Film Review: Cave Dwellers (1984)

Also known as: Ator 2 – L’invincibile Orion (Italy), The Blade Master
Release Date: February 15th, 1984 (USA)
Directed by: Joe D’Amato
Written by: Joe D’Amato
Music by: Carlo Rustichelli
Cast: Miles O’Keeffe, Lisa Foster, David Brandon, Charles Borromel, Chen Wong, Robert Black, Donald Hodson

Metaxa Corporation, Royal Film Traders, New Line Cinema, 92 Minutes


Cave Dwellers currently holds a 2.2 rating on IMDb. To be honest, that may be a bit generous. I was also surprised to see that this was distributed by New Line Cinema. Although, it did come out just before they struck it big with the original A Nightmare On Elm Street.

I probably would have never known about this film’s existence if it weren’t for it being showcased on Mystery Science Theater 3000. I saw it there for the first time years ago and had thankfully forgotten about it. Then while rewatching that series, I came across it again and was reminded about this drab and ugly picture.

There are films that are so bad that they become beloved because somehow, despite their flaws, they have heart and character and some sort of lovable quality. This film is not one of those films. There is nothing redeeming about it.

Cave Dwellers or Ator 2 – L’invincibile Orion is poorly directed, poorly written, poorly acted, had ridiculous props and is just an atrocious mess in the worst way. Sure, I don’t expect the film to have much in the way of quality visuals but the filmmakers had to try really hard to make something so aesthetically appalling. And no, I don’t get off trashing bad movies. In fact, I love bad movies. The problem here, is that this pile of dirt makes Ed Wood’s films look like the works of Martin Scorsese. This film is even worse than anything Uwe Boll ever directed and that guy is so awful, I just pretend he doesn’t exist, unless I need to unearth his putrid carcass to use as the standard bearer of filmmaking shit.

It is hard to talk about the ins and outs of this movie because there just isn’t much to latch onto and discuss, other than how bad it is in every way.

It is a cheap Italian knockoff, which were prevalent in this era, of Conan The Barbarian. It makes Conan look like The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. This is also the second film in a series of four Ator pictures. Yes, four! Somehow these things kept getting funding and were pumped out like Saw sequels.

I honestly can’t believe that I have watched this film twice. It was a hell of a challenge both times, even if it was broken up by the hilarity of Joel, Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot.

Rating: 1/10