A team of scientists has sent a man, Maurizio, into a cave deep down to
pend 78 days in absolute isolation and this way break a record, and for
the most part, the experiment goes just fine, until on the last day, he
suddenly seems to lose it and the surveillance cameras go down - which
means a quartet of our scientists led by Dr Johns (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart)
and a couple of archeologists go down the caves to save him - and while
the scientists go looking for Maurizio and find him, his leg caught under
a rock, the archeologists find a scripture about a septet of satanic and
fanatical monks, who are to return every 700 years to kill 7 heretics.
However, our archeologists do not live to tell the tale, they are both
killed, each by seven blows.
Soon, our scientists figure out there's something wrong, and it has to
do with the number seven (7 monks, 700 years, seven blows, 7 heretics -
and they themselves were seven at first). And soon too, Maurizio is killed
by seven spiders that leave 7 bitemarks, and another of the scientists,
Manfred, disappears and is eventually found dead, with exactly 7 wounds on
The last three, Doctor Johns, Erna (Barbara Cupisti) and Paul (Pietro
Genuardi) desperately try to get out, but for the longest time they find
no exit and seem to almost go crazy. Then though Erna is attacked by seven
spiders, but she throws her lamp at them which makes them go up in flames
... which seems to have killed the seven monks because suddenly their
curse seems to be lifted and the radio - our heroes' only connection with
the outer world - starts working again so they can call for help.
Later, a rescue party arrives, consisting of seven fireman - who
actually turn into seven monks and ...
Erna wakes up from a nightmare. Everything that happened up to now was
just a dream, it is still the day on which Maurizio is to return from his
cave in which he spent 78 days. Then though, just like in the beginning of
the movie, he goes mad and the surveillance cameras go down and ...
Though Umberto Lenzi has made worse films, this is hardly among his
better ones either, a clichéd horror shocker set in not very convincing
cave sets, with a script that merely throws one not particularly effective
special effect after the other at the audience (lots of explosions
actually) without achieving all that much. Plus, the actors for the most
part are just cannon fodder which makes it hard to identify with any of
them - and makes their deaths less than shocking.
Not really worth your while.
By the way, while the film somehow resembles Lucio Fulci's City
of the Living Dead, the it was all just a dream ending is
of course a rehash of Lenzi's own earlier Nightmare
City but is also reminiscent of the British anthology shocker Dead
of Night from 1945.