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Maya (1989)

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Title: Maya (1989)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Phelps ...
Peter
Mariella Valentini ...
Lisa Slivak
...
Larry
Cyrus Elias ...
Dr. Santos
Mariangélica Ayala ...
Jahaira
...
Laura
Antonello Fassari ...
Sid
Antonella Angelucci ...
Maria
Tullio Cavalli
Vilma Ramia
Enrique Soto
William Berger ...
Salomon Slivak
Gustavo Camacho
Samantha Ceballos
Sosimo Hernandez
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Storyline

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Plot Keywords:

gas station | demon | boat | blood | boy | See All (14) »

Genres:

Horror

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Release Date:

1 September 1990 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Maya, O Ritual de Fogo  »

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,  »
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User Reviews

 
Decent but flawed supernatural horror obscurity
6 July 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Italian horror has never especially depended on coherence. Fulci and others made up for it for it with the horror of their visions, Argento and his like made up for it with the intensity of their art. I don't fault Maya for lack of coherence, but lack of conviction, it has the right moves for the most part but comes off insipid in the end. It has an interesting mythological basis, the resurgence of an evil Mayan king (the awesomely named Ze Bul Bai) who has conquered death and wants revenge, prompting horror, but while it isn't lacking in engaging incident it has little anchor. The story sees one Lisa Slivak coming to a Venezuelan town on the death of her father and becoming entwined in the weirdness he was researching, indeed became part of himself, with inexplicable death all around building to a climax of sorts. Director Marcello Avallone is adept in creating a sense of unusual place, a certain heady atmosphere that goes a long way towards carrying the film, he also has a real knack for tension, through filters and lighting the ability to summon menace in quiet images, disturbance in the calm before the storm. He also has a knack for sharp and shocking violence, though the film is never all that gruesome (don't worry, there is a bit of cool gore such as some fish-hook fun) the nasty bits do tend to pack quite a nifty punch. Where the film falls is its lack of a notable hero or villain. Mariella Valentini is perfectly pleasant as Lisa, but hardly memorable, while Peter Phelps does his best as the male lead Peter, but regrettably is written as sort of a dick. There isn't anyone else to pin interest on either, other characters are mostly either forgettable or dick-heads that deserve demise. As for villainy you can forget about it, this is supernatural territory but the what behind the grisliness on show never puts in an appearance and is never really concrete. And this isn't a subtle show either, just one where things don't really add up. Still, for the most part this is a good watch, only really coming apart in the final block. There's some cool bloodshed, nudity, a Hong Kong style puke scene and some decent atmosphere, its all pretty entertaining. Worth a look for connoisseurs I think, don't expect too is the best way to get the best of its charms say I.


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