Written by / 10/03/2019 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , , ,

PETER CUSHING 'LAND OF THE MINOTAUR' AKA 'THE DEVIL'S MEN'

Deliciously wicket poster art for the MINOTAUR Year: 1976
You can't deny the timeless aesthetic villainy of Peter Cushing, one year before managing the Death Star in STAR WARS and after years of starring in England's legendary Hammer Films, he slummed in the Crown International Picture LAND OF THE MINOTAUR aka THE DEVIL'S MEN, where, alas, that famous scowl means very little...

And while Ray Harryhausen vividly brought a Minotaur to life in THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD a few years earlier, this bullish beast, important enough for the alternative title, rises slowly and then just stands there, a literal statue in a hidden labyrinth wherein a sporadic handful of young archaeologists wind up, trapped and... could be made into sacrifices unless our unlikely heroes find them. And, shockingly not too bad for a bad movie where each frame resembles a last known photo, MINOTAUR creatively juggles various twenty-something victims...

Luan Peters as Laurie in LAND OF THE MINOTAUR Rates: ***
Who are all much too curious and stupid for their own good while driving around in a groovy seventies hippie van, joining with a detective and our true lead in the always-dependable Donald Pleasence as a priest who, like only he can, makes something out of nothing in yet another brooding, melancholy performance.

Much of the intended suspense occurs indoors as our foreboding holy Father knows exactly what lurks outside, located within the hidden caverns dug somewhere beneath a Gothic manor: guarded by the Devil himself in this ultra low-budget horror exploitation combined with an imported Neo-Noir crime vibe but especially mirroring a body count drive-in flick: too bad there weren't more young victims to buy the farm, or a more worthy ingenue to center on, so the audience could have more bloody fun along the way.
Peter Cushing resembling Lawrence of Arabia, in red, in LAND OF THE MINOTAUR
The Minotaur in LAND OF THE MINOTAUR aka THE DEVIL'S MEN
Hot 1970's leggy blonde running by the grainy groovy van in LAND OF THE MINOTAUR
Peter Cushing as Baron Carofax in LAND OF THE MINOTAUR
Donald Pleasence as Father Roche in LAND OF THE MINOTAUR
This crown can mean something really bad is about to happen, or... ditto
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