Maciste's (Gordon Scott) village has been raided, but nothing has been
actually stolen, only the healthy young women and men of the city have
been kidnapped - kidnapped to an island called Sarmanak, "from where
noone has ever returned." Maciste goes there regardless to free the
villagers, especially his girlfriend Guja (Leonora Ruffo). After a few
complications, Maciste makes it to Sarmanak's sultan Abdul (Mario
Feliciani), who has planned to make Guja his latest wife in his harem -
but after a short talk, Abdul proves to be a surprisingly understanding
man, and he surrenders Guja to Maciste conditionless and promises to free
the others ... and he actually means it too - but shortly after his
promise, he is killed by a ghostlike creature.
You see, Abdul was just a
puppet leader, controlled by his constant companion Astra (Gianna Maria
Canale) - and she in turn is the second-in-command of Kobrak (Guido
Celano), an otherworldly villain with supernatural powers.
Guja meanwhile get caught up in a sandstorm, get separated, and while Guja
is kidnapped by Kobrak's men, Maciste finds refuge in a weird cave where
he finds the bloodless remains of the men in his city and soon finds
himself surrounded by the blue men, whom he first regards his
enemies, until Kurtik (Jacques Sernas), a man who has previously helped
him get into the Sultan's palace, reveals himself to be their leader.
Turns out Maciste's friends have been sucked dry of their blood not by the
blue men but by Kobrak and his minions, and Kutlik is trying to return
them to life - with no success so far, but now his men have kidnapped
Astra, and they try to get her to reveal the secret, under torture, if
necessary. Astra won't talk, so Kutlik decides to put her to death, but
Maciste saves her from certain doom, so she reveals there is a phiol in
Kobrak's possession that will restore the men again.
Maciste travels to
Kobrak's realm, and while left behind, Astra succeeds in making an escape.
At Kobrak's place, Maciste walks right into a trap, but Kobrak decides not
to kill him but make him a template on which he plans to base his soldiers
he wants to use for conquering the world. In the meantime, he renders Guja
as bloodless as all the others. It seems Maciste has failed ... but he has
planted a seed of goodness in Astra, and she now helps him to escape his
deathtrap, and once free, Maciste shows no hesitation fighting Kobrak's
entire army of zombie soldiers.
Maciste returns with the phiol, and is
more than adamant to use it right away ... when Astra interferes, claiming
Maciste is not Maciste and the phiol contains a poisonous gas designed to
kill everybody in sight. Maciste throws a spear right through Astra's
heart. Then a second Maciste appears, carrying the bloodless body of Guja.
The two Macistes get into a fight, and one Maciste tears off the other's
mask, revealing a zombie-like face - the true face of Kobrak.
identity of the baddie is established, he is soon killed by the combined
forces of Maciste and the blue men, then Maciste, who has brought the real
phiol from Kobrak's realm, brings all the blooodless men and women back to
life, and everything ends happily.
Not a great film of course -
hey it's about a muscleman fighting zombielike creatures - but one of the
best in the Maciste-series, basically because its borderline
horror plot adds some salt to the formulaic storyline. On top of that, the
film is rather elegantly directed (even if most of the costumes and the
primary colours suggest pure camp), decently paced, and doesn't look half
as underbudgeted as many other Maciste-movies.
and it's fun, too!