(Marcello Avallone, 1989)
Of the two horror movies Marcello Avallone directed, Maya and Specters, this is the strongest. Maya tells the tale of an ancient Mayan curse that causes the violent death of pretty much anyone unfortunate enough to encounter it. "Good" characters and "bad" characters are killed alike; this isn't your typical Italian horror movie.
The movie starts with a professor being murdered atop a Mayan temple, and gradually builds steam as the film progresses. It never stoops to exploitive violence, instead opting to take a more "restrained approach" (in that the murders are brutal and bloody, but are done in short bursts, so they don't detract from the story).
The rather basic plot is elevated to new heights thanks to some great special effects and very stylish camera work. The scale of the vision behind this could almost put it up there with Spider Labyrinth or The Beyond. Too bad he only made two. This title is particularly difficult to find. A used DVD (if you can find one!) won't be cheap. It is also very hard to find to download, but very much worth the effort.
8 months ago