While Goliath (Gordon Scott) is away from the village raiders from the island of Salmanak attack. They kill the men and take the women. Out at sea they toss the older women overboard and take blood from the younger women. One of the women kidnapped is Goliath’s fiancé Guja (Leonora Ruffo). When Goliath gets to the village it is on fire and his mother lies dying. Vowing revenge, and to save Guja, Goliath and a boy named Ciro (Rocco Vidolazzi) head off towards Salmanak.
Salmanak is being run by a blood drinking creature known as Kobrak (Guido Celano). His right hand is the beautiful but evil Astra (Gianna Maria Canale). She keeps the weak wiled Sultan Abdul (Mario Feliciani) in line by offering him the most beautiful of the captured women. In the latest raid that would be Guja.
When Goliath and Ciro get to Salmanak they team up with a man called Kurtik (Jacques Sernas). He is the leader of a race called the Blue Men. While trying to rescue Guja Goliath gets captured. Goliath manages to escape with Guja and they flee out into the desert.
When a sand storm comes up they end up falling into a cave. Inside the cave are wax figures. Also inside the cave they find Kurtik and Ciro. Kurtik tells Goliath that the wax figures are former people that Kobrak has hypnotized and transformed into a slave army. Kurtik has been trying to restore them but he is missing one ingredient which only Kobrak has. To get it someone would need to get into his mountain hideaway.
Goliath attempts to infiltrate Kobrak’s lair to get Kurtik the element he needs and is once again captured. Guja is also captured when Astra tricks her into leaving Kurtik’s cave. Goliath must once again try to escape but Kobrak has transformed Guja into one of his wax figures.
“Goliath and the Vampires” AKA “Maciste contro il vampire” was released in 1961 and was directed by Sergio Corbucci and Giacomo Gentilomo. It is an Italian sword and sandals film. In the English dubbed version produced by Dino de Laurentiis and American International Television, Maciste is called Goliath. The hero du jour is played by Gordon Scott. This is Scott’s first go round in a sword and sandal role. Previously he did mostly Tarzan films.
There really aren’t any vampires in the movie. Kobrak is the closest thing to a vampire. He does drink the blood from the young women directly but he does drink it from a cup. Most of the time Kobrak is a ghostly figure but he can take other shapes if he needs to, and he does.
At one point there is a fight between Goliath and Kobrak who has transformed into Goliath. The Goliath on Goliath fight is pretty interesting. The stunt double for Goliath is not named in the credits but experts have suggested that it could be Giovanni Cianfriglia. He is well known for being Steve Reeves double in “Hercules”.
The editing is a little choppy in spots. It’s especially noticeable when Astra convinces Guja to go to Kobrak’s mountain caves to “rescue” Goliath. I’m not sure how they managed to get there before Goliath did since he had a head start.
I was impressed with the sets. The palace and especially the caves of the Blue Men. The colors are a little washed out but I attribute that to either the film’s age or converting it to different color stock for the American release.
All in all it was an enjoyable film, especially the Goliath vs Goliath sequence. Of course there were the standard tropes of the genre but that’s part of the fun. I liked it.