Ator, the Fighting Eagle

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Ator, the Fighting Eagle
Directed byJoe D'Amato
Produced byAlex Susmann[1]
Music byCarlo Maria Cordio[1]
CinematographyJoe D'Amato[1]
Edited byDavid Framer[1]
  • Filmarage
  • Metaxa Corporation[1]
Release date
  • 7 October 1982 (1982-10-07) (Italy)

Ator, the Fighting Eagle (Italian: Ator l'invincibile; translated: "Ator the Invincible"[2][page needed]) is a 1982 Italian adventure-fantasy film directed by Joe D'Amato, and the first film to feature the character Ator (played by Miles O'Keeffe). It is a mockbuster of the film Conan the Barbarian, which was released in the same year.


As the film opens, a baby named Ator is born with a birthmark that signals he will someday destroy the Spider Cult which currently holds power over the land. Fearing this prophecy, the leader of the cult - High Priest of The Ancient One, Dakkar (Dakar) - attempts to kill the baby. Baby Ator's birthmark is covered up, however, and he is whisked off to a village far away where he is given to a couple to raise as their own. Years later, Ator (O'Keefe) - now in love with his sister Sunya (Brown) - asks his father for permission to marry her. Ator's father reveals to Ator that he is adopted and can therefore marry his sister if he likes. On the day of their wedding, though, the village is raided by the Spider Cult's soldiers and several women are taken, including Ator's new bride.

After pursuing the soldiers, Ator soon finds himself training with Griba - a warrior who is an enemy of The Ancient One, and also the person who whisked him away at his birth. Griba disappears on him, though, after which Ator is kidnapped by Amazons, nearly seduced by a witch, and undergoes a quest to retrieve a magical mirrored shield. While kidnapped by the Amazons, Ator is "won" by Roon (Siani), a fierce blonde thief whom he helped earlier in the film. Roon is somewhat enamored with Ator, so she decides to flee with him and assist him during his quest. Ator is successful in obtaining the mirror, then uses it to fight and defeat Dakkar. His victory is somewhat muddied by the revelation that Griba - his mentor - is actually Dakkar's predecessor, and had trained Ator so that he could retake his position as High Priest. Ator defeats Griba, however, leaving him to be devoured by the offspring of The Ancient One - a giant spider which dwells within the temple. To ensure that the cult does not return, Ator then provokes and kills The Ancient One itself. Afterwards, with Roon having perished while infiltrating the temple, Ator and Sunya head back to their village, presumably to live in peace together.



Michele Soavi was hired to write the script for Ator, the Fighting Eagle.[3] He did it in collaboration with Marco Modugno.[4] Both had previously worked together on the film Bambulè (1979) - Modugno as director, Soavi as assistant director.[5] After they had finished, the script was revised by José Maria Sanchez and the film's director Joe D'Amato. In the credits, the pseudonym "Sherry Russel" was used.[4] The film was developed under the working title of Fantasy.[4]

In a statement printed in the Italian magazine Nocturno, director Joe D'Amato complained that although Miles O'Keefe, the actor who played Ator, had a nice athletic physique and was a really nice guy (lang-it:un ragazzo d'oro), he recited his lines badly and was behaving listlessly during fight scenes. D'Amato praised the weapons master Franco Ukmar for doing "an incredible job" on him.[4]


Ator, the Fighting Eagle was released in Italy on the 7 October 1982.[1] It was released in the United States on 11 March 1983.[1]

The film was featured in Season 12 of Mystery Science Theater 3000 on November 22, 2018.[6][7]


Variety described the film as a "dull, incredibly silly fantasy adventure" and that the director "creates no atmosphere, with picture's exteriors never achieving any period feel."[8]

The Canadian magazine FFWD stated "There are four Ator movies in total, and each one is staggeringly awful." [9]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Kinnard & Crnkovich 2017, p. 198.
  2. ^ Jessica Winter; Lloyd Hughes; Richard Armstrong; Tom Charity. The Rough Guide to Film. Rough Guides UK, 2007. ISBN 9781848361256.
  3. ^ Jones, Alan (2007). The Rough Guide to Film. Rough Guides Ltd. p. 521.
  4. ^ a b c d Giusti, Marco (1999). dizionario dei film italiani STRACULT [sic]. Cles: Sterling & Kupfer. p. 51-52. ISBN 88-200-2919-7.
  5. ^ Giusti, Marco (1999). dizionario dei film italiani STRACULT [sic]. Cles: Sterling & Kupfer. p. 66. ISBN 88-200-2919-7. Regarding the statement D'Amato gave to Nocturno, Giusti does not give an indication of edition or year, but seems to quote it word by word.
  6. ^ Bentley, Rick (Nov 22, 2018). "MST3K Turkey Day challenge: Run 'The Gauntlet' of new episodes". Duluth News Tribune. Retrieved Nov 23, 2018.
  7. ^ Rife, Katie (November 12, 2018). "Jonah and the 'bots "binge the unbingeable binge" in the MST3K: The Gauntlet trailer". AV Club.
  8. ^ Willis 1985, p. 460: "Review is from 1984"
  9. ^ Terrible sequels to terrible movies Archived February 21, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.. by John Tebbutt. FFWD magazine, February 25, 2010. Retrieved October 6, 2013.


  • Kinnard, Roy; Crnkovich, Tony (2017). Italian Sword and Sandal Films, 1908-1990. McFarland. ISBN 1476662916.
  • Klossner, Michael (2005). Prehistoric Humans in Film and Television: 581 Dramas, Comedies and Documentaries, 1905–2004. McFarland. ISBN 1476609144.
  • Willis, Donald, ed. (1985). Variety's Complete Science Fiction Reviews. Garland Publishing Inc. ISBN 0-8240-6263-9.

External links[edit]