Knights of Terror (1963)

KNIGHTS OF TERROR (1963)
aka Il terrore dei mantelli rossi
Article 5052 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 1-17-2016
Directed by Mario Costa
Featuring Tony Russel, Scilla Gabel, Yves Vincent
Country: Italy / France / Spain
What it is: Costume swashbuckler

A small duchy is terrorized by a group of horsemen known as the Knights of Terror; they are believed to be the ghosts of an ambushed group of men seeking vengeance. The duke seeks the help of Captain Mirko to fight the terror, but Mirko refuses unless the duke’s daughter will take his hand in marriage. Much swordplay, intrigue and horse-riding follows.

It doesn’t happen very often, but every once in a while there pops up a movie in the realm of costume adventure that has enough fantastic content to be covered here. In this case, there is the rumor that the riders are ghosts, a scene involving a creepy secret passage, and even a touch of science fiction towards the end when an inventor pops up. If you watch this, you’ll probably figure out the true identity of the Knights of Terror early on, and the biggest mystery of the piece will be to wonder why the hero appears to be on the side of the villains. Beyond that, this is a pretty tepid affair, with the story coming to a halt so we can have lots of scenes of people riding around on horses, unnecessary sword-fighting scenes, and lots of footage of peasants carrying around what must be the standard peasant possession of the time, a two-pronged stick. All in all, this is uninspired action fare.

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