NIGHT STAR, GODDESS OF ELECTRA (1964)
(a.k.a. WAR OF THE ZOMBIES/ROMA CONTRO ROMA)
Article #1029 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-8-2004
Posting Date: 6-6-2004
Directed by Giuseppe Vari
Featuring John Drew Barrymore, Susy Andersen, Ettore Mani
An agent from Rome investigates the doings of a strange cult that is fighting a battle with them.
This movie opens with a scene of villagers battling helmeted men on horseback; you need go no farther than this to know that you’re watching a peplum. However, the second scene shows several ugly, slightly deformed men stripping the dead soldiers of their gear, and this should clue you off that this is no ordinary peplum. In fact, this is perhaps the most horror-oriented peplum this side of HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD, and it’s the horror elements that bring this one to life, particularly near the end when an army of dead soldiers arises to do battle. This makes up for the fact that the movie is quite slow at times and that the middle section (with lots of double-crosses, traps and betrayals) is quite confusing. Still, I do wonder who comes up with these titles; there’s no Night Star or Electra mentioned in the movie (though I’m sure the one-eyed statue is one of them), so I suspect that whoever gave the movie its English title didn’t bother to watch much of it first.