Saturday, June 09, 2007
LAND OF THE MINOTAUR (1977)
Wow! Sometimes everything you've heard about a movie is correct. For years I've heard nothing but bad things about this sucker and they were right on the money. A middling idea filmed in a slapdash manner spiked with two aging actors copping a paid vacation in Greece makes for 90 minutes of sheer boredom. The plot is so simple it might have been scrawled on a bar napkin- tourists are disappearing near some ruins on a Greek island. Priest Donald Pleasance is concerned and warns off some nice young friends drawn to the place by rumors of an priceless artifact. This is all to no avail of course as local wealthy landowner Peter Cushing is the leader of a weird-ass cult of minotaur worshipers that grab and sacrifice any idiot unlucky enough to trespass on the groups hidden underground temple. I guess the sight of a 10 foot tall stone minotaur the shoots flames out of its nostrils is so funny that killing any potential 'art critics' would be the only way to salvage any respect the cult has for itself. Hysterically the thing is on a platform that raises it into view in such a way as to make me think of a game show.
"And now let's have a big round of applause for our host! The beast of the hour! That raging Grecian with a unique sinus problem! THE MINOTAUR!!"
Adding to this odd TV show impression is that the sacrificial altars look like the set of a 70's talk show. And, in one of the stranger moments later in the movie, this underground kill spot is suddenly outside in a stand of trees. Bizarre.
At any rate, the film is deadly dull requiring some talking to the screen to get all the way through. An interest in Cushing and Pleasance helps but there is just not much here to hold anyone's attention for long. I like the poster art though.