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Maciste contro il Vampiro

Goliath and the Vampires
Macistes grösstes Abenteuer / Maciste vs the Vampire / Samson vs the Vampires / Goliath and the Island of Vampires

Italy 1961
produced by
Paolo Moffa, Dino De Laurentiis (executive) for Ambrosiana Cinematografica
directed by Giacomo Gentilomo
starring Gordon Scott, Leonora Ruffo, Jacques Sernas, Gianna Maria Canale, Rocco Vitolazzi, Mario Feliciani, Van Aikens, Annabella Incontrera, Guido Celano, Emma Baron, Renato Terra
written by Sergio Corbucci, Duccio Tessari, music by Angelo Francesco Lavagnino

Maciste, Maciste (Gordon Scott), Maciste (1960's)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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.

Maciste and 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.

Once the 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.

Oh yeah, and it's fun, too!

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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In times of uncertainty of a possible zombie outbreak, a woman has to decide between two men - only one of them's one of the undead.

 

There's No Such Thing as Zombies
starring
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special appearances by
Debra Lamb and Lynn Lowry

 

directed by
Eddie Bammeke

written by
Michael Haberfelner

produced by
Michael Haberfelner, Luana Ribeira and Eddie Bammeke

 

now streaming at

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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Tales to Chill
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