Triumph of Maciste / Trionfo di Maciste (1961)

2.0 out of 5

An evil queen usurps the throne of Memphis forcing the enslaved populace to hand over their young girls to the Yuri Men, a clan of deformed neanderthals who sacrifice them to the god of fire in the temple of the Mountain of Thunder. Maciste vows to stop the cruelty, but has his memory erased by the magic of the beautiful, but deceptive queen Tenefis.

This hackneyed ancient Egypt set fusto flick sees Kirk Morris once more as Ma-chees-ta attempting to save the young women of a village from daily sacrifice to the god of fire who resides within the bowels of a volcano. The village appears to have a limited number of people living in it so if they merely stopped reproducing, the problem of losing their daughters to a band of volcano dwelling troglodytes would be solved. Tanio Boccia does his best to clone the much better Maciste in the Valley of the Kings from the year prior, but still manages to wrangle enough action and goofy thrills in between scenes of intrigue that go on far too long. This dumbbell entertainment still surpasses his later Kirk Morris peplum-pirate flick, Samson and the Sea Beasts, 1963 for what that's worth.

The production values are moderate, but a chunk of the conclusion is made up of scenes from The Witches Curse aka Maciste in Hell. Oddly enough, the Yuri men look more like werewolves than those seen in Margheriti's Hercules, Prisoner of Evil. In addition, at 85 minutes in the dubbed version, the film could do with some editing. The script has trouble juggling the plots of the rightful heir to a deposed throne and that of the wild and woolly Yuri Men.

Morris took on the role of the Italian world traveling hero six times and in those, as well as his other peplumatic roles, his expression was as barren as ever. Morris's cult appeal is mystifying. This was released in America as part of the syndicated television series, The Sons of Hercules where it was re-christened Triumph of the Son of Hercules.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics