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Ursus, il terrore dei Kirghisi

Hercules, Prisoner of Evil

Italy 1964
produced by
Adelpho Ambrosiano for Adelphia Productions, Ambrosiana Cinematografica
directed by Anthony M. Dawson (= Antonio Margheriti), Ruggero Deodato (uncredited)
starring Reg Park, Mireille Granelli, Ettore Manni, Furio Moniconi, María Teresa Orsini, Lilly Mantovani, Nino Fuscagni, Giulio Maculani, Ugo Carboni, Claudio Scarchilli, Piero Pastore, Gaetano Quartararo, Claudio Ruffini
written by Marcello Sartarelli, music by Franco Trinacria (= Franco Mannino)

Ursus

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Somewhere in a parallel world free of the limitations of historical accuracy: Ursus (Reg Park) is the leader of the Cherkessians, Zereteli (Furio Meniconi) is the Prince of the Kirghiz, and the two people seem to be at constant war with one another - stupid really since Ursus and Amiko (Mireille Granelli), future queen of the Kirghiz, are secretly in love with each other and tend to meet in some secret caves only Amiko has the keys to. Of course, at home Amiko is pretty much forced into submission by Zereteli, but she swears she won't go down with a fight.

There is one thing that really fans the conflict between the two parties: A wolfman who apparently only kills Kirghiz, and thus Zereteli thinks Ursus is behind this - and thus burns down one of the Cherkessian villages, blaming it on the monster. Ursus meanwhile is out fighting the monster, and is gravely injured by it. Ursus' brother Ilo (Ettore Mani) and his right hand Frido (Claudio Ruffini) find the cave where Ursus and Amiko tend to meet and accidently lock themselves in ... when Frido turns into the monster, and Ilo has to kill him. So the monster is dead, right?

Wrong of course, but before it reappears, Ursus has to find out that Amiko is actually an evil witch and his own slave Kato (Mara Teresa Orsini) is the actual Amiko, has to fight it out with Zereteli and his men, has to learn witch Amiko has kidnapped Kato, is turned into the monster by Amiko, but is able to save Kato nevertheless while the witch is killed and her caves are burned to ashes.

So yeah, everything ends happily pretty much.

 

Pretty much your typical peplum with horror elements attached to it, Ursus il Terrore dei Kirghisi is a film that suffers from trying to tell a very simple story (good vs evil, with good winning and evil represented by black magic) in a way too long-winded and convoluted way. So additional to the basic monstermovie plot (that could have been a fun basis for a peplum if left unspoiled) we are presented with a complex plot full of political intrigue, betrayal and the like - and before you know it, you've got no idea (and have forgotten to care) what's going on. It's one of these films where less would definitely have been more.

Well, at least Ursus il Terrore dei Kirghisi looks better from a directorial and stylistic point of view than most peplum from the tail end of the genre's era, but this still is not enough to really make the film worthwhile.

 

review by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD