of the cinematic spectrum.

The film starts with our two heroines being captured in two different parts of the Roman empire. Bodicia (Markov) is a celtic
priestess up north and Mamawi (Grier) is a nubian dancer, and both of them are taken prisoners and then sold as slaves.
Both "The Arena" and later "Gladiator" obviously are inspired by Stanley Kubrick's 1960 classic "Spartacus" here.

The women are taken to the seaport of Brundisium, nowadays Brindisi in the south-east of Italy and are then sold there
at a slave market. They are bought by the local Gladiator owner Timarchus (Daniel Vargas) and their mission is to work at the
Arena as waitresses serving wine and such but also to be sex companions to the gladiators.
Timarchus needs something new to keep the bored spectators happy, and after a huge catfight taking place in the kitchen he
sees the possibilities, to let his female slaves fight to the death as gladiators.

Above: The Old US New Concorde DVD edition had a cropped 4:3 image

Everyone in the extras are talking about this gladiator fight taking place in Rome, but surely they don't mean actual Rome
with it's enormous Colosseum arena, but maybe they meant The Roman Empire as the fighting clearly takes place at a
small local gladiator arena, and probably in Brundisium.

Timarchus lets the slave girls train under the seasoned expertise of his most successful gladiator, Septimus (Peter Cester
AKA Pietro Ceccarelli) and Mamawi gets to use the trident and the net (just as Woody Strode in 1960 Spartacus) and
Bodicia the sword. Other of the slave gladiator women are i.a. Deirdre (Lucretia Love), Livia (Marie Louise) and Lucinia
(Mary Count AKA Maria Pia Conte) and Rosalba Neri plays the ex-slave female boss Cornelia (also possibly the wife or
girlfriend of the Master, Timarchus).
Also that guy you see in very small parts in lots of italian 1960's -1970's films, Pietro Torrisi, can be seen as a muscular
gladiator and he was a Mr. Universe once. Yeah, and for a second you can see that old russian kitchen lady in "Suspiria"
taking part in the huge catfight scene. If Tim Lucas had made the commentary we would've been told i guess.
Almost forgot, yes there are nudity and a lot of boobs too.

But finally, the big question is - just where did the Elite Female Archery Force come from ?

The film is presented in a fine crisp anamorphic widescreen transferred from a UCLA print with english DD 2.0 audio.
Extras: an audio commentary with director Steve Carver, "Into the Arena" - The Making Of "The Arena" (18 minutes)
and a Theatrical Trailer

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Triple Feature Film 2: Fly Me (1973) Director and Production: Cirio H. Santiago. Production: US - Philippines

Crime Comedy Sexploitation from legendary B movie maker Santiago where 3 stewardesses, Tobi (Pat Anderson),
Andrea (Leonore Kasdorf) and Sherry (Lyllah Torena) goes to HK and then to Manilla. Andrea is looking for her lost
boyfriend and Sherry is first attacked by a Kung Fu stalker and then kidnapped by chinese slave traders.
IMDB says that this ultra crappy C movie has some scenes directed by Jonathan Demme. Some boobs in it.
Anamorphic widescreen, english audio 2.0, TV spot

Triple Feature Film 3: Cover Girl Models (1975) Director and Production: Cirio Santiago. Production: US - Philippines

Another ultra crappy sexploitation crime comedy where a fashion photographer, Mark (John Kramer) is gong to HK
with 3 models for a shoot, Barbara (Pat Anderson), Claire (Lindsay Bloom) and Mandy (Tara Strohmeier).
A micro film is sewn into Barbaras dress and criminals and/or red agents show up to disturb their visit. The plot takes
place in Hong Kong and in Singapore and there are some boobs and kung fu phillipinos. Beautiful women though.
Anamorphic widescreen, english audio 2.0

 

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