Samson the Supreme & Delilah the Delightful

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 30, 2018 06:31pm | Post a Comment


By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show

"Delilah got in action, Delilah did her kootch
She gave him satisfaction and he fell 'neath her spell,
With the aid of love and hootch"
~ "Sam and Delilah" (1931) by Duke Ellington

There have been many songs and movies about the Nazarite stud-muffin and that saucy, seductive gal from Sorek. Popular groups whose music makes my ears cringe like...uggg...Queen, Grateful Dead, and The Cranberries have all sung about the famous story of romance and betrayal. Me, I'd rather put a quarter in the jukebox for Nat King Cole's "Song of Delilah" or Tom Jones' 1967 hit, "Delilah" (which has stabbing murder lyrics like a Johnny Cash song).

On the tropical isle of Jamaica, Eric "Monty" Morris and other early ska musicians recorded songs in the '60s about the Biblical dysfunctional duo too.

Hercules, Samson and Ulysses (1963)
Delilah dancing in Hercules, Samson and Ulysses (1963)

Sword-and-Sandal films are perhaps my favorite genre of movies and I'll take a mythological monster in a rubber suit, a scantly clad temple dancer, and some "excellent" voice dubbing over a new Star Wars flick any day (although, Donald Glover was a great Lando Calrissian). In the 1960s, inspired by the theater re-release of Cecil B. DeMille's award wining Samson and Delilah (1949), many Italian adventure Samson films were made, such as Samson and the Sea Beast (1963), Samson and his Mighty Challenge, and Samson in King Solomon's Mines (1964) to name just a few.

In Samson and the Slave Queen (1963), Samson teams up with none other than the famous masked vigilante Zorro! The character of Zorro, if you did not know, is based after Joaquin Murrieta. Known as the Robin Hood of El Dorado, Joaquin was a famous vaquero and gold miner during the California Gold Rush of the 1850s. After the murder of his wife and brother, Joaquin would go on a warpath of vengeance that would make him famous. As certain members of a secret Ancient & Honorable Order would say, "HAIL JOAQUIN!"

Samson and the Slave Queen

In 1967, Hanna-Barbera would release the boob-tube cartoon Young Samson, also known as Samson & Goliath. When an Evil Witchdoctor or the Colossus of Rhodes tried to take over the world, young Samson would clang his wrist bands together (much like Shazam) to become the giant Samson of lore and stop them. You can often find the re-released collection on DVD in the Amoeba movie department.

Need a second feature to watch after Rudy Ray Moore's Human Tornado? Check out Black Samson, where Samson keeps his neighborhood clean from mobsters and scumbags with his pet Lion and giant quarterstaff.

If you live near Baghdad by the Bay, the Super Shangri-La Show will be presenting Cecil's 1949 classic Samson and Delilah on Wednesday December 12th at the haunted and historic Balboa Theater in San Francisco. Who doesn't want to see the temple of Dagon be destroyed on the big screen?! RSVP HERE!

And for dessert, I leave you some more Samson Ska for you.

Relevant Tags

Eric "monty" Morris (1), Tom Jones (4), Joaquin Murrieta (1), Nat King Cole (8), Duke Ellington (9), Super Shangri-la Show (11), Sword & Sandal Films (2), Cult Films (27), Kai Wada Roath (43), Samson (1), Delilah (1), Zorro (1), Balboa Theater (6), San Francisco (388), Ska (5), Rudy Ray Moore (4), Peplum (3)