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Ator is the avenger, the guardian of knowledge and the hope of the future. Not in that loincloth, he's not.—'Kevin W. Murphy ("Tom Servo"), The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Amazing Colossal Episode Guide
Ator l'invincibile 2 (released in English-speaking countries as The Blade Master, Ator, the Blade Master, Cave Dwellers, and The Return) is an Italian film that was made in 1984. The movie was written and directed by Joe d'Amato. It stars Miles O'Keeffe as Ator, a man skilled in not only fighting, but in many other arts as well. It also stars Charles Borromel as Akronas, a wise ruler and teacher who is also called the Great One. Lisa Foster stars as Mila, the daughter of Akronas, and David Brandon as Zor - the principal villain of the film. The film was released in theaters as Ator the Invincible and later as Ator, the Blade Master. It received the name Cave Dwellers after it was re-edited by distributor Film Ventures International. It is the sequel to 1982's Ator l'invincible and was followed by 1986's Iron Warrior. The fourth film, Quest for the Mighty Sword, was also released as Troll 3, one of two In Name Only sequels to Troll 2. The movies were made to capitalize on the popularity of the Conan movies which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Blade Master has these examples:
- Annoying Arrows: Mila gets hit by an arrow in the heart and keeps limping on! The heart!
- Backstab Backfire: Saved by Fong, though!
- Bait and Switch Credits: In the Film Ventures International release, the film's opening credits are clearly from another film.
- Bamboo Technology: Pushed to the breaking point of credibility when Ator even makes a hang glider.
- Bedsheet Ghost: Ator and Thong beat invisible assailants by turning them into these with their cloaks.
- Big Bad: Zor
- Big No: Several, actually. Said in a fairly goofy manner, however.
- The Blacksmith: Ator
- Breast Plate: Averted, Mila appears to be wearing a hub cap on her chest.
- Brother-Sister Incest: The first film in the series opens with Ator asking his father for his sister's hand in marriage. His father happily gives it, revealing that Ator was adopted, and thus he and his sister are Not Blood Siblings. Ator, of course, had no way of knowing this.
- Cultured Warrior: Ator, in the second movie anyway, is so cultured he can create hang gliders, perform surgery, and make gunpowder grenades.
- Mr. Fanservice: Miles O'Keefe.
- Fantastic Nuke: The "geometric nucleus" seems to be a magic-based nuclear weapon, depending on how you interpret the Anvilicious closing monologue and stock footage of a mushroom cloud.
- Father, I Want to Marry My Brother: See Brother-Sister Incest above.
- Faux Action Girl: Nila. Sure, she's a strong-willed young lady with lots of rebellious spunk. Sure, she has some nominal experience fighting bad guys with swords. Sure, she knows everything her Dad taught her, even did a neat Mc Guyver job with gunpower made from cave wall minerals in a test Ator had for her. However, she gets shot with an arrow, becomes a Distressed Damsel with both the cannibal cavepeople AND the snake cult & cowers in the corner like a helpless blob of jello when in the snake pit with Ator. C'mon, lady! Wield a femur or do The Mc Guyver routine with a skull-bomb or something! CHEEZE LOUISE! She's What Could Have Been as applied to a character...she's foisted on us as a cool, cute, spunky little warrior chick with mad science skillz but turns out to be a lackluster swordswoman & Distressed Damsel.
- Genius Bruiser: How many other Conan knockoffs can build a goddamned hang glider?
- The Hero: Ator
- ~Hey, It's That Guy!~: Miles O'Keeffe, also did another cult classic, Phantom Raiders, where he trains drunken bikers and meth addicts to be Ninjas
- ~Hey, It's That Voice!~: Yor, the Hunter from the Future and Ator share the same dub actor.
- If You Kill Him You Will Be Just Like Him
Mentor: To kill him would make us no better than barbarians!
- ~I'm A Humanitarian~: The cave dwellers.
- Invisible Monsters: "I don't believe it - they were too cheap to hire villains in this movie."
- Loin Cloth: Ator
- MacGuffin: The "Geometric Nucleus"
- Neutral Female: You were a big help with the snake, lady.
- The Obi-Wan: The Great One
- Old Shame: Played straight with O'Keefe. It's been rumored that Miles O'Keefe offered the creators of Mystery Science Theater 3000 a drink if he ever met them, for their take on this film. An installment of TNT's B-movie showcase Monstervision contained a segment where a viewer wrote in to request the Ator trilogy, only for host Joe Bob Briggs to explain that the last time they'd shown them, he received a personal letter from O'Keefe himself calling the films an "embarrassment" and asking politely that they never be shown on the program again (a request which Briggs respectfully acknowledged).
- Porn Stache: Zor
- "Previously On...": The movie shows a recap of the first. As low budget as it was, it also painfully points out how the first movie had a better budget than this one.
- Schizo-Tech: A barbarian ripoff with gliders and atomic bombs.
- Sidekick: Thong
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Also Thong, who ultimately offs the villain with a throwing knife.
- Snakes Are Evil: So evil that they... er, growl.
- The Speechless: Thong
- The World Is Not Ready: Then again, what can an iron age tyrant can do with a nuke?
- Token Minority: Thong
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Ator. Delicious barbarian Ator...
- What the Hell, Townspeople?: What looks like a Training the Peaceful Villagers sequence gets derailed when they drug and capture our heroes. Then the pseudo-Mongols raze the place anyway.
- Yellowface: Zor is some sort of weird Samurai/Mongol/Hun guy with a cheesy Fu Manchu moustache, played by a white guy.