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Knives of the Avenger (1966)

I coltelli del vendicatore (original title)
Not Rated | | Adventure | January 1968 (USA)
A mysterious, knife-throwing Viking warrior protects a young peasant woman and her son from the clutches of a evil regent bent on claiming the title of King and the woman for himself.


Mario Bava (as John Hold), Leopoldo Savona (uncredited)


Alberto Liberati (dialogue), Gene Luotto (dialogue: English version) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Cameron Mitchell ... Rurik / Helmut
Fausto Tozzi ... Hagen (as Frank Ross)
Giacomo Rossi Stuart ... King Arald (as Jack Rossi Stuart)
Luciano Pollentin Luciano Pollentin ... Moki (as Louis Polletin)
Amedeo Trilli Amedeo Trilli ... Viking King (as Michael Moore)
Renato Terra ... Hagen's Henchman (as Rodney Terra)
Sergio Cortona Sergio Cortona ... Hagen's Henchman (as Sidney Cortèz)
Elissa Pichelli Elissa Pichelli ... Karin (as Lisa Wagner)


After the apparent death of her husband King Arald, a viking peasant woman, named Karin, takes her son Moki into hiding from Aghen, King Arald's enemy. But a mysterous stranger, named Rurik, begins acting as Karin's guardian, which evetually leads to a brutal showdown between Rurik and Aghen. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


One man's burning ambition for total vengeance... See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Director Mario Bava was brought in to salvage the troubled production after the original director was fired. Bava wound up scrapping most of the footage that had already been shot, threw out the old script, and rewrote and reshot virtually the entire film in six days. See more »


Remake of Shane (1953) See more »

User Reviews

Sword And Sandal Film for Bava-Enthusiasts
2 November 2009 | by Witchfinder-General-666See all my reviews

"I Coltelli Del Vendicatore" aka. "Knives of the Avenger" (1966) is a somewhat cheesy, but doubtlessly fun 'Sword and Sandal' flick by the arguably greatest Horror director of all-time, the brilliant Mario Bava. I may be slightly biased. If I was to select one all-time favorite director of mine it would quite possibly be Mario Bava, as no other director has ever been capable of combining beauty and terror and creating a haunting and overwhelming atmosphere as it was the case with the supreme master of Gothic Horror and inventor of the Giallo. The man's repertoire includes more masterpiece than that of any other Horror director. His ultimate masterpiece, "La Maschera Del Demonio" (aka. "Black Sunday", 1960) is doubtlessly one of the greatest Horror films of all-time, and his filmography includes so many brilliant that it is hard to pick favorites: Gothic tales like "La Frusta E Il Corpo"(The Whip and the Body", 1963), "I Tre Volti Della Paura" ("Black Sabbath", 1963) and "Operazione Paura" ("Kill Baby Kill", 1966), the Giallo-milestone "Sei Donne Per L'Assassino" ("Blood And Black Lace", 1964) or the ingenious Crime-Thriller "Cani Arrabiati" ("Rabid Dogs", 1974) are only some of the many brilliant films this man has made, and I could probably go on praising Bava forever. This being said, "Knives of the Avenger" certainly isn't a masterpiece or must-see, and definitely ranges among the lesser films in Bava's impressive filmography. While anybody unfamiliar with this great director's work should definitely start their journey into the fascinating world of Mario Bava with another film, this one is yet a fun little film that is recommendable to my fellow fans of the man.

"Knives of the Avenger" is a vengeance-themed Sword and Sandal film that was made in 1966, several years after the genre's heyday in the 50s and early 60s. Cameron Mitchell stars as Rurik, a Barbarian (Viking?) warrior, who saves the young beauty Karin (Elissa Pichelli) and her son from the clutches of an evil warlord (Fausto Tozzi)... I do not want to give any parts of the story away, but I can say that it is pretty random classic stuff. Bava, as always, succeeds in giving his film a great look and nice atmosphere. For its time and genre the film also has quite a bunch of violent and somewhat gory moments, and the hero is quite dark and vengeful. This one's cast includes the leading men from two of Bava's greatest achievements, Cameron Mitchell (who starred in "Blood and Black Lace"), and Giacomo Rossi-Stuart (who starred in "Kill Baby... Kill!" and who is credited as "Jack Stuart" here). Mitchell, who is the leading man here, is a very good actor; while this role doesn't need great acting skills, he has what it takes - a grim look. The revenge-story isn't exactly unique, but it's entertaining enough and well-executed by Bava's skillful direction. The film is nicely shot and supported by a cool, genre-typically heroic score. This is a cheesy film, of course, and by no means a masterpiece. It certainly ranges among the least important films Bava has ever made and doesn't nearly play in the same league as any of his Horror films (including the director's personal least favorite of his films, the somewhat weird "Five Dolls For An August Moon"). Yet it is fun enough and warmly recommended to my fellow Bava fans who have seen most of the man's many masterpieces.

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Release Date:

January 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Viking Massacre See more »


Box Office


$75,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sider Film See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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