Take a journey back in time, when Cyclops ruled the land. Roman citizens were not safe, herds were randomly decimated, and fear reined supreme...that is, until the great Caesar himself rid the land of the dangerous creatures!
Except for one. The last Cyclops roams the forested area around Rome, dining on unsuspecting thieves and brigands. A hungry trio spies a drying rack of wool, and pays for their dishonesty with their lives. Cyclops rips through two men, leaving one behind to warn the Emperor Tiberius. Corruption runs rampant through the Roman empire, and Tiberius, with his maniacal pattern of decision making and ambition, has run the gauntlet until his only the most violent `victory' games will do. He sends Marcus Romulus to capture Cyclops for use in the games. An enraged Cyclops kills many of the troops, yet Marcus emerges as a hero, inciting the jealousy of the Emperors' nephew. Popularity is no weapon against blind ambition, and the victory games pit man against Cyclops, friend against friend, and ultimately, freedom against tyranny!
This is one amazing movie. The CGI employed on Cyclops is remarkable, just as the costuming/props used on the Centurions is. A picturesque digital reconstruction of Rome serves as a suitable backdrop for this freedom motivated film. If there is any problem with the production, it is the Victory games pit used. I am not sure that an Emperor as fanatical as Tiberius is depicted as would settle for a small arena, but it does work in the film very well. Another realistic element is that of the format of the games with small side battles climaxing in a major brawl. The background element of the slaves being used in the games instead of building the nephews' villa addition is also factual. In times of war, households were cleaned out of slaves for war efforts and `freely' given when any Emperor demanded it.
The casting of Eric Roberts as Tiberius is excellent, while Kevin Stapleton as the imprisoned General is a good foil. Roberts gives a performance that reminds me of the BBC I, Claudius strongly. Stapleton is rugged, and is a fitting Roman centurion.
Roger Corman gives us a film that is a good addition to any sand and sandal collection. Great DVD jacket too!