He's not alone as far as bad-assness in this one, either; he's well matched in this stunning Peplum version of THE GUNS OF NAVARONE...teamed up with a stalwart cast of musclemen who play his crack team of Druid-fighting killers!
The year, presumably, is 52 BC; Caesar is gathering troops to Gaul to have a final battle with the dreaded Vercingetorix, king of the Gaulish tribes. According to history, the conflict took place in Alesia, a hill fortress of the Mandubii tribe, which is believed to be located in Bourgogne, in eastern France. The history here, in true Peplum fashion, is distorted a bit, but all in good fun. In this alternate history, Caesar has not surrounded Alesia with miles of fortifications so that he can face the superior numbers of the Gauls on a slightly more even keel(Caesar's forces were outnumbered four to one)...in this epic, Caesar is actually en route to Alesia, but his spies have informed him that on the path to battle, the fanatical Druids have constructed a super-weapon capable of destroying his entire army before one sword is unsheathed!
Nasty business, wot?
Caesar calls his best soldier, Claudius Marcellus, played by Harrison, to gather a small team of his best men to sneak into Gaul territory and destroy that deadly machine. He selects three others for the job. First there is Castor, a stalwart badass similar to Marcellus himself, played by veteran Peplum/Spaghetti Western/Poliziotteschi actor Ettore Manni. I know Manni as a sheriff in the so-so Italian Charles Bronson western CHINO. Second, we meet Verus, a bearded badass played by German actor Goffredo Unger. I didn't recognise him, but he's another guy who has a ton of the "magic 3" Italian genre movies under his belt; as Verus he's a master knife thrower, which may have something behind it in real life, as apparently Unger came from a circus family...an intriguing possibility. The third and final selection is the brutish Germanicus, played by the hugely muscled Ralph Hudson. Hudson's only other listed film credit is a Tarzan-like Italian jungle picture called TARZAK CONTRO GLI UOMINI LEOPARDO(Tarzak Versus the Leopard Men), which I really must see!!!
With a crew like this, them nasty Gauls have their work cut out for them.
That's why we watch, right?
I'll tell you, if you like action, this one supplies the goods! Knives flying, spear fighting, swords flashing...all the goodies that make a Peplum great are here in spades. The one thing that I will say as a sliver of a spoiler...don't get too attached to any particular character...people die in GIANTS OF ROME, and it might be one of your favourites. Consider yourself warned. It takes a number of surprising turns, and the characters often make choices that I didn't expect.
GIANTS OF ROME is awesome; a top recommendation.