Land of the Minotaur (1976)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
as Father Roche
as Baron Corofax
as Laurie Gordon
as Police Sergeant
as Mrs. Mikaelis
Critic Reviews for Land of the Minotaur
Audience Reviews for Land of the Minotaur
This Movie comes from the Drive-In Cult Classics Volume 2 8 Movie Collection, The movie was released under many names Land of the Minotaur, and The Devil's Men. Better than you might expect horror outing about a small Greek village succumbing to the old, Pagan ways and keeping alive the cult of the Minotaur, in this case a statue of a bull that shoots out flames from its nostrils and apparently speaks independent of any moving mouth. Young, crazy "kids" have been disappearing after they go searching for the site of the Minotaur. Father Roche( a Catholic priest living inexplicably in a remote part of Greek Orthodox country)has his suspicions that evil forces are at work and warns a group of teen travelers to stay away from the site. They ignore him and disappear. Soon Roche calls for a friendly detective from New York, who along with the girlfriend of one of the missing guys, aids Roche in discovering the secrets of the village and the nature of the evil. What makes this highly implausible, totally absurd story work is the acting. Pleasance is a very underrated actor and is able to make the most of his Van Helsing type role - battling the forces of evil and having a sort of sixth sense about it. Veteran horror icon Peter Cushing plays the bad guy, here a Baron Corofax from Carpathia, with his usual charm, grace, and stoicism. Cushing and Pleasance give very good turns in their roles and raise this film above the mire. As for the rest of the cast - don't expect too much. They are for the most part all Greek as this is a Greek production and directed by Costas Karagiannis. There are; however, two beautiful blondes that wear the shortest shorts possible - Luann Peters and Vanna Reville. Both are very attractive, but cleavage(from both ends) aside - their acting is only adequate at best. Costas does do some things very nicely. He creates some tension in the village by creating a sense that everyone is against the threesome. The scenes in the cave with Cushing presiding over sacrifices are pretty eerie until the bull shows up. By no means is this a great film, but Cushing and Pleasance show once again that good, solid acting can overcome most obstacles. 2 1/2 Stars 9-2-13
It doesn't have a whole lot going for it. The plot is stale, the characters are uninteresting, and the pacing is slow. It does have quite the cast, such as Cushing and Pleasence, but their roles aren't exactly memorable in this film. The film wasn't a thing like I thought it would be, considering the Minotaur is only a statue and the film focuses more around the cult that follows it.
One of the most imitated horror films ever made is the original The Wicker Man, and Land of the Minotaur is exactly one of those imitators. Not even the presence of Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasance could save a very bland and uninteresting movie. For starters, we go through two sets of people before we get to the main cast who's story we're going to follow for the rest of the movie. It's kind of frustrating when the film can't decide who's story it's gonna tell. There aren't any good performances in the film, not even from Pleasance and Cushing, but it's not their fault. They're simply not given anything to work with. The movie does feature an early film score from Brian Eno, but that doesn't make the film any better really. Land of the Minotaur could have had something going for it, but unfortunately it doesn't, and remains just a curiosity.
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