Goliath and the Dragon

Goliath and the Dragon ★★½

I went in expecting so-bad-it's-good entertainment and it delivered, but there was considerably less dragon than I was hoping for. Turns out the "dragon" is absent from the Italian language version, which is the version Amazon Prime has - disappointing to say the least. The result is some major political melodrama with a short sequence featuring Cerberus and a winged cat-thing at the start.

The plotting is convoluted and fails to properly engage due to how hard it is to keep track of all the different characters, but in and of itself it's not an entirely incompetent affair. The execution is hilarious though, and Goliath/Hercules has the gait of a wannabe boxer, hopping left and right and skipping along like a schoolgirl. The bear-wrestle is wonderful.

Afterwards, I found that the English-dubbed version with the dragon subplot was on youtube, so I skipped through to the sequence. It's a sorry but entertaining affair, with a handful of superfluous stop motion frames and a lot of bouncing dragon-puppet head. It's brief enough that I'm not sure why it wasn't kept for the Italian version, as it certainly would have helped to break up some of the talkie talkie.

Naturally, this must be very low budget and much of it screams that - but equally, there are also select sequences with tons of people on horseback, relatively detailed sets, matte paintings and even an elephant involved. I feel sorry for the stuntman who had to lie down with an elephant's foot raised above his head.

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