Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


SAMSON VERSUS THE TURKEY MONSTERS (1962). Director: Federico Fellini.

Although Fellini has denied for decades that he ever directed a sand and sorcery epic, this picture has finally surfaced and has many of Fellini's directorial touches. The movie was filmed in the early fifties as The Loves of Samson and was meant to be a fairly serious epic with psycho-sexual pretensions. The studio deemed it unreleasable -- not only because it ran over four hours -- and it was put in the vault. In 1962, the film was cut down to eighty minutes, and what was meant to be a brief humorous scene involving Samson's capture of a wild, giant turkey was expanded into a whole movie about Samson saving a village from an attack of carnivorous turkeys thirty feet tall. New, very bad footage was shot and inserted into the film. Although it's called Samson versus the Turkey Monsters plural, there is actually only one giant turkey terrorizing the villagers. Some atmospheric shots and fascinating faces are all that's left of Fellini's original vision. A no-name cast except for Alida Valli as a horny sorceress.

Verdict: A giant turkey indeed. *.

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