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Amando de Ossorio
María Elena Arpón
Imagine Benjamin Christensen (HAXAN) and F.W. Murnau (FAUST) mixed...
with the adventure hero genre and you got an idea of this surreal and visually dazzling masterpiece. Fellini called it "one of the 10 best films ever made" and convinced him as a kid to enter the film business.
After saving a child from a Faust-like character big macho goodhearted Maciste goes to hell and fight hordes of vicious demonic creatures. It's packed with violence, humor, nudity etc. Two scenes blew me away; at one point Maciste decapitates a demon but by some impressive reverse FX the creature picks up his battered head and put it back on his shoulders, in hell there's a giant Godzilla-sized satan who eat humans like peanuts!?! The set design is incredibly impressive, the use of color tinting is pure perfection, and the devil costumes are so detailed I've never seen anything like it. The Danish Film Institute had hired a classical piano player for this ultra rare showing, and he knew what he was doin' to create the different moods of this epic.
One of greatest cinematic experiences I've ever had the pleasure of watching in a theatre!
Brignone's classic was just one of a dozen Maciste film made in Italy in the 1910s/20s, later Freda did a remake and Mario Bava was very inspired by this film to make his "Hercules In The Haunted World"
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